Lidge Blows the Comeback

Baseball’s an interesting game.  As we saw with Eric Bruntlett’s unassisted triple play, a player can make a mistake, but turn into the hero.  A pitcher could be the best closer in baseball one year, but the opposite the next.  A team could gain momentum, but it can be reversed quickly.

The Phillies managed to come back in the ninth inning, but just like Matt Capps, Brad Lidge ultimately failed to convert the save in the Phillies 6-4 loss.

On the very first pitch of the game, Jimmy Rollins’ line shot cleared the right-center field seats to put the Phillies on the board.  On the first pitch in his second at-bat, Rollins homered again.  Two pitches, two home runs.

Joe Blanton pitched a quality start; he lasted six innings allowing three earned runs.  However, all three runs came on home runs: Ryan Doumit’s solo shot and Steve Pearce’s two-run blast.  Blanton gave up six hits, walked two, and struck out seven. 

Ross Olendorf was just as effective.  He pitched 6.1 innings and gave up two runs on five hits.  The Phillies were 2-for-14 with runners in scoring position and stranded eight men on base.  The Phillies trailed 3-2 heading into the top of the ninth.

Capps had trouble in his last appearance against the Phillies.  In that game, he blew a 7-3 lead thanks to home runs by Matt Stairs and Ryan Howard.  Tonight, neither were due up in the inning, but the bottom of the order provided the damage.  Carlos Ruiz started the rally with a double.  Ben Francisco drove Ruiz home to tie the game at three.

With two outs, Shane Victorino tripled, scoring Francisco from second.  In Little League, coaches stress that the first step is always back.  Center fielder Andrew McCutchen did not follow those rules and took the first step in.  It was costly. The ball sailed over his head and the go-ahead run scored.  McCutchen would get that run back… and more.

With Lidge closing, nothing is a sure thing.  Capps already blew his save, but the truth is Lidge has been worse this year.  Luis Cruz singled to start the inning against Lidge.  That was the beginning of the end.

Brandon Moss singled to right fielder, Jayson Werth.  Werth went to scoop up the ball, but bobbled it.  Pinch runner, Brian Bixler, rounded the bases and scored from first.  Werth fired to the plate. The throw beat the runner, but was off-line so Ruiz could not apply the tag quick enough.  Tie game.  Blown save, Brad Lidge.

The next batter was McCutchen, who had a chance to redeem himself.  He did that, and more.  He hit a long drive to straight-away center field.  Victorino kept going back, but so did the baseball.  It cleared the fence for a walk-off home run.

Lidge blowing saves is becoming a re-occurring nightmare for the Phillies.  He is now 0-6 with nine blown saves and an ERA standing at 7.33.  There has to be thought as to whether Lidge’s days as a closer are numbered.  Either way, the Phillies dropped a game to the lowly, last-place Pirates, a team they must take advantage of.

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  1. philsphan

    August 25, 2009 at 11:55 pm

    When will Charlie just stop putting him out there? This is getting ridiculous.

  2. mg52

    August 25, 2009 at 11:59 pm

    These ruined ninth innings are no good for the psychology of the fans and the players.

  3. Ron In

    August 26, 2009 at 12:03 am

    I’m telling you. Tonya harding his pitching arm. We have to. Its the only way.

  4. Jim

    August 26, 2009 at 12:04 am

    One must think this has to be the end of Brad Lidge as a closer for the Phillies. I mean come on, not only did he blow the save this time, but blew a save where the team came back in the top of the 9th… This is a no brainer. 9 blown saves is more than most average closers will have in a whole year and we have a whole month of baseball left to go

  5. Chris.I

    August 26, 2009 at 12:08 am

    Hopefully when Charlie wakes up tomorrow morning, he’ll be smart enough to realize that Lidge’s days aren’t numbered like Amanda says….Hopefully they’ll be over completely!

    Lights out Lidge is now ”Lights on Lidge” There should be NO arguement that Madson needs to step in and be our closer. This shouldn’t even be questionable. Park has earned his roll to be the setup man. This needs to happen immediately atleast until Romero and Myers return.

  6. frank

    August 26, 2009 at 12:08 am

    when myers comes back is he the closer ?

  7. kimmy

    August 26, 2009 at 12:16 am

    i love lidge. but really, this shit has got to stop. its gone too far. i dont even care if we dont have a set closer. get lidge out of there…..

  8. dodger fan

    August 26, 2009 at 12:16 am

    Ouch. Battle of the worst closers in the major. I have to agree with Jim. Beating Matt Capps for the title should be his swan song.

    Good luck.

  9. Kevin from Macho Row

    August 26, 2009 at 12:23 am

    Guys there is still one other possibility. Why not call Toronto and ask if Roy Halladay has any interest in closing games?

    Truth is we’re going to have to weather this Lidge storm the rest of the way. We have seen that Ryan Madson can not be counted on to close. Chan Ho Park has two career saves. Brett Myers is coming off of hip surgery that was supposed to keep him out for the year. Pedro Martinez? I don’t think so going by what we have seen from him so far.

  10. NateB

    August 26, 2009 at 12:35 am

    Myers was a good closer. Less streaky than Lidge. Of course I like Lidge’s good streaks, but it looks like he won’t turn it around this year. It will most likely be Myers for the playoffs if healthy.

  11. mikevn1

    August 26, 2009 at 12:39 am

    What happened to close by committee? Might be an option.

  12. Bruce

    August 26, 2009 at 12:44 am

    Needless to say, it’s a tough loss but fortunately it didn’t hurt the Phillies in the standings as Atlanta also lost in extra innings to the Padres.

    If you watched the game and both teams’ at bats in the 9th inning, one can’t point the blame entirely on Lidge for the loss. Victorino got a gift triple with 2 outs (thanks to misplay by CF McCutchen who later became a hero) to give the Phillies the lead, 4-3. However, as the team have done throughout the game (2 for 14 with RISP), Victorino was left stranded when Utley grounded out. That cost them an insurance run and perhaps the complexion (attitude and strategy inclinations) of the game.

    Also in the fateful bottom half of the 9th inning, Werth’s hugh error in mishandling the hit to RF by Moss that allowed pinchrunner, Bixlor to run all the way from 1st to score the tying game and cost a “save” for Lidge. One sensed that Lidge was totally rattled at that moment. However, it does not excused Lidge’s poor location and pitch selection in tonight’s game.

    Listened to post game comments by Mitch Williams on CSN. He reiterated what Charlie Manuel repeatedly said in the past. Lidge is still the closer for the team. Williams insisted that Lidge’s problem is not his “stuff” but rather his location and pitch selection. He also said that Lidge needs to study videos to correct mistakes against hitters waiting on a certain pitch and having success.

    Since Manuel continues to give a vote of confidence to Lidge, let’s hope Lidge will take Mitch Williams’ advice and also work with Ruiz in doing a better job of setting up the hitters.

  13. Bill

    August 26, 2009 at 1:07 am

    As much as I’m pulling for him, Lidge has to go. In last year’s post season Lidge pitched in seven save situations. If they have to rely on him that much in this post season they won’t get very far. Unlike the past two seasons the Phils will win the division easily so their focus has to be on the post season and the achilles heel right now is the lack of a reliable closer. If Lidge had blown only half as many as he has this year the Phils would have the best record in the National League.

  14. Dave

    August 26, 2009 at 1:11 am

    I love how every game, people come up with new excuses why this blown save isn’t Brad’s fault.
    And with Madson, I think he needed time to adjust to his new role. If he had half the rope given to him that Lidge has had, he’d have adjusted by now.

  15. JeffR

    August 26, 2009 at 1:29 am

    “Williams insisted that Lidge’s problem is not his “stuff” but rather his location and pitch selection. ”

    How is his location not considered a part of his “stuff’? It’s the most important part of pitching. He has no idea where his fastball is going. Remind you of anyone Mitch? He threw one right in the dirt. He was supposed to throw the left-handed hitter Moss down and away and it ended up down and in, right where a lefty wants it. He was supposed to throw McCuteon in on the hands and it was way out over the plate. I don’t know how you can depend on someone like that no matter how much “stuff” he has.

  16. boxage

    August 26, 2009 at 1:41 am

    i’m in love with brad lidge. i really am. this just breaks my heart

  17. notbradlidge

    August 26, 2009 at 1:45 am

    Charlie is a damned fool and his blind confidence is going to cost us a playoff berth. Or going deep into the playoffs at any rate.

    Think about it. If he can’t keep a one run lead against the f**king PIRATES, how do you think he’s gonna fare against Cards, or Dodgers, or Boston, or even the Yanks?


    That’s what he’ll be and that’s what he is now, in my eyes.

    Him and Chollie will cost us the pennant this season.

  18. notbradlidge

    August 26, 2009 at 1:48 am

    CLOSE BY COMMITTEE!!! THANK YOUUU!!! I’ve been spouting this on several different websites and I will continue to.

