8/1/2013 10:55 P.M. ET
World Series hero Lidge retires in Phillies uniform
By Stephen Pianovich / MLB.com
PHILADELPHIA -- Brad Lidge said the final out of the 2008 World Series is something that is permanently on his mind.
He remembers gripping the baseball, striking out Tampa Bay's Eric Hinske and being stuck face to face with catcher Carlos Ruiz at the bottom of the Phillies' celebratory dogpile.
The best moment in Lidge's career came on the Citizens Bank Park pitcher's mound in a Phillies uniform, and he officially retired there in red pinstripes on Thursday. The closer spent four seasons in Philadelphia after six in Houston, but chose to ceremonially call it quits as a Phillie.
Before the Phillies took the field Thursday, Lidge, for one final time, jogged out of the Phillies' bullpen. This time to deliver the first pitch, rather than the last. Lidge's entrance music, Drowning Pool's "Soldiers" played and he received a standing ovation before firing a strike to Ruiz, of course.
"This decision, for me, I thought a little bit about, but it became easier and easier the more I thought about my memories here," Lidge said.
Lidge had a season for the ages five years ago when he not only was a perfect 41-for-41 in save situations during the regular season, but saved seven postseason games without a hitch to help the Phillies win their first World Series since 1980.
"That [World Series-clinching] game and that postseason will forever stand out for me," Lidge said at a Thursday afternoon press conference. "And occasionally if I see MLB Network is showing classic games, and they have that one on, sure I'll watch it. I do think about it, of course. That memory is still really vivid for me."
Lidge struggled in 2009, and also dealt with injuries in his final few seasons with the Phillies. For the most part, however, he was well received in Philadelphia, which he attributed to some final-inning magic.
"The ninth inning, it kind of makes people feel alive a little bit," Lidge said. "It's the inning where everyone is on their feet. You're going through it as a player, but the fans are going through it and are extremely invested in a game you are already winning. And everyone has that anticipation of being able to cheer for a victory. So, they're kind of going through it with me, and that creates a bond."
Lidge, 36, spent a short time with the Nationals last year, but has not pitched in the Majors since last June. He said he did miss the competitive aspect of closing, but added he has been spending much more time with his family. His wife and two children accompanied him to the ballpark Thursday.
In an 11-year career, Lidge recorded 225 saves -- 100 of which came in a Phillies uniform. Phillies fans got familiar with Lidge's entrance music in his four-season stint. But he joked he doesn't listen to that song too often these days.
"We don't really play that one around the house too much," Lidge said, laughing. "We usually have Jack Johnson or something more low-key around the house. But that song certainly brings back memories."
In addition to closing, Lidge was a good clubhouse presence for the Phillies, and also made himself available to the media -- win or lose. Manager Charlie Manuel called Lidge a "stand-up guy," while general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Lidge is a class act.
"He took a tremendous amount of responsibility for things if they didn't work out," Amaro said. "For us as an organization, with his teammates and for this city, he earned a great deal of respect, not just because he went perfect in '08, but dealing with some of the issues -- the injuries and the performance -- in subsequent years. And I think that is what sets him apart as a person."
Martin to make Majors debut Friday in Lee's place
PHILADELPHIA -- Ethan Martin will make his Major League debut Friday against the Braves. And though it could be the only start he makes for the Phillies this season, he is hoping to make the right impression.
Martin was called up from Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Thursday, and he will start in place of Cliff Lee, who has a sore neck. Lee threw a bullpen session earlier in the week and plans on starting Sunday night against Atlanta.
"I want to come up here and show what I got and prove to them that I can be here," Martin, 24, said. "If Cliff comes back and it's my time to go back down, I want to show to them and put it in the back of their heads whenever they need somebody else."
Martin was a first-round selection by the Dodgers in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft, and the Phillies acquired him in a trade for Shane Victorino at last year's Trade Deadline. He was recently rated as the No. 10 prospect in the organization by MLB.com.
In 21 starts at Triple-A this season, Martin went 11-5 with a 4.12 ERA, 107 strikeouts and 67 walks. He did not go more than five innings in any of his first five starts this season. But he said pitching through a tough first inning in that fifth start was a turning point for him on the mound.
"There was one start, the first inning I threw 40-something pitches," Martin said. "[Lehigh Valley manager Dave Brundage] wanted to take me out, but I said 'Nah, let's try this out.' I went out the rest of the game and pitched five innings. With that on my mind, I started to get a little bit of confidence, and just built off it."
An Athens, Ga., native, Martin grew up about an hour and 15 minutes from Atlanta and said he used to go to four or five Braves games a season. He said he did not even realize he would be facing the team he grew up rooting for until his mother told him. Martin called facing the Braves in his debut "crazy."
"I don't really think it's set in yet," Martin said. "Hopefully, it doesn't until afterward. But, we'll go from there, walk out on the mound and see how it goes."
Pettibone scratched from Saturday start
PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies right-hander Jonathan Pettibone will not make his next scheduled start Saturday against the Braves and said he has tightness in his throwing arm.
Pettibone said he is taking anti-inflammatory medication and hopes to start early next week. Pettibone, a 23-year-old rookie right-hander, is 5-4 this season with a 4.04 ERA in 100 1/3 innings over 18 starts.
Brown plans to return to field next week
PHILADELPHIA -- Domonic Brown said his head was feeling much better and plans to be back on the field next week.
Brown sustained a concussion July 23 when he dove for a fly ball against the Cardinals, and he missed his eighth consecutive game on Thursday. The left fielder said he had not had symptoms for the past four days and passed every test he needed to get back on the field.
The All-Star noted he was "pretty sure" he would go on a rehab assignment before rejoining the Phillies, but sounded confident he would return to the team next week. Brown, who leads the Phillies with 24 homers and 69 RBIs, said he took 60 swings in the batting cage on Thursday, and he also made some throws on the field.
Brown originally did not expect to miss more than a couple of games, but he said after he woke up last week in St. Louis, he could tell something was off.
"I had a concussion before, and it was totally different than this one. It was a lot of headaches and sensitive to the noise," Brown said. "This time, it was just the lighting, but I knew when I woke up the next morning something wasn't right."
Brown's injury came at a poor time for the Phillies, who have lost nine of their last 10 games. It also put a temporary stop on Brown's breakout season, but he understands that it is "part of the game."
"I'm not missing that much time," Brown said. "And I feel great, that's the biggest thing."
• Outfielder Steve Susdorf, whom the Phillies designated for assignment Monday, cleared waivers and was optioned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Thursday.
• If the Phillies beat the Giants Thursday, it will be their first series victory since taking two of three from the White Sox on July 12-14.
Stephen Pianovich is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.