ATLANTA - Brad Lidge is still confident in his abilities, even as he continues to accumulate blown saves.
Lidge committed two errors on one play to help set up Omar Infante's game-ending single and the Atlanta Braves rallied to beat the Philadelphia Phillies 4-3 on Saturday.
Lidge (0-5) picked up his eighth blown save and second in five days, aiding Atlanta's rally by botching Matt Diaz's sacrifice after Garret Anderson's leadoff single. Lidge juggled Diaz's bunt before making a wild throw to first that bounced into foul territory in right field, allowing Anderson to score the tying run as Diaz advanced to third.
'I got to the ball and I was thinking about maybe throwing it to second base,' the closer said. 'I just bobbled it. Then the play was at first and I just threw it away.'
Lidge then issued an intentional walk to Adam LaRoche and walked pinch-hitter Greg Norton to load the bases with no outs. Ryan Church struck out before Infante's single to left.
Lidge converted all 41 of his save opportunities last season and went 7 for 7 in the postseason to help Philadelphia win the World Series. He said all the breaks that fell his way last year are now falling for the other team.
'Right now my stuff is as good as it's been in two years,' Lidge said. 'I'm trying to go after guys. That ball (Infante) hit, he didn't hit it good but it found a hole. It's been happening. That's just the way it's been going.'
Lidge, who has a 7.27 ERA, acknowledged he couldn't blame the loss only on bad breaks.
'I'm mad at myself for throwing the ball away,' he said. 'I hurried the throw. You make your own luck in this game. I don't believe in bad luck.'
Phillies manager Charlie Manuel called Lidge 'our closer' and said 'we've got confidence in him.'
'At the same time, we definitely want to win our games, of course,' Manuel said.
When Diaz saw the throw from Lidge bounce past Ryan Howard at first base, he said his first thought was 'Don't pass out and remember to breathe.'
'I saw the ball get past Ryan and I looked and it checked up against the wall, so I knew I'd be going to third or trying for third,' Diaz said.
Diaz scored easily when Infante's single bounced into left field.
'It just goes to show you what happens when you put some pressure on a defense and a pitcher,' Atlanta slugger Chipper Jones. 'They're the World Series champs. That's a very good, fundamentally sound ballclub with speed, power and pitching. You have got to play good in order to beat them. They don't give you games. So we feel fortunate about this one.'
Jones went 2 for 3 with a walk and Brian McCann hit a two-run homer in the third for Atlanta. Peter Moylan (5-2) pitched a perfect ninth for the win.
Cole Hamels worked six innings for Philadelphia, allowing three hits with four walks and two strikeouts. He did not allow a hit in his final three innings.
Jayson Werth gave the Phillies a 3-2 lead in the seventh with his 24th homer, matching his career high.
Six of the Phillies' seven hits off Kenshin Kawakami were for extra bases. Kawakami gave up three runs in 6 1-3 innings.
The Phillies scored in the fourth and fifth to tie it at 2. Shane Victorino tripled and scored on Howard's grounder to second baseman Martin Prado, who threw out Howard from shallow right field. Raul Ibanez led off the fifth with a double to right and scored on a triple to left-center by Pedro Feliz.
Victorino caught two deep fly balls with his back against the center-field wall - by Yunel Escobar following McCann's homer in the third and by Jones in the fifth.
The Phillies stranded a runner on third in the fifth, seventh and eighth innings.