Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Fighting Phils Play 'Dirty'

As we know, pitchers with truly devastating stuff--Halladay, Lincecum, A.J. Burnett when he's not in a horrible funk--are filthy.

What do you call a pitcher who's not quite in the filthy category?

He's dirty, of course.

Like Brad Lidge.

“Watching from center field, he looks like he’s back to the stuff he had in ’08 — same slider action,” Phillies outfielder Shane Victorino told the NY Times over the weekend. “And we need that out of him. I get the best view of all the pitchers, and when he’s got his stuff, the guy’s dirty.”

You don't hear dirty much in baseball. Football players are dirty, and basketball players can be dirty too.

But not so much baseball guys, even if Nyjer Morgan has been pushing the envelope a bit of late.

Of course, Shane the Pain is not like other guys. He's Hawaiian, he looks a bit like Kazoo from Flintstones in that giant batting helmet, and he gave fellow Hawaiian President Obama a container of macadamias--and a big ol' soul hug--when El Hefe visited the National League locker room at the 2009 Mid-Summer Classic, even though the players were under strict orders not to give the president gifts. (Disobeying the Secret Service? Now that's dirty! Video here.)

Lidge is getting better as the season goes on, and is certainly way better than his dismal (and injured) 2009. But he blew five saves in 28 chances as of Sunday--and still isn't near his fireballing form from his perfect 2008.

But if he continues the momentum through the end of the regular season, Lidge might just elevate his game from dirty to filthy.

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