June 21, 2009 2:18 PM

Bunts and Balks (6/20)

Nationals vs. Phillies

Brad Lidge pitched a scoreless inning for Reading (AA) on Saturday night, and indicates that his knee feels "fine." Lidge has been indicating that his knee feels "fine" for most of the season. A good defensive play saved Lidge a run. Lidge is expected to return to the P-Phils this week, moving Ryan Madson back to the eighth inning, and (hopefully) Jack Taschner or Paul Bako to Lehigh Valley (AAA).

Ryan Howard was hospitalized with the flu, but left his hospital bed to hit a pinch-hit home run in Saturday's game. The blast would have been a game-winner, if interim closer Ryan Madson had been able to hold the lead. Howard returned to the hospital after the game, and was replaced in the lineup by Greg Dobbs on Saturday and Sunday. Howard's health is a huge concern.

Paul Bako started behind the plate for the Phillies on Saturday night. This never should have been permitted to happen.

The Lehigh Valley IronPigs (AAA) won their seventh game in a row on Saturday, 5-3, over the Norfolk Tides. The FeHogs are now only ten games out of first place. Carlos Carrasco pitched very well, permitting a single run, in seven strong innings. Carrasco surrendered five hits and two walks (five strikeouts). Recently-promoted outfielder Mike Spidale had three singles, in four plate appearances, increasing his average to .364. Listening to Jason Anderson close out the Tides in the ninth mitigated some of the pain from the P-Phils' crushing loss. (About .23% of the pain was mitigated.)

The Reading Phillies (AA) defeated the Harrisburg Senators, 6-2. Top outfield prospect Michael Taylor hit a grand slam. Top pitching prospect Joe Savery pitched five scoreless innings for his ninth win.

The FSL North squad, which included four members of the Clearwater Threshers (A), beat the FSL South, 6-4. Threshers Yohan Flande and Carlos Monasterios pitched scoreless innings. Tim Kennelly started at 1B, and went 0 for 4.

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