    Close based on matchups and who we have available.

    We have the pen to do it, Eyre, Walker, Romero when he’s healthy…it can work!

    Last…sunday was it? Against the Braves, Eyre got the first two and Lidge came out for the last out. THAT WORKED BEAUTIFULLY. WHY didn’t they try that today. Ridiculous, especially with Park warmed up in the pen.

    Let other, more competent, BETTER relievers do the hard work, and then let Lidge get the last out and the save.

    Sounds good to me.

  19. why?

    August 26, 2009 at 2:00 am

    since when did brad pitch 4 days in a row? why was he even out there?

  20. phils_ftw

    August 26, 2009 at 2:10 am

    “Madson needs to step in and be our closer. This shouldn’t even be questionable”

    I beg to differ, and i’ll question loudly with THESE questions:

    Were you not watching the team when Madson was closing?
    Were you not paying attention when he blew back, to back, to back saves?
    Did you miss when he gave up a 3 run lead to the Orioles on back to back homers?
    Did you also miss how badly he sucked when he was returned to setup man?
    Did you notice he is just recently getting re-adjusted to the setup role and is returning to his 8th inning dominance?

    This Madson for closer stuff has GOT to stop. We’ll suffer through Lidge til Myers is ready, then Myers gets the spot. THAT is the smart move, THAT is the unquestionable move. THAT is still not going to happen, though. Why? Charlie is too nice, and won’t remove Lidge. Our only hope is that Amaro steps in and forces his hand like he did with Moyer.

  21. maxhole

    August 26, 2009 at 2:10 am

    this post was as choppy as lidge’s performance. wtf

  22. phils_ftw

    August 26, 2009 at 2:14 am

    “Last…sunday was it? Against the Braves, Eyre got the first two and Lidge came out for the last out. THAT WORKED BEAUTIFULLY. WHY didn’t they try that today. Ridiculous, especially with Park warmed up in the pen.

    Let other, more competent, BETTER relievers do the hard work, and then let Lidge get the last out and the save.

    Sounds good to me.”

    It sounds good in theory, but keep in mind Lidge gave up 3 runs and didn’t even record a single out. So that wouldn’t have worked even if he was given the task to get the final out and ONLY the final out.

  23. Philsgirl

    August 26, 2009 at 2:29 am

    Let’s not be so hard on our man Brad. Lidge just needs a vacation, that’s all. I’m thinking the beautiful Lehigh Valley. Or maybe even historic Reading PA. Where one is able to leisurely pitch at one’s current level of play. Or maybe I’m being too generous..

  24. mnjam

    August 26, 2009 at 3:16 am

    Recurring. Blown saves are a recurring problem with Brad Lidge. Lidge is bad enough. Let’s not destroy the English language as well.

  25. Craig

    August 26, 2009 at 4:40 am

    Perhaps those stories from last year about Brad selling his soul to the devil are true?

  26. Pingback: » Lidge Blows Another Save as Phillies Lose Opener to Pirates |

  27. Jeff Y.

    August 26, 2009 at 6:54 am

    Time for Lidge to go. He just plain sucks this year.

  28. Pauline

    August 26, 2009 at 7:03 am

    Put Lidge down in the minors for awhile till he learns how to close again. We can not keep blowing wins

  29. The Dipsy

    August 26, 2009 at 7:22 am

    STOP! Lidge isn’t going anywhere. He may not be the closer but he will be a part of the bullpen mix. But last night was just flat out brutal, I agree. I will also agree that if there is a quality closer that would be available to the Phils, and there probably isn’t, Ruben would have to try and get him. Trevor Hoffman, anyone? And he has to be on the roster on Sept. 1.

    The Dipsy

  30. Ed R.

    August 26, 2009 at 7:23 am

    Here is what I don’t get. Last year Myers was sent to the minors for being terrible. This year Moyer was taken out of the rotation in favor of Pedro, and Moyer’s numbers supported that. Charlie will bench J-Roll, in favor of Eric Bruntlett for Christ sakes for 4 games or whatever it was earlier in the year when he was slumping. Charlie will give Ibanez a day or two off because he is slumping. Though why he didn’t play Frisco vs Ollie on Sunday I don’t get, but whatever. My point is, Charlie will make moves in which guys who are not performing are taken out of the situation they are accustomed to in favor of someone else. In some of those cases it was short term, in others, such as Moyer, it is potentially permanent. But in all of those cases Charlie sent a message, no one is bigger than the team. Everyone is accountable. As long as that person is not Brad Lidge, the one person who truly is bigger than the team and who is not held accountable. Or so it looks.

    You can say we don’t have options but we do. Are they all proven and or tested? No.

    Ryan Madson to me is not an option. He was iffy at best when he was the closer and honestly he is too valuable as the set up man. Suppose you do move Madson to the 9th, now you have a possible question mark in the 8th. What good is a closer if the lead is blown before it gets to him? Leave Madson as the set up guy. He is so good there.

    That leaves you with Durbin…No. Moyer…No…Eyre…only in a lefty vs lefty situation would I use him. Similar to what Charlie did with Eyre in that game against Atlanta.

    Chan Ho Park…the man who has been nothing short of a savior of our bullpen. Could he be the closer? I think with the absolute filth he is throwing he can certainly be a closer. I feel like he earned it too. He was awful as a starter but he went to the pen, didn’t cry about it and has thrived. He has been used in pretty much every situation imaginable out of the pen except closer and done well in all of them. He would be my second third choice. Only because he has been so valuable in the undefined role that he has. He is pretty much the “Miracle Man” of the bullpen. Use him in whatever situation you want and he will get it done.

    Myers is hopefully coming back this week. His fastball is in the mid 90’s, I am hearing consistently 93-95. Was he a great closer? No. But I think mentally he has what it takes to be a closer, and that is as big a part of it as raw talent is.

    I said last night we should make Walker the closer for now, keep Lidge in the pen but not use him for the next few days and when Myers is ready to go then send Lidge to the DL and call up Myers. Maybe let Myers close, or let Myers work out of the pen in an undefined role, similar to what Tyler Walker was doing.

    Does this mean Lidge is done as a Phillie? No, because the reality is, we have him for another 2 years. Park was signed to a one year contract, so was Walker and we all know Myers most likely won’t be coming back. We don’t really have anyone in the minors groomed to be a closer and I don’t know of any good closers being available in the off season. And even if there were, I can’t see the Phillies wanting to eat Lidge’s salary for the next two years. But regardless of all of that. Lidge can not continue to be bigger than the team. Charlie, I love you for sticking with your guys but I hate you for your unwillingness to see the other side of it. Brad Lidge is not as good as he was last year, it was a fluke, and we can not afford to allow him to continue to live off last year. Lidge is in no way a bad closer. He is one of the top 10 closers in the game. Just not this year. I am all for giving him a chance to regain his spot next year, we almost have to let him try but to continue to put him out there when guys are batting .299 against him is just ridiculous, and its unfair to the other 24 guys on the team.

  31. NJ

    August 26, 2009 at 7:31 am

    The real question is why did Charlie send Lidge to the mound for a fourth straight day?? Under the circumstances it was an indefencable decision by Charlie that was bound to end up in a blown save by going to the only guy in the bullpen that has been overworked in the last few days. The Phillies didn’t ‘need’ the win at all costs to justify sending Lidge to the mound in that game against a team another rested arm could have more than likely picked up the save.

    Last night was like the scene in The Dear Hunter where Christopher Walken’s character pulls the trigger in the game of russian roulette full-well knowing the bullet was in the chamber.

    Pure and simple the Phillies now have a major problem that could have been avoided, Lidge has been horrendous everyone knows it but slowly improving and it was poor management by Charlie that’s to blame for last nights save which is up there on a par with Grady Little’s decision to leave Pedro in too long in the 2003 ALCS when the facts were there to more than suggest Pedro was going to blow up if he was left in the game any longer.

    Myers isn’t going to be the saviour when there are questionmarks over whether or not he can even contribute coming off a major injury. There is no-one the Phils can make a trade for at this point expect to be a legitimate closer, the Marlins would block every single waiver claim the Phils attempt to make for a guy like Bell or Hoffman.

  32. The Dipsy

    August 26, 2009 at 7:37 am

    Ed – First off, I think Brett will be here next year. I just have that feeling. I think he likes the Phils, likes to win, is coming off an injury, and would be able to agree with the Phils on some type of contract to reflect all those things.

    I agree that it is unfair to everyone to keep running Lidge out there. Going to Reading might be a good idea. I think between Park, Myers, Madson, Eyre, Romero you can mix and match at the end of the game. Is it ideal? No. But the Phils are losing games because of Lidge. Its no joke. 9 blown saves.

    The Dipsy

  33. NJ

    August 26, 2009 at 7:38 am

    ^The reality is no closer in the game is automatic attempting to save a game for the forth straight day and no closer is automatic when he hasn’t pitched 6/7+ days. Why when Lidge has blown 8 saves with earlier recurring knee trouble did Charlie take that chance??

