Things were looking really good through most of the first two games of this weekend’s series between the Phillies and the Twins. The Phils scored nine runs in game one as they rolled to a 9-5 win. They were on the brink of another victory in game two when things took a dramatic turn for the worse, though, and the Twins wound up taking two of three as the Phils fell 5 1/2 games out of first in the NL East.

The Phils led game two 9-4 going into the ninth inning. Contreras started the ninth and allowed a two-run homer to Jim Thome and then walked Nick Punto before Brad Lidge came on to try to close it out for the Phils with a 9-6 lead and a man on first. Punto took second on defensive indifference and third on a wild pitch before Denard Span delivered an RBI-single with one out that cut the lead to 9-7. Lidge struck out Orlando Hudson for the second out and was one out away from ending the game before Joe Mauer tied it up at 9-9 with a home run to center.

For Lidge it was another big hit he allowed with two outs. Lidge has been a whole lot better earlier in the innings than he has near the end of innings this year. Here’s what opponents are hitting against him for the season with zero or one outs and what they are hitting against him with two outs:

  PA AVG OBP SLG OPS
0 or 1 out 25 .167 .200 .292 .492
2 outs 19 .353 .421 .647 1.068

Not a lot of plate appearances, but batters have fared a lot better against him this year with two outs than they did earlier in the inning.

Here’s how batters have fared against him for his career with zero or one outs compared to what they have done against him with two outs:

  PA AVG OBP SLG OPS
0 or 1 out 1520 .223 .305 .357 .662
2 outs 783 .221 .332 .368 .700

Batters have been a little better against Lidge with two outs over his career, but there isn’t nearly the same gap as there has been this season.

Whether Lidge is getting tired or not, despite the tiny number of batters that he’s faced this season I think it is good news that he’s actually been better against hitters with less than two outs this year than he has over his career.

It’s important to note, too, that getting hammered with two outs wasn’t Lidge’s problem in 2009. If you look at his splits from ’09, he was miserable all around, but by OPS allowed he was actually better with two outs than he was with zero or one. In ’09, opposing hitters put up an .894 OPS against him for the year with two down compared to a .933 OPS with nobody out and a .907 OPS with one out.

This article suggests that Rollins will be back sometime in the series with the Indians, Ruiz should be back sometime this week and that Happ will make his fourth rehab start on Wednesday.