Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Lidge is NL Comeback Player of the Year

Brad Lidge of the Philadelphia Phllies was the recipient of the 2008 National League Comeback Player of the Year Award, it was announced today.

The Comeback Player of the Year Award is officially sanctioned by Major League Baseball, and is presented annually to one player in each League who has re-emerged on the baseball field during the season.

Lidge, in his first year with the Phillies, re-established himself as one of the game’s premier closers as he helped Philadelphia claim its second consecutive N.L. East Division Title. The 31-year-old right-hander was perfect in save situations, converting each of his 41 opportunities, becoming just the fourth Phillies pitcher in team history to record 40 saves in a single season. Brad finished the season with a 2-0 record and a 1.87 ERA while earning his second National League All-Star selection. In 69.1 innings, Lidge recorded 92 strikeouts against 35 walks with 50 hits.

The former first round draft pick (17th overall in 1998) has converted a career-best 44 consecutive save opportunities dating back to last season, eclipsing his previous best of 24 straight in 2005. The streak ranks third-longest in the Majors since 1990 and is also the longest in Phillies history. Among National Leaguers, Brad finished the season ranked first in save percentage, second in saves, and third in strikeouts and games finished (61). In 2007, Lidge went 5-3 with a 3.36 ERA in 67.0 innings pitched for Houston, converting 19 of 27 save opportunities.

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