    It was a stupid stupid move and we really don’t know whether or not Lidge is done as the closer because he never should have been sent to the mound in anything other than an emergency situation in last nights game.

  34. The Dipsy

    August 26, 2009 at 7:43 am

    NJ – Do you really think that 4 games in a row is too much for a legit closer? Thats 4 warm ups and four innings. The Mariners blocking every waiver claim…….ah…..but Ruben is known for his creativity. A three way deal can be had with the right teams and the requisite desire.

    The Dipsy

  35. Ed R.

    August 26, 2009 at 7:43 am

    Dipsy I hope Myers is back. I really do. I love him, mental case that he is. But if he does come back where doe she go? Most people seem to assume, correctly or incorrectly that Drabek is ready for the big league rotation next year. I don’t have thoughts one way or the other. I am fine with him sitting in the minors for one more year. I like the idea of a rotation of Lee, Happ, Hamels, Blanton and Myers. 3 lefties and 2 righties looks good to me.

    I have never been a huge fan of the closer by committee idea only because I have never seen a team win a World Series with that approach. Doesn’t mean it can’t happen. Doesn’t mean it can’t happen this year. I do like the idea of playing match ups and i am all for that but I think at the end of the day you need that guy that can go in there and get the last three outs at minimum 85% of the time. Which is about 84% of the time more than what Lidge is doing.(Totally exaggerated)

  36. Dhall

    August 26, 2009 at 7:44 am

    These losses are adding up. If we lose the division by one game, we’ll have Charlie and “Line Drive Lidge” to thank.

  37. The Dipsy

    August 26, 2009 at 7:44 am


    The Dipsy

  38. Ed R.

    August 26, 2009 at 7:46 am

    Dipsy I do think 4 straight days is too much for a closer. Elite or not. There is a reason it hardly every happens. And it should especially never happen with Lidge.

  39. NJ

    August 26, 2009 at 7:49 am

    Dipsy I don’t think 4 days straight is too much for legitimate closer on top form, that’s not Lidge this year and we’ve all said it.

    Do you not think under the circumstances Charlie’s decision last night was a really bad one?

    BTW a 3-way trade in October, has that ever been done? Is it even possible?

  40. Leon-Deon-VA.Tech

    August 26, 2009 at 7:51 am

    Charlie Manuel doesn’t have the balls to send Lidge down or to sit him down….he just won’t….Lidge was a one year wonder … Charlie …now what they think Meyers is gonna save them….”bet” he will be up for one game and then done….he’ll say it was too soon to pitch …but ok to party…The Phillies sell out all most every game….so as long as there is people in the seats they are happy…..the fans aren’t….contracts equal ego….Lidge, Hamels, Meyers, Utley, all have lied just to stay in check with their ego’s …Charlie has been “teabagged”…I like how Mitch Willams keep saying ya gotta go with Brad….ya know why….so people can forget about how bad he was…thats why…they’ll win the division but unless Happ and Lee and Blanton can pitch complete games thru the playoffs their gonna make an early exit …..I actaully think those 3 guys could be pitch their butts off and do it..we’ll see

  41. The Dipsy

    August 26, 2009 at 7:53 am

    BEFORE there were closers, when the dinosaurs roamed the earth, teams mixed and matched often. The 75-76 Reds, my childhood team because of my love of Joe Morgan, the player not the broadcaster, used Eastwick, McEnaney, and Borbon. Thats just one example. Nowadays, closers have been groomed in that role through the minors and such and is definitely the way to go in the present day. NJ – GREAT Christopher Walken analogy. And appropriately, the team and fans are Robert DeNiro. Trying to help him find himself, the guy he used to be, only to fail. Lidge even has that glazed look that Walken had.

    Got an extra pair of boots?

    The Dipsy

  42. Ed R.

    August 26, 2009 at 7:55 am

    All baseball players play hurt until it blows up in their face and then they blame it on injury.

  43. NJ

    August 26, 2009 at 7:59 am

    I honestly don’t think we can assess whether or not Lidge can be a viable closer going down the stretch on the evidance of last nights game under the circumstances. I think the next game is the make-or-break game for Lidge.

    Creative, Moyer back to the rotation and Pedro Martinez into the back of the bullpen…

  44. The Dipsy

    August 26, 2009 at 8:01 am

    NJ – Would not hve a problem with that. Gotta give Pedro some more starts though.

    The Dipsy

  45. Rich

    August 26, 2009 at 8:20 am

    Lidge SUCKS!

  46. Mutts fan

    August 26, 2009 at 8:25 am

    I love your new closer Brad Lige. He is the one. Keep putting him on the pile of dirt in the infield….he will ruin your season and the history of the game. Charlie is a crazy person who is filled with delight. Sorry, I have to go get ready for school.

  47. Maverick

    August 26, 2009 at 8:29 am

    the problem with Lidge is that if you take him out of the closer role what do you do with him? bring him in so he can blow the 7th or 8th?

    Maybe release him like the Jays did Ryan and Brewers did Gagne?

  48. Mike

    August 26, 2009 at 8:46 am

    For the love of God, will Charlie please sit Lidge????!!!!! I can’t even watch him anymore. At least try giving someone else a chance to blow some saves!

  49. Jason

    August 26, 2009 at 8:57 am

    That picture says it all.

  50. Don M

    August 26, 2009 at 8:57 am

    I would have more faith in MOYER as the Closer right now than I do with Lidge …

    and the problem isn’t even the “Blown Saves” lable … its that he can’t get anyone OUT anymore.. gives up too many walks, too many hits..

    Brett Myers best be here soon or we are in trouble

  51. joedad

    August 26, 2009 at 8:59 am

    He shouldn’t have pitched 4 games in a row. That is asking alot from a dominant close and WAY to much from a struggling closer.

    He had two 1-2-3 innings against the Mets sandwiched around the bizarre triple play and seemed to be coming around. I think Manuel brought him out to test him…which of course, he failed miserably.

    Closer by committe worked for the 2001 Diamondbacks in the Wolrd Series after their closer gave up a few leads quite dramatically. i wonder if Randy Johnson and Shilling are available.

    I am curious to see if Lidge will be left off the postseason roster if he continues to struggle since there is no need for an unreliable closer.

  52. joedad

    August 26, 2009 at 9:04 am

    Single Season Record is 14 by the following pitchers:

    1. Rollie Fingers 1976
    2. Bruce Sutter 1978
    3. Bob Stanley 1983
    4. Ron Davis 1984

    The following had 13 Blown Saves in a single season:

    5. John Hiller 1976
    6. Rich Gossage 1983
    7. Jeff Reardon 1986
    8. Dan Plesac 1987
    9. Dave Righetti 1987

  53. Geoff

    August 26, 2009 at 9:09 am

    Hey guys, there are other ways to deal with this. But releasing someone for blowing 9 saves is probably the dumbest idea Ive ever heard. You dont invest tens of millions in a guy and then release him after he blows 9 saves when the record is 14.

    Ive defended Lidge all year, but last night was a pure plain and simple disgrace. You cant trade him. You cant release him. You need to BUY TIME until he gets back to what hes suppsoed to be. Which means a DL stint or a “few days off” or something. Give him the time to work on it. MEANWHILE, they need a backup plan. I wouldnt hold my breath waiting for Myers. Id go out and find the best late inning releiver still available and get him. Even if its someones setup man, that will still help the cause. They REALLY still need to strengthen the bullpen. They have guys injured and not all of them will come back healthy. They really need to beef that up as we can plainly see. Allow Lidge time and space to get himself back into at least being decent.

  54. Geoff

    August 26, 2009 at 9:15 am

    Some of you guys, Im not calling anyone specific out, have NO historical perspective. IF he sets the single season blown save record then we can talk about potential drastic measures. But even with him struggliong like this its doubtful he will set that record because I think Charlie won’t let him.

  55. Don M

    August 26, 2009 at 9:28 am

    He also just SAVED two against the Mets, in a 9-7 win, and a 4-1 win

    He RANDOMLY looks really good.. and because he still sometimes has really good stuff. you can’t blame Charlie Manuel for going to his closer .. Ryan Madson has NEVER shown that he can be the go-to guy

    until Myers comes back, you have to stick with Lidge … and Im not sure that Myers will win that job either.. they will throw him into the fire in some 7th and 8th inning spots.. and see how he does.. we won’t know who our postseason closer is until about a week left in the season I think

  56. Geoff

    August 26, 2009 at 9:33 am

    I kind of agree. I agree that he is random this year. When he blows a save, he will blow another one soon thereafter, and it will be really bad. Then hell be given a few days off and come back looking good and closing out some tight games. Myers will help the pen IF, IF he comes back in shape. I would still be pouring over the waiver wire though looking for the best guy you can find to add to the mix.

