What To Do With Brad Lidge

Brad Lidge has blown another save tonight, less than an hour ago. In fact, the Phillies game is still going on, but the outcome of the game has nothing to do with Brad Lidge, and his 7.29 ERA. I believe it is officially time to start seriously considering other options at the closer spot for the rest of the season. Lidge just flat out is not getting it done. He walks way too many batters, allows the first runner to get on way too many times, can't hold any runners on any base, and gives up too many bombs.

Look, we all love Brad Lidge. The same way we all love Jamie Moyer, and want to root for both of them. But, the same way we couldn't keep showing loyalty to Moyer, we might have to take Lidge out of the closer spot. The Phillies are officially in a playoff race right now, and we need to put the best lineup/pitching staff out there that gives us the best chance to win games. Moyer in the starting rotation was not giving us the best chance to win games, and let's be honest - keeping Brad Lidge as the closer is not giving the Phillies the best chance to win games right now. Also, come the end of the season, and into the playoffs, the Phillies are going to be in many close games, and they are going to need to win those close games in which they have small leads going into the 9th.

There are a few problems with this though. You can't move Brad Lidge anywhere, and he is a straight up closer, and would not really be effective too many other spots coming out of the bullpen. Also, even though you do have other pitchers who have closed before, none have done it consistently. Ryan Madson closed this year when Lidge went on the DL. A few times out, Madson looked unhittable, and then a few times out, he blew a couple saves. J.C. Romero has the stuff to do it, but does not throw enough strikes. Sadly, he still throws more strikes than Lidge does right now. The wild card option in all of this is Brett Myers. Myers is coming back to the bullpen for the end of the season, and into the playoffs. Myers closed for the Phillies two seasons ago, and closed very effectively. We all loved that fire that Myers brought to the closer spot.

After tonight, this is something that seriously needs to be considered if the Phillies want to stop being loyal, and start closing out games.

1 comment:

T-Bone said...

It's become scary as hell having Lidge trot out there -- you're just waiting for the roof to fall in. Quite a contrast from last season! And I have no clue what the issue is: Is it physical, still related to the leg injury he presumably sustained when Howard and teammates tackled him after the Series' final out? Is it psychological, maybe related to a complete collapse of confidence that snowballed after his less-than-stellar early season? Who knows? But he's literally not the same athlete now, and is clearly a liability. But what to do? The Madson experiment was certainly a bust, and it's not like there's anyone else riding the pen who can effectively step into that role. We may just have to cross our fingers and hope Myers can do the job when he returns -- don't really see any other options. Unfortunately, this may well be the Achilles Heel that brings the Fightin's down -- and who would've predicted that?