What To Do With Brad Lidge

Brad Lidge blew his 9th save of the season Tuesday night against the Pirates, in a game that the Phillies really should have won. With the Phillies large lead in the NL East, the actual loss doesn't hurt as much as it does to see Brad Lidge blow another save, and continue to not be able to get batters out. The Phillies went to the 9th down 1 run, and managed to get 2 across off of Pirates closer Matt Capps. For Capps, that was his 4th blown save, to go along with his now 3-7 record, and 6.38 ERA. Those numbers look horrible, but aren't even close to the horrible numbers of Brad Lidge - 9 blown saves, 0-6 record (record isn't really big deal for a closer), 7.33 ERA.

Lidge threw 6 pitches last night, allowed 2 singles, a home run, and threw a wild pitch. Lidge didn't record any outs, and gave up 3 earned runs. If Lidge had to continue pitching until he got 3 outs, he still might be pitching right now. Not only do I think that Brad Lidge had nothing on those pitches, he admitted this after the game, saying that he struggles when he goes out 4 games in a row. In a way, this in Manuel's fault for sending him out there, but Manuel probably wanted to send Lidge out to get some confidence against a crappy Pirates lineup that he should be able to mow down even if he threw 50 days in a row. But he couldn't. And this is officially getting to be ridiculous. Lidge has been the worst closer in baseball this season, and it isn't even close. Late August isn't the time when we can still continue to wait for Lidge to find his stuff, or figure it out in his head, or whatever is going on with him.

These games are going to matter in the playoffs. Again, we can get away with it now with such a big lead, but we won't be able to get away with it come playoff time. We actually have to win 1-run games in the playoffs, and since it is the playoffs, there probably will be many close games we are going to have to hold onto.

I will support whatever decision Manuel makes, but he has to at least do something. If you want to continue to run Lidge out there, then fine, but give him some 1 out saves. If a lefty is starting the inning, start the 9th with Eyre, or Romero when he comes back. Even if a righty is starting, send out Madson, or Park, or Myers when he comes back to start the inning. Manuel could also send Lidge to the 15 day DL if he thinks Lidge needs to re-focus and almost start over when he comes back. Madson or Park could close while Lidge is out, and even possibly Myers if he shows his stuff is nasty when he comes back. Or you could completely demote Lidge, and make Madson, Park, or Myers the closer. This is also risky since it is so close to the end of the season, and a lot of pressure filled games will be coming up. What Manuel will probably do, and what he says he is going to do is continue to ride Lidge out until the end, hoping to have another happy ending to the season like last year.

Let's just hope this doesn't turn into another Mitch Williams incident.

Speaking of Mitch Williams, as if I wasn't mad enough after watching Lidge blow the game, I have to watch Phillies Post Game Live, and listen to Mitch Williams of all people let us all know what Lidge is doing wrong, and what he can do to correct that. Yeah, Mitch is exactly who I want to hear from in this situation... go back to the MLB Network.


T-Bone said...

Good post, though I'd be reluctant to give Madson another shot at closer. Been there, done that, and it didn't exactly work out so well. But at this point of Lidge's continuing and utter futility, the moves you suggest might indeed be the only options available. The guy clearly has no business taking up space on a major league roster this year. This may a continuation of his puzzling MO -- pitch lights out one season only to look like he's never even seen a ball the next. But in the meantime, the Phils are at the point of diminishing returns with this guy--they simply can't afford to keep trotting him out as we get closer and closer to the "second season."

Now in regard to the comments about Mitch Williams, I couldn't agree more. Since when did this loser become the darling of the local media? I suppose since he did a stint with WIP's Chief Morning Clown Cataldi, yukking it up about his colossal failures under pressure, we're all supposed to forgive his history of utter incompetence and embrace his new-found wit and wisdom. Sorry, Mitch, but this ain't St. Louis, San Diego, or one of those other bastions of wimpy, brain-dead, robotic "fans." We're the real deal, and our opinion about you doesn't change with the seasons -- once a bum, always a bum! This guy should be banned from every media station and outlet within a 50 mile radius of Philly. So just crawl back to your little hole in the wall at the MLB Network, Mitch -- no true Philly fan really gives a rat's ass what you think about anything!

Mr. Green said...

I don't know why everyone is so down on Madson. I mean if Vick can get a 2nd chance, can't Madson, come on. In all seriousness, I know Madson didn't work out the first time, but that doesn't mean he can't do it, or doesn't deserve to get another chance at closer, because right now, he has the best stuff in the bullpen, Lidge included. I feel like you keep Lidge out there until the end of the regular season, and if he is still sucking, you go with whatever bullpen member is hot, be it Madson, Park, or Myers.

As far as Mitch Williams goes, couldn't agree more, what a jackass he is.

geoffrobinson said...

I think Mitch Williams is the perfect person to understand what is going on.

T-Bone said...

Well now, Mr. Madson had his "second chance" last night and succeeded spectacularly in raising his blown saves total to 5. I get that the Fightin's don't exactly have much in the way of alternative options right now, but Madson's appearances in late innings are not exactly reducing the incidence of panic attacks among the fan base (and probably among teammates, as well)...

As for Mr. Robinson's insight, the key difference between Lidge & Williams is that the former actually has a history of success, and quite brilliant success last season. Overall, Lidge has admittedly had a somewhat erratic career, but Williams was simply an overrated loser year after year. The idea that Mitch's failures make him the "perfect person" to understand what Lidge is experiencing is akin to saying that a 12-handicap golf hacker would be the perfect person to give advice to a PGA touring professional in the midst of a slump. While I'm certainly available to help out Adam Scott or Phil Mickelson, I'm not thinking they'll be calling me anytime soon...

C-Money said...

First, I would like to know in what world T-Bone thinks he is a 12 handicap. Second, I believe the bullpen should be as follows; Eyre/Walker in the 7th(Durbin will replace Walker when and if he is healthy), Madson in the eighth alternating with Romero, lefty, righty(I don't think Madson has the killer mentality to be a closer, he is a way better setup man), and Brett Myers as our closer. I know he isn't available yet, but he is the only one that has done it before.

I wouldn't mind trying C.H. Park closing. He has been lights out since joining the "Pen". Moyer will be used in long relief. I should be the damn manager.

Lidge is not himself, and shouldn't be treated as such. The guy was a phenom last year, and he sucks this year, plain and simple. What do you do when a guy starts sucking in baseball... let's take the example from the Red Sox. John Smoltz is a hall of fame pitcher, enough said, but he had an ERA bordering 7 and couldn't get hitters out. The only choice they had was to designate him for assignment. Maybe it is too early for the Phillies to do that... but something has to be done.

Kosmo said...

I think from now to the end of the season, the closing job is open to everyone in the bullpen. Who ever has the best September, should have a shot at the closer role in the playoffs.

Oh and fuck Mitch Williams, Mitch Williams is a CUNT!!!

T-Bone said...

Regarding C-Money's typically snide and cynical swipe at my handicap, I would refer him to the concept of poetic license, defined as "The liberty taken by a writer in deviating from conventional fact to achieve a desired effect." The purpose of my comment was clearly not to represent the state of my golf game (which would be irrelevant to the topic), but to highlight the deficiency in geoffrobinson's assertion that Mitch Williams would be "the perfect person to understand what is going on" with Lidge. I would only add, however, that it's quite interesting how C-Money's best golf rounds seem to be posted when he's visiting in-laws in far away Michigan, safely cloistered from disinterested witnesses.

However, in all fairness, I must also give Mr. Money deserved props for his bullpen insights. The moves he suggests might indeed be the best options available right now. Good work on that part of your post!