  57. Don M

    August 26, 2009 at 9:39 am

    The biggest problem with Lidge is that he has already allowed more HITS this year then he did all of last season..

    He is allowing 1.80 Walks+Hits per inning
    and Batters are hitting .299 against him

    Lightning in a bottle last year.. we need to get our bullpen ready now.. JC Romero, Eyre, Condrey, Lidge, ..

  58. Morris Buttermaker

    August 26, 2009 at 9:42 am

    The Phillies always talk about how they have great chemistry and pick each other up when somebody makes a mistake. That was a great move by Lidge so that Jayson Werth did not have to feel like the goat.

    Last night I really wished there was a way to throw a beer at somebody through your television. Because I would have thrown one at Brad Lidge last night. That was a disgrace and he should have apologized to his teammates instead of claiming he was tired from pitching 4 straight days. Maybe he should have said that before they put him in the game. During the top of the 9th, they showed Lidge and Park warming up, and I thought that I hoped the Phillies scored some more runs because then Park would come into the game, and they would have a better shot at winning.

    It really is time to start letting some other pitchers get a shot at closing games. If Lidge has pitched two games in a row, let Park pitch.

    Finally, no more big introduction, music and flashing lights until Lidge can keep his ERA under 7.00 for a week.

  59. Don M

    August 26, 2009 at 9:44 am

    Brad “Lights Out because he just blew a save, and we lost the game” Lidge

  60. Rich

    August 26, 2009 at 9:45 am

    The biggest problem with Lidge is that he sucks!

  61. The Original Chuck P

    August 26, 2009 at 9:57 am

    I’m really surprised that everyone is up in arms about this…

    Prior to this game, Lidge was improving… he had battled through some tough luck situations and it appeared as though he was going to be able to turn it around. He looked healthy again and he was locating his fastball… he was regaining confidence. Forget about Werth’s error because last night, Lidge didn’t have it… but why couldn’t Charlie/Dubee/Billmeyer see that? Why not throw Madson out there?

    I know that there are a lot of people that disregard the fact that he’s pitched on four consecutive days but break it down… he is a guy that throws as hard as he can for 15-30 pitches… I would like to see you try to do that for four straight days… think about it, how would your shoulder feel? After the game, he admitted that he didn’t have anything left in the tank. I put this one on Dubee/Billmeyer. I would hesitate to throw Mariano Rivera out there four straight days let alone a guy that has not been particularly effective… a guy that has had injury issues this year… a guy that is trying to regain confidence.

    At some point, we may be forced to go to Brett Myers… this situation has been completely mismanaged.

    By the way… this is exactly why this series scared me. The Pirates, winners of 5 their last 6, have enough starting pitching to keep it close and enough talent to pull it out late. Plus, I didn’t realize this but the Phillies record at PNC park is abysmal.


    August 26, 2009 at 9:59 am

    I’ll repeat what I posted yesterday. In the likely event that the Phillies meet the Cardinals in the post season, do we really want this year’s Brad Lidge opposing Albert Pujols with a 1 run lead and a runner on in the 9th? No way. We all need to pray the Brett Myers can step into this roll if the Phillies are to repeat a World Series Champs.

  63. Chuck

    August 26, 2009 at 10:00 am

    Here’s the thing…..and Morris Buttermaker….you touched on it….if Jayson Werth properly makes that play and throw, the runner is out at the plate we have a completely different inning. There is no way of knowing whether McCutcheon hits that homerun. That play by Werth was just as bad as Lidge’s poor pitching performance.

    I’m not in anyway defending Lidge here. He was horrible. But a proper play here and there and….who knows….he might have escaped the inning.

    Dipsy….to comment on your post about relief pitchers and closers….I just read an article on Earl Weaver. It was mentioned that in one year of his managing the Orioles (I’m guessing 1971 when the O’s had FOUR 20-game winners!!) that Weaver only made 167 pitching changes in 159 games. My how times have changed.

  64. Steve-o

    August 26, 2009 at 10:01 am

    I’m with everyone else. I’ve stood up for Lidge all year, but this was it for me. He didn’t even record an out. Against the Pirates.
    If they keep him in this role, you can kiss a repeat goodbye. Hell, if they keep him in the closer role, you can kiss the chance to repeat goodbye. They cannot win in the playoffs with Lidge as their closer.

  65. Geoff

    August 26, 2009 at 10:04 am

    Don’t sell Andrew McKutron short, he is a very good player. He reminds me of a young Jimmy Rollins when Rollins was the ONLY elite young player the Phillies had – along with Burrell. Thats the stage the Pirates are at now. McKuteon is a top level talent. You dont throw meatballs to guys like that like Lidge did.

  66. mg52

    August 26, 2009 at 10:04 am

    This whole “confidence” thing is unlikely to change. Nine blown saves already are hard to forget about, and there isn’t much time left in the season. He should be watching video not of the 2008 season, but of the 2004 and 2005 seasons, when – although he wasn’t perfect in save opportunities – he was arguably more intimidating with his fastball and slider and had a few runners on base each time. Then he should have some minor league outings to clear his head, then pitch in sixth, then seventh, then eighth innings. This process and only this process should take place. I do hope to see him fix things as a closer, but not this year. There is too much at risk. Too many teams gleefully anticipate his nervous arrival on the mound each game.
    Think of how much stress this places on the other pitchers: they have to hold leads so that they are not slim enough for Lidge to have to come in. And on the hitters: they have to increase margins also to preclude save opportunities.
    And it is best that the Phils not “suffer” with him until Myers or someone else is ready. No game should be placed on the line so that Lidge can fill in. Winning must remain the top priority.

  67. mg52

    August 26, 2009 at 10:10 am

    fewer* runners on base each time.

  68. Don M

    August 26, 2009 at 10:15 am

    Blaming Werth is a joke, right??

    Was he the one that gave up 3 hits without recording any outs?? Or the one that should have, but didn’t tell his coaches that he didn’t have anything left in the tank?

    nope.. that was Lidge.

    Look, he was GREAT last season.. it will go down in baseball history as perhaps the greatest season by any closer, ever … but that was 2008.. and it doesn’t do a single thing for me this year. .Lidge is hurting us more than he’s helping us lately

  69. Geoff

    August 26, 2009 at 10:20 am

    Um, the problem is they have no otehr options. Myers isnt a real option UNTIL he is back and pitching WELL in the MAJOR LEAGUES. They NEED to get anotehr bullpen arm. Ive been saying that ALL FREAKING YEAR. Someone who can pitch in late and close situations.

  70. Whizwithout

    August 26, 2009 at 10:32 am

    Heres my thought process on lidge…Our goal is to win back to back world series. Thinking ahead, the yankees are the most likely team, in my opinion, to be in the WS for the AL. Lidge blew two saves against them eariler this year. For the sake of lidge, our fans, our team, our city, lets not let lidge become another Mitch Williams. This needs to stop. Meyers = closer?

  71. Chuck

    August 26, 2009 at 10:34 am

    C’mon….Werth HAS to make that play. Period.

    Look….I’m probably one of the biggest Jayson Werth fans out there (although it seems like there’s not too many on this site sometimes). But….he looked like a little-leager on that play. The replay clearly showed that the runner stopped at third, hesitated and came home. If Werth doesn’t drop that ball and properly makes the throw, the runner is out by a mile at the plate.

    There is no way of knowing whether Ruiz could have then thrown out the runner at second, which he attempted, or whether McCutcheon would have hit the bomb.

    Yeah….Lidge was flat out awful. He wa getting hit hard. And if he would have managed to escape, there would still be lots of questions today about his effectiveness.

    So we can and SHOULD blame Lidge….and he deserves the Jeltz…..but Werth absolutely HAS to make that play. So….yeah….I’m blaming him, too.

  72. teejvee

    August 26, 2009 at 10:35 am

    Well, I guess nobody’s calling Ed Wade an idiot any more are they?

    BTW, when is anybody going to start a thread about a certain player who has, I think , a grand total of one home run since the All Star break. And no, I am not talking about Feliz.

  73. psujoe

    August 26, 2009 at 10:38 am

    5 pitches, 1 wild and 3 ripped. Not good.

    Anyone know if Trevor Hoffman was put on waivers?

  74. Don M

    August 26, 2009 at 10:41 am

    Werth makes that play.. we have guys on 1st and 3rd nobody out.. and Lidge still can’t retire hitters..

    the pitch to McCutchen was a 93mph fastball belt-high, right over the plate..

    that is terrbile

  75. Manny

    August 26, 2009 at 10:43 am

    Don, you’re right on. 3ER without recording an out. Enough said about his performance last night.

    Now, for the rest of the season: I’d be really hesitant to make Madson our closer –not specifically because he didn’t do a good job when he closed this season, but because he’s doing a fantastic job as a setup guy… so why move him around some more and risk losing another valuable piece of the bullpen? I would throw Lidge out there for one-out or two-out saves, depending on the batter, and giving Eyre/Madson/Park/Walker some limited action in the ninth… Get Lidge’s confidence back up and then slowly let him have the 9th inning for himself (exactly just what they were doing before last night’s collapse).

