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10/10/08 1:30 PM ET

A pregame interview with Brad Lidge

Phillies closer talks about his consecutive save streak

Brad, at a playoff series like this, I think a lot of fans and those in the media look for match ups, perhaps you against Manny Ramirez in the 9th inning of a one run game. Would you look forward to a match up like that?

BRAD LIDGE: There's probably other guys I'd rather face in that situation, but I definitely look forward to it. I mean, really any time I can get in the 9th inning and get in a situation where I can help my team win a game, I'm looking forward to that situation. If it happens to be him, that's great. But I'll make sure if I do get a chance to face him that hopefully I'll be at my best.

The longer that the consecutive saves thing goes on, does that motivate you more to kind of keep it going and to make sure that it doesn't slip up? I know this time of year you don't want to slip up anyway, but...

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BRAD LIDGE: I mean, I try honestly not to pay attention to the amount of saves or anything or where the streak is at or anything like that. I mean, it's more that we're in the post season and you gotta go out there every single time and get it done.

And I know at some point it will come to an end. When it does, I'll need to come out there the next day and hopefully have a chance to throw again. So it's great that it's a streak, but I just need to make sure I go out and do my job every time and whatever it is after that is great.

You said that when you have a long rest you struggle a little bit. Last night you didn't struggle and you had some days off. How important was it to get in there last night, first game, and be pretty successful for the next appearance that you'll make?

BRAD LIDGE: It was definitely important for me. I think after the last game that I threw against the Nationals I believe it was before the Brewers, I took three days off and just kind of let my arm relax for a little while after I threw that many pitches in that game. The last game I threw against the Brewers I didn't throw as many pitches so I actually took a day and went down to the bullpen and made myself throw the ball really hard like I was in a game situation to keep myself ready for this first game against the Dodgers.

But that being said, it was real important for me to get out there last night. You never want to sit down there and just kind of watch for a while. At least that's how I feel. Other guys have the ability to stay down there for a long time and come in there and be sharp.

Sometimes I can do that, but most of the time I'd rather take the ball and get out there as often as possible.

Ryan Madson pitched pretty well all season, but especially the last two months he's pitched very well. I want to know if you've seen any difference in what's made him so successful. He's kind of like pushed himself in the 8th inning role.

BRAD LIDGE: His velocity, first of all, has jumped up a little bit. But I think that comes with his confidence right now. You can see when he goes out there he looks different. He looks like he's in complete command. He knows how to set up hitters and put them away.

And at the beginning of the season, at least from what I saw, he knows he's got some out pitches, but the variety he was using them or the way he was using them wasn't necessarily as effective as it is now. He's able to go up there right now and deliver his pitches when he needs to with complete confidence. When a guy can throw 96 and turn around the next pitch throw a changeup 79 and they look the same, the sky's the limit for him. He's got great stuff and I think he's huge right now for our team.

What were those first conversations like between you and the Phillies when you were talking about coming here and then at the beginning of spring training and also when did you feel out there like it used to feel in your best years at Houston?

BRAD LIDGE: The first conversations we had actually kind of right away made me feel comfortable, just because I had a chance to talk to Charlie Manuel, Ruben Amaro and Pat Gillick and they said right away, You're our closer. You're going to go out there and we're going to give you the ball, and if it doesn't go good on the first game of the season, you're still going to get the ball the next game because you're our closer.

And right away with change of scenery and people talk about that, I think for me I felt like I was going to have a good year this year no matter what, but having a staff with total confidence in you to go out there and you don't have to necessarily wonder if you blow one if you're out of there. It's nice to have that a little bit so I think in that way the change of scenery helped me.

But as far as how I was going to throw this year I actually felt like I got back on track last year. And the first month of the season wasn't good for me last year, but after that I felt like I settled into a real good rhythm, felt like I was back to normal I wasn't closing for a while so I didn't have the saves to show that I was back to feeling good, but I was. And I think I took that into this year knowing that I was going to have a good year.

Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.