    By mid-September, we’ll know if Myers can replace him. He’s had 2 rehab starts (2 hits, 1 walk, 4 K’s)… and he already hit 93 on the gun. Keep an eye on his rehab appearance at Reading today. Hopefully, he’ll keep improving and win the closer spot when he returns to the big team. He’s our best hope.

  76. Chuck

    August 26, 2009 at 10:45 am

    You know….bring up Ed Wade and whether or not he made the right move by trading Lidge is just plain stupid. Seriously???…..

    Ok…Lidge sucks right now…..but he helped give us a championship and I’m sure Ed Wade has SOME regrets about making that trade.

  77. vito corleone

    August 26, 2009 at 10:47 am

    im trying really hard to believe that reuben isnt going to let this continue……hes made every move that needed to be made this year so far……weve given lidge enough rope because of last year…..we need to mix n match closers right now….if madsen is lights out in the 8th, you leave him in….same with chan ho, eyre, etc…..but the way lidge is pitching is bordering on the unbelievable…..youd think he get an hour by accident at least…..ala the unassisted triple play….can u imagine if he had blown that one too????….enough is enough…..he fd up my whole night….

  78. Geoff

    August 26, 2009 at 10:50 am

    The waiver-trade deadine is in a few days Its different being a closer. You cant go TESTING guys out at it if you want to make a seriuos run at the WS again. Lidge needs to get right, period. They need to go get a backup plan NOW in case he doesnt. This guy should be someone who has or can close. He will close while Lidge is “resting”/getting himselg right. Then he will move to share setup duty with Madson whhen Lidge comes back. This has to be done – like, now. Lidge IS still our guy going forward. But they need someone to help him out this year while he works through his struggles. Lidge will be our closer for 2 more years, but right now they need to go get someone – whoever is left on the wire or who ahs cleared who fits this mold. They know this and I believe Amaro is working hard to try to add a little piece here or there to the roster. If you wait for Myers it could and may backfire. If he comes back, GREAT. If not, dont plan like hes going to and be stuck when he doesnt.

  79. Ed R.

    August 26, 2009 at 10:50 am

    teejvee who are you talking about?

    Home Runs Since the All Star Break:

    Rollins -10
    Victorino – 3
    Utley – 6
    Howard – 14
    Werth – 9
    Ibanez – 5
    Feliz -3
    Ruiz – 5

  80. Rich

    August 26, 2009 at 10:53 am

    If Werth makes that play, we get out of it….blah, blah, blah. And if my Aunt had balls, she’d be my Uncle.

  81. Chuck

    August 26, 2009 at 10:57 am

    No…Werth makes the play and the lead runner is out at the plate. The replay clearly showed the runner’s hesitation. TMac and Wheeler were all over it.

    Now there’s one out, runner on first. Who knows what happens next. You can’t say that McCutcheon hits the homerun, because the series of events has now changed.

  82. Don M

    August 26, 2009 at 11:03 am

    The runner doesn’t go if Werth fields it cleanly … he was held at 3rd, and then went when Werth bobbled it ..

    So if Werth got it cleanly it was runners on 1st and 3rd

  83. Ron In

    August 26, 2009 at 11:04 am

    So here’s where i get confused…
    Ol Chollie is quick as hell to shoot a vet down to the pen, for a still yet completely proven pitcher, will bench his star shortstop twice in the same month for doing two dumbass things. but he cant seem to NOT give his closer the ball when everybody in america, and curacao can see that lidge is clearly having issues, whether it be his “stuff” or whatever.
    at this rate, they should just give him some black glasses with a skull in the middle of the frame, trot him out to wild thing, change his number to 99 and hope for the best…

  84. psujoe

    August 26, 2009 at 11:07 am

    Any chance we bring up Mathiason? He’s back on track. Threw two scoreless innings last night.

  85. Maverick

    August 26, 2009 at 11:08 am

    Werth’s play or lack of is a moot point…. it would have been a 3 run homerun the next at bat had he fielded the ball cleanly.

  86. Manny

    August 26, 2009 at 11:15 am

    Instead of partially blaming Werth, don’t you think that –perhaps, just perhaps– the team DOESN’T feel good when Lidge is on the mound??That groundball error by Howard a couple days ago… Bruntlett not being able to snatch that hit by second base… Werth bobbling the ball yesterday…. it’s like they all freak out and maybe try tooooo hard to make the normal plays because they now how shaky Lidge is…

  87. Jeff

    August 26, 2009 at 11:15 am

    This is why I hate Charlie. I never liked him and never will. He thinks he is smarter then everyone. He has a great team behind him. I want him gone. I am tired of this bullshi t…..A guy with a 7 era should not only be the closer but not be in the majors. GET HIM OUT OF HERE. 8 games up we could of been. Let them hang around.

  88. Chuck

    August 26, 2009 at 11:18 am

    Maverick…you can’t just asume that McCutcheon hits the homerun. The series of events would have changed so it’s not a given that he hits it.

    If Werth makes a clean play he DOES get the runner. The replay shows his hesitation and confusion irregardless of Werth’s play. The announcers confirmed it…that he would have been caught between 3rd and home…and would most likely have been out.

  89. psujoe

    August 26, 2009 at 11:22 am

    There’s no defending Lidge at this point. 42 runs in 46 innings is friggin attrocious. I don’t even think he should be on the 25 man roster because he just can’t egt hitters out. I’d go with Park in the short term because you have Moyer as our long term reliever.

  90. NJ

    August 26, 2009 at 11:27 am

    Or maybe plain and simple a not at 100% low in confidence Brad Lidge shouldn’t have been on the mound 4 days straight in the first place…

  91. Chuck

    August 26, 2009 at 11:28 am

    Yeah…psujoe…and in the playoffs you could make a case for Pedro being a long-term reliever as well.

    Something obviously has to give. Forget Werth’s play last night. Let’s say he (Lidge) DOES get out of the inning and gets a save. So what??!!
    He would have been ineffective in recording it, just as he was on Sunday.

  92. Dave

    August 26, 2009 at 11:29 am

    Yeah, I realized that he had pitched for like four straight days after I wrote my comment. That probably did throw him off a bit.

    But it still amuses me, all the excuses people make for him.

  93. Don M

    August 26, 2009 at 11:33 am

    Chuck.. he broke back to 2nd base, and only advanced when he was sure it was past Utley .. he actually stopped after rounding third.. and then advanced home

    Watch the play:
    Bixler’s heads up baserunning..

  94. NJ

    August 26, 2009 at 11:33 am

    How was Lidge ineffective on Sunday? The first two men on base where there because of errors on the fielding plain and simple, that wasn’t Lidge’s fault.

  95. Don M

    August 26, 2009 at 11:39 am

    Buster Olney today said that in talking to advance scouts… they think he is still being bothered by his knee

    Brett Myers is a potential option, if its still so bad with Lidge

  96. NJ

    August 26, 2009 at 11:40 am

    There’s a reason 4 days straight is considered to be the very limit for a relief pitcher, it’s like leaving a starting pitcher in after 110/120 pitches when there better be damn sure there’s a reason for it.

    Was last nights win ‘that’ important that Lidge had to be used for a 4th straight day considering his struggles? Under the circumstances I believe Lidge should only be pitching a 4th consecutive day in a season make-or-breaking game and I just don’t think last night qualifies.

  97. Mr. Phil

    August 26, 2009 at 11:41 am

    Why do managers have to follow the “traditional” closer role and bring in a guy (Lidge) to pitch the whole inning? I have been wondering about this for quite awhile now. When Chan Ho Park is mowing them down for an inning, what’s wrong with sending him out there to begin the 9th??? That has been the case for a few games lately. We have many more effective pitchers than Brad Lidge right now. Last night Tyler Walker’s changeup or whatever that off speed pitch was, was baffling the Triple A Pirates. Like most fans, I am nervous when it’s “Brad Lidge Time”.

    With the exception of a few closers (Mariano Rivera) why is sending out one guy with that role for the 9th what every manager does? Why???

    Get the job done with the hot hand(s)!!!

  98. Geoff

    August 26, 2009 at 11:49 am

    Because most of those “hot hands” cant get it done when they have the last three 3 outs to get in a late and close game. Its the reason Madson can’t close. It IS different when youre the closer. You think you can just “get the hot hand to close”? If that was the case then good closers wouldnt make 10-15M per eyar on the FA market. Thats the reason why Mariano Rivera is a hall of famer liek Trevor Hoffman. It is just so dificult to do that everyday for years. Im SURE that BOTH of those guys have had season where they blew 7-8-9-10 saves even.

  99. NJ

    August 26, 2009 at 11:51 am

    I think managers are very apprehensive of sending relief pitchers to the mound for just an out unless its the LOOGY for those tough innings, so often relief pitchers seem to come in and not have immediate control of their pitches and start walking guys or leaving something meaty over the plate, without a guy already warmed up its tough for the manager to make another move and most relievers do struggle coming into a game with runners on when their not warmed up.

    Also not saying this is something that crosses a managers mind, but it’s the pitcher who gets the blame for blowing up on the mound although when a manager goes all Tony La Russa/Joe Torre with the bullpen and it backfires then fingers do start to point towards the dugout.

  100. Geoff

    August 26, 2009 at 11:53 am

    Ok…impressive: Mariano Rivera blew 7 saves in 2001, thats his career high. Hoffman blew 7 saves twice. 2000 & 2007.

    THATS how good those guys are. Lidge is not in that category we know. But hes still one of the better closers in baseball when hes himself.

  101. Geoff

    August 26, 2009 at 11:55 am

    You need fairly well defined rolesin the bullpens now. There have not been many teams in teh past decade or so who have won the WFS with closer by committee.

  102. psujoe

    August 26, 2009 at 11:58 am

    if Scouts thin k the knee is still a problem then put him on the DL. We could still bring him back for the playoffs if his knee gets healthy. Charlie has to be consistant here. Moyer was pitching 10 times better than Lidge and he lost his job.

    Wouldn’t putting Lidge on the Dl give us more options for the playoffs? Put mathiason or escalona on the 25 man before 9/1 and then they or Lidge would be playoff eligible, right?

  103. The Dipsy

    August 26, 2009 at 12:01 pm

    NJ- Last night Lidge’s velocity was good. But its clear that these guys are sitting dead red fastball on the first pitch because batters know he has to get ahead in the count with the first pitch in order to throw that slider. So thats what Lidge is throwing and he’s not locating. If he could move the fastball in the zone he would be fine but for some reason he can’t. Consequently, its like shooting fish in a barrel and he gets mauled. That vicious cycle has to change somehow. And hitters are not stupid enough to swing at a Lidge slider first pitch. They’ll just let it go. Ball one.

    The Dipsy

  104. Don M

    August 26, 2009 at 12:05 pm

    you can’t pitch Mathieson or Escalona in playoff games… they hardly have any major league experience at all ..

    Velocity doesn’t mean a thing if the location is bad…

    100mph right down the heart of the plate can still get crushed (Google: Wagner, Billy)

  105. Geoff

    August 26, 2009 at 12:05 pm

    Another thing he does is as SOON as he gets ahead for 0-1, he throws a slider. IMMEDIATELY. He has become THE easiest pitcher to predict. I think he should use his changeup again like he used to. Just to give the hitters something else to look for. This is what happened to Hamels too, hes MAD easy to predict. BOTH of those guys need to add another pitch. Lidge needs to dust off the changeup he had last year which he used ONCE in a while to mix things up. That helps. Hemals needs to add a cutter or a slider because hitters sit on the changeup and foul it off, and since he cant throw his curve for a strike they dont even swing at that.

  106. Geoff

    August 26, 2009 at 12:06 pm

    Lidge definitely sstill looks hurt. He always lived on the edge. Thats his style: borderline wild.

  107. psujoe

    August 26, 2009 at 12:10 pm

    Don, Happ didn’t either and he did pretty good last year. Players have to get their playoff experience some time. i just don’t see keeping Lidge on the 25 man roster, let alone a closer, if he’s unhealthy and can’t get anyone out. He makes Chad Durbin and Tyler Walker look like goose gossage and Rollie fingers.

  108. Chuck

    August 26, 2009 at 12:13 pm

    Don…it looks like Bixler DID hesitate at first, then broke for home when Werth flubbed the play. I see that. But in watching the game last and seeing how it unfolded it seemd as though Bixler was going to try to score anyway. He hesitated a few times. The announcers even alluded to the fact that Werth could have nailed him at the plate by a mile if he didn’t drop the ball.

    Look…either way, Lidge clearly didn’t have it. Something HAS to be done. I am tired, though, of some of these posters blasting Charlie like he’s the worst manager ever. One poster said of Manuel, “He thinks he’s smarter than everyone.” That poster mentioned that he hates Charlie, as if HE could do better.

    Hamels clearly needs to step up tonight. We can’t lose this series to the Pirates.

  109. Don M

    August 26, 2009 at 12:15 pm

    I think Hamels gets nasty tonight.. like 8 Innings, 1 Earned Run.. 10 Ks


  110. Geoff

    August 26, 2009 at 12:16 pm

    Dude. Happ pitched in like 2 games in the entire postseason. He barely got any work at all. Lidge is going to be the closer unless he blows enough saves to set the record. Thats how this team operates. They just need a backup plan OTHER THAN MYERS. If Myers comes back, its a bonus. dont hold your breath.

  111. The Dipsy

    August 26, 2009 at 12:16 pm

    I think Lidge is fine.

    The Dipsy

  112. NJ

    August 26, 2009 at 12:16 pm

    Dipsy I agree with you, I’m not saying Lidge should be entrenched as the closer and the Phils should not be looking at how they could close games without Lidge, I’m simply saying there was no good reason for him to be on the mound last night in light of it being his forth straight day of work in the middle of a season he’s being just a peg above horrendous.

    I don’t think he’s healthy and think the Phils made a massive mistake not sending him to the DL 6 weeks earlier to get his body and his mind right instead of the feeble attempt to get him healthy and repeat the same mistake over and over to get him into closing shape.

    There’s no-one the Phils can trade for at this point to arbitrarily take on the closers role short of Kerry Wood. Heath Bell will not be traded, the Brewers have said they want to keep their veterans and Marlins would sure as hell block a waiverclaim by the Phillies for him as would be the case with Chad Qualls. The only other guys who would appear on waivers would be guys like Mike Macdougal, Jim Johnson, David Aardsma and would you really want to hand over the keys to one of them in a play-off game? Kerry Wood’s the only conceivable name out there who like Billy Wagner is making so much money he would reach the Phils in a waiverclaim. Even Brett Myers right now isn’t an option having not pitched a major league game coming off surgery and hasn’t relieved in a game since ’07, no way I’m handing him over the ball until he’s earned it and it’s at least a couple of weeks if not longer before thats even close to being a reality. I still really like the idea of the Phils having brought up Pedro Martinez as a reliever (and left Moyer in the rotation) to pull a John Smoltz and become a great closer going forward.

    I’m looking to Brad Lidge’s next outing on proper rest, if he isn’t showing signs of improvement then we really are in trouble.

  113. psujoe

    August 26, 2009 at 12:18 pm

    Geoff, that’s just not true. Jamie Moyer was replaced in the rotation and he was pitching lights out compared to Lidge. Why the double standard?

    Charlie has to ask himself if he’s comfortable with a closer that gives up at least one run 40% of the time he pitches because it’s not going to change.

  114. Geoff

    August 26, 2009 at 12:27 pm

    Because they had someone to replace Moyer. They have noone to replace Lidge, who is making twice what Moyer makes.

    Look at Happ’s postseason work….He pitched THREE INNINGS in one game of the NLCS. THATS IT!

  115. Geoff

    August 26, 2009 at 12:28 pm

    Happ is good this year…well, because he IS GOOD.

  116. Chuck

    August 26, 2009 at 12:29 pm

    Not to keep harping on Werth…..he IS one of my favorite players…..but isn’t it interesting that the two times recently that he came into the game late he committed errors in the field. Just an observation.

  117. Georgie

    August 26, 2009 at 12:29 pm

    Oh, there is definitely something wrong with Lidge, but at this point I have to believe it’s in his head. For weeks now, he looks petrified when he gets to the mound, swallowing, blinking nervously, walking around the mound before throwing pitches, he has lost ALL confidence. And you know the rest of the team feels it too, that’s why they press so hard to get outs for him, and it backfires in the form of errors. Did you see how pissed off Werth was after the game? Not defending him, he should have made that play, but he looked like the loss was all on him, waited until the rest of the team left the dugout, then threw his glove. This can’t continue, but what do they do?

  118. psujoe

    August 26, 2009 at 12:31 pm

    It’s been 4 months of the same thing. Do you really think all of the sudden, presto, it’s going to change?

  119. theprez98

    August 26, 2009 at 12:34 pm

    With Jamie Moyer more than capable of filling a middle reliever role, let’s give Chan Ho Park a chance to close… his stuff has been nasty.

  120. Chuck

    August 26, 2009 at 12:35 pm

    I’m glad Werth was pissed off….because he SHOULD have made the play. Not saying that it would have mattered. Who knows. But I’m glad Werth showed some emotion and caring. For some reason, he’s underrated and people like to find fault with him….ALL the time.

  121. Don M

    August 26, 2009 at 12:37 pm

    we’ve seen that Werth is at his best when he is playing everyday, and constantly in the flow of the game

    Same kinda thing that used to be true with Pat Burrell, and why he never had good games as a DH, or pinch-hitter

    and shows even more why bench players are a special breed… pinch-hitting, and defensive substitution are not easy tasks, because you took batting practice 4 hours before that.. there isn’t anywhere to run and throw to get ready..

  122. psujoe

    August 26, 2009 at 12:38 pm

    Hey, Trevor hoffman just got put on Waivers. I’d take the bait. He is definately “another option”.

  123. Chuck

    August 26, 2009 at 12:41 pm

    I understand the need to get the starters regular days off. And why it’s important for the Matt Stairses and Eric Bruntletts of the world to get at bats and playing time to stay sharp. Werth probably would have had the whole night off if there wasn’t a need for him to pinch-hit.

    Eric Bruntlett looked like Pete Rose with that line shot to left..

  124. mg52

    August 26, 2009 at 12:48 pm

    Keep in mind that – correct me if I’m wrong – Madson coughed up those games in June because he was sent in to pitch only the ninth. Had he come in in the eighth to hold the lead without the guarantee that he would go back for the ninth, he might have done better. In other words, Charlie could call on a set-up man to do his thing and then use the rhythm of that inning to pitch the ninth as well.
    We don’t know if anyone else is the solution. True, there is no one else on the team who seemingly can close. It is true too that there is someone on the team who definitely can’t.

  125. Chuck

    August 26, 2009 at 1:01 pm

    Have Madson pitch the 8th…say he gets all three outs. So then bring him out in the 9th and have him get one out at a time with a lefty and righty ready in the pen if it’s needed. Oh my…..B U L L P E N B Y C O M I T T E E. We’ve all heard that term before.

  126. The Dipsy

    August 26, 2009 at 1:04 pm

    Trevor Hoffman will not get to us. Our only hope would be getting a bad team to claim him, trade for him, and then trade him to us. Which I think we should explore.

    The Dipsy

  127. Bruce

    August 26, 2009 at 1:06 pm

    I have already posted my thoughts on Lidge earlier (see 12:44 am). The fact that Lidge was victimized by shoddy fielding and his problems with pitch selection and location does not excuse the team’s continued problem with RISP (2 for 14 including Victorino being stranded
    on 3rd in the 9th inning). Had the team made those timely hits, there would not be an issue with Lidge last night.

    Atlanta lost last night so the standings remained unchanged as the Phillies have a very comfortable lead (7 games) with 39 to play. It appears that the Phils are about to have the best record in the NL.

    Take a look at the Dodgers whose lead has dwindled to just 2 games over the hottest team in the majors since June. The Colorado Rockies have a major league-best 52-22 since June 3 and 18 games over .500 for the first time in team history.

    I think the Dodgers will wind up as the wild card team. I hope the Phillies have their scouts watching the Rockies full time in preparation for the postseason.

  128. The Dipsy

    August 26, 2009 at 1:08 pm

    I want Hoffman.

    The Dipsy

  129. Geoff

    August 26, 2009 at 1:11 pm

    Ive been having this argument over at phuturephillies. It centers on Michael Taylor and how he really is blocked and pretty much has to be traded given his age and taht hes basically ML ready. I argue that they should trade him in teh offseason for a young, under control 3B to rebuild organizational depth. People on there are INSISTING that Michael Taylor will be the 4th OF for the Phils next year and that it would benefit him to do that. I argue that someone THAT good will NOT benefit from sitting on the bench. He has to play everyday. Therefore, the Phillies have to move him for something.

  130. Geoff

    August 26, 2009 at 1:15 pm

    Dude, we’re not getting Trevor Hoffman via a bad team that claimed him. Things in baseball don’t move that fast. I doubt Hoffman will fall to us. I just want a good late inning reliever to add to the mix. Maybe a former closer who is now setup or something. Just a good reliever who is a backup plan for Lidge.

  131. The Dipsy

    August 26, 2009 at 1:21 pm

    Geoff – You don’t think so? I do. Especially with Sep. 1 looming. Have a little faith, will ya?

    The Dipsy

  132. NJ

    August 26, 2009 at 1:21 pm

    The problem with closer by committee is you weaken every other element of the bullpen hangs a big cloud of uncertainty over it. Bullpens are successful when the arms have defined role and meet expectations while being kept from situations their likely to be ineffective,

  133. Bruce

    August 26, 2009 at 1:25 pm

    Geoff, “people on there” (phuturephillies) are right. If Taylor is promoted and there is NO certainty to that, he would be the 4th OF and not Stairs. The Phils have their 3B now and in the foreseeable future in Pedro Feliz. End of discussion.

  134. george

    August 26, 2009 at 1:25 pm

    charlie really has to stop putting him out there were in the middle of a playoff race here and he continues to hurt us…if we had someone like rivera or nathan closing or lidge pitching close to last year we’d have the best record in baseball,but we got the lidge that was ran out of houston now and the odds show lidge won’t get back to his old form because houston gave him 2 years after the pujols home run and he never recovered there.

  135. Chuck

    August 26, 2009 at 1:27 pm

    Should have gone after Sherrill…

  136. mg52

    August 26, 2009 at 1:27 pm

    Very true, NJ. We all hope that that kind of defined bullpen can be a reality eventually. Presently, though, it’s in flux because its most important element has been a liability. I would rather have a bullpen with indefinite roles and a healthy chance at saving games than a bullpen with definite roles and an unhealthy chance at saving games.

  137. The Dipsy

    August 26, 2009 at 1:28 pm

    The bullpen by commitee idea blows, I know. Do you think Park knows his role? He does everything but close. Eyre? He can show up anyplace. You can still give Madson the 8th. Romero and Myers will be fine.

    The Dipsy

  138. Richie

    August 26, 2009 at 1:28 pm

    Geoff, I am on Phuture Phillies all the time too and I love the idea of trading Taylor for Alex Gordon. He needs a change of scenery and they could use anything. He still has potential if healthy. I really love that move.

  139. Chuck

    August 26, 2009 at 1:35 pm

    Right now Bullpen by Committee is our only option unless/until we get someone else to close.

  140. george

    August 26, 2009 at 1:36 pm

    if the phils trade michael taylor whos gonna fill in for werth after he leaves for free agency after next season because i don’t see the phils being able to bring werth back.

  141. The Dipsy

    August 26, 2009 at 1:38 pm

    Dominic Brown.

    The Dipsy

  142. TJ

    August 26, 2009 at 1:38 pm

    Ken Rosenthal of reports the Brewers have placed all-time saves leader Trevor Hoffman, among others, on waivers. Outfielder Mike Cameron, infielder Craig Counsell, catcher Jason Kendall, right-hander Braden Looper and second baseman Felipe Lopez have also been made available. As Rosenthal notes, interested clubs have until Thursday at 1 p.m. EST to make a claim. Hoffman, who has 27 saves and a 1.89 ERA, is likely to draw the most interest. Every playoff-bound team is looking to add another reliable bullpen arm.

    Trevor Hoffman. Get him now. What’s the price on him?!

  143. mg52

    August 26, 2009 at 1:39 pm

    Good call, Chuck, but Charlie is still going to stick with Lidge, it appears, as I’m sure many of you have heard. He’s still insisting that they can make Lidge get it right. I respect Charlie and thank him for all that he has done for the organization, but this time, somebody needs to make Charlie get it right. Every time there’s a blown save and I read on the Phils’ website that Charlie still says that he’s the closer, I get more and more frustrated.
    On the optimistic side, however, Walker’s stuff did look good last night. He was able to shut down hitters and escape from jams. He has been a pleasant surprise. The bullpen has been good overall – it’s ERA is sterling considering how shaky the back end of it has been.

  144. psujoe

    August 26, 2009 at 1:41 pm

    Wagner made it all the way to the Sox so there’s a shot at Hoffman, but only if he makes it to us. I’d claim him and see what happens.

    Francisco is a pretty darn good 4th OF IMO. Good field, good speed and a decent hitter. If we didn’t have Francisco I’d look harder at taylor as our 4th. If we can get a quality young 3B(not many I know of) I’d be all for it. Our minors is loaded with solid OF prospects.

  145. NJ

    August 26, 2009 at 1:43 pm

    The only thing the Phillies can do right now is try and nurse Lidge along and maybe limit his outs to 1 or 2 in a couple of games. The problem with taking Madson out of the 8th inning or putting Park in as the closer is that seriously weakens an already thin middle-relief and it’s all very well having an ace in the hole to save games, but if you can’t get him the ball then thats the season over. Eyre is reserved for situational lefties right now, Walker despite his ERA doesn’t look like a viable set-up guy in a pennant race and if you remove Lidge from the closers role he’s pitching garbage innings like BJ Ryan before he was cut from the Jays.

    It’s not going to be automatic that Myers, Condrey or Romero will be viable late inning pitchers immediately on their return.

    In my opinion Charlie needs to start looking at the late innings as outs and not entire innings, things like can Madson get you 4 outs or Eyre get you an out and giving Lidge shorter outing to re-build that confidence. Last night was the perfect opportunity to get someone other than Lidge a save opportunity but Charlie didn’t bite, sent a tired Lidge to the mound and the drama starts with only extreme options looking available.

    This is the knock on Charlie as a manager, he’s a great character skipper who the team believe in but he lacks the foresight and tactical prowess of someone like Terry Francona.

  146. george

    August 26, 2009 at 1:44 pm

    charlie is too stubborn when it comes to “his guys” like moyer would prolly still be in the rotation over happ if ruben didn’t say happs a starter…this ones gonna take ruben to step up and say lidge days closing are done.

  147. Chuck

    August 26, 2009 at 1:44 pm

    Go hard after Hoffman. Have to do it.

  148. The Dipsy

    August 26, 2009 at 1:45 pm

    psujoe – I think we hold Feliz’s option for next year. Give the fact that we’re in WS mode, I would crawl over dead bodies to get to Hoffman.

    The Dipsy

  149. dodger fan

    August 26, 2009 at 1:48 pm

    Don’t the Phils have the second highest OPS in the majors with RISP? I think these complaints are really misplaced and misleading.

  150. george

    August 26, 2009 at 1:50 pm

    ruben better put a claim on hoffmen,it might be tough for him to clear waivers,but you gotta try.

  151. beta sigma shag

    August 26, 2009 at 1:50 pm

    I think most of you dismiss the four days in a row for Lidge. He had not pitched for five or six days before the Mets series came in and pitched well for three games, when you are trying to get his confidence back you do not send him out there for the fourth straight day. Also if Jayson Werth does not start he should not play period. Not saying it is his fault, but he has to make that play, when he sits on the bench and comes into the game he is always lost.

  152. Chuck

    August 26, 2009 at 1:50 pm

    That’s why that one out save Lidge got few Sundays ago was so good. It was just that…one out…and it had to help with his confidence. So yeah….limit him to one out at a time. Madosn for 4 outs…whatever. That’s Bullpen by Committee….and if it’s done the right way it can be effective.

  153. NJ

    August 26, 2009 at 1:52 pm

    Whats the drama with Taylor now? There’s no need to deal the guy because he isn’t going to be an opening day starter in 2010 unless you’re expecting him to immediately come up and hit .280 drive in and drive in 100 runs with power which is an unreasonable expectation. He shouldn’t ride the bench in the major and he’s not so long in the tooth as a prospect that we shouldn’t EXPECT him to see another half a year at least the minors.

    When he’s called up it might take him a year or two to even do anything more than tread water but I can tell already he’s going to get the Marlon Byrd we want to see him now then the we want him out now treatment.

  154. Chuck

    August 26, 2009 at 1:54 pm

    beta…he ABSOLUTELY has to make that play. He came into the game as a pinch-hitter. Maybe it should have been just that….pinch-hitting. The argument is that with a one run lead he’s better out there than Stairs (except that he messed up the play).

  155. psujoe

    August 26, 2009 at 1:55 pm

    LMAO Dipsy. I agree on Feliz and Hoffman. Pedro’s done very well for us. I just like Geoff’s idea of getting a younger 3b to be ready for 2011. Hoffman is a no brainer if he gets to us. Not a lot of teams are going to be willing to pony up about 1.0 mil and the equivelant of two picks for Trevor. Maybe as a defensive move by Florida or Atlanta albeit a mil by the fish might be too steep as far back as they are.

  156. The Dipsy

    August 26, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    Oh, and while we’re at it, I’ll take Craig Counsell, too, thanks.

    The Dipsy

  157. NJ

    August 26, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    (apologies for tha appalling grammar in the last post)

    Hoffman’s never going to reach the Phils, he’s not making enough money to be a deterrent to a team wanting to stop the Phils from getting him especially since those teams would feel they could probably use him. Also doesn’t matter how many dead bodies you want to crawl over to get him, all the Marlins have to do is put in a claim and have the Brewers pull him back when the Marlins don’t offer any prospects. A guy has to be making Wagner/Kerry Wood money or have a no-trade clause for teams not to claim him to avoid the Phils getting a sniff

  158. george

    August 26, 2009 at 2:08 pm

    yea werth shouldn’t bobble the ball but even if he plays it right it’s runner on 1st and 3rd with no outs and can we really sit here can say lidge would get the next 3 outs without blowing the game.

  159. psujoe

    August 26, 2009 at 2:11 pm

    Quals is on Waivers as well. The Marlins can’t claims everyone, LOL.

  160. Jeff

    August 26, 2009 at 2:11 pm

    I just had Lidge give up a double and triple to blow another save on mlb the show. pedro pitched 7 great innings. lidge has 5 now. lol. just like real life.

  161. Geoff

    August 26, 2009 at 2:13 pm

    Pedro Feliz is not some irreplaceable part. He is good. But he has a 5M option for next year that wont get exercised. Ben Francisco is the 4th OF and will be for the foreseable future bc hes under control for a few more years. Taylor is at his peak value now because he is blocked. Hes basically ready now. Domonic Brown will replace Werth because hes about half a season to a full season behind his development than Taylor.

    I agree about Werth. Werth is better than Michael Taylor at this point and Taylor wont take that slot or any other starting slot. And if hes not playing everyday he wont get better as a bench player. Ben Francisco has THRIVED in his part time role and not everyone can.

    They can afford to go younger at 3B to lock down the position for a few more years because they have NOONE in their system remotely close to being even a year or two away from ready at 3B. Nobody. Someone younger will save money to be used in other areas to stabliize the position. Feliz is NOT the 3B of the future or the foreseeable future. He probably will not be here next year because he has a 500K buyout vs a 5M option. Thats a no brainer. You buyout and go younger. The rest of the team is good enough to still be a contender without him.

  162. The Dipsy

    August 26, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    Geoff. The Phillies will exercise that option on Feliz. A friendly wager?

    The Dispy

  163. Chuck

    August 26, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    sure, George. Next batter lines a shot to Feliz right inside the bag. One out. He steps on third because the runner breaks for home. Two outs. He then notices that the runner on first is between 1st and 2nd so he throws to Utley who then fires to Howard and then back to Utley for the third out. Just your typical triple play to end the game….that’s all.

  164. Geoff

    August 26, 2009 at 2:20 pm

    Well, I mean, this is more about taylor than it is about Feliz. Taylor is going to be sitting there for a year in AAA. We have Brown, whos speed the Phillies will value more anyways for when Werth walks.

  165. Geoff

    August 26, 2009 at 2:22 pm

    but the ONLY position that they are thin at on teh field that is worthy of trading Taylor for is a good young 3B.

  166. NJ

    August 26, 2009 at 2:22 pm

    The 3rd basemen of the future is Anthony Hewitt, the Phillies didn’t move him to that position willy nilly so I’d expect the Phils to look on the position as a year-to-year question and Pedro’s having a great year, if he has a even just a decent year next year why not extend him and give more time to groom Hewitt or someone else. What are the other options? offer stupid money to a free agent, try another Wes Helms or try and get water out of a stone with a Josh Fields type…

  167. NJ

    August 26, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    Geoff who would you consider a good young third basemen worth trading a Taylor calibre prospect for?

  168. The Dipsy

    August 26, 2009 at 2:25 pm

    NJ – Agreed. Anthony Hewitt? eeesh. That’s bad. Yup. Year to year is the way to go. I love Feliz. The other three guys are the stars of the band and Feliz is the bass player. Gotta have a bass player.

    The Dipsy

  169. Geoff

    August 26, 2009 at 2:26 pm

    Hewitt is not one or two years away though. Unless he figures it out and races through the system he could STILL be 3 or 4 years away. I doubt feliz can give you anymore than one more year at his current level of play.

  170. psujoe

    August 26, 2009 at 2:27 pm

    geoff, any guys you can think of off hand as a quality, young 3B? teams will want a lot for a younger player.

  171. Geoff

    August 26, 2009 at 2:30 pm

    Last I checked (about a month ago) Anthony Hewitt was STILL in Williamsport – where he was last year – and had JUST started to hit. Thats SSSSSSSSSSLOOOOOOOOW development. Basically, he has not improved at all in his first pro year. So he is STILL 3-4 years away like he was when he was drafted.

    Ryan Zimmermann won’t be traded. Alex Gordon has upside still and has pop and is only 25. Mark Reynolds. Peralta (not getting traded). Have to go through the rosters. But they have NOTHING at 3B in their system. Hewitt doesnt even count because hes not good enough to be considered a blue chip prospect yet. Its Feliz and just…guys.

  172. psujoe

    August 26, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    A’s got a heck of a player in ben Wallace. he’s destroying AAA.

  173. psujoe

    August 26, 2009 at 2:39 pm

    Chone Figgins is an FA, but he isn’t really much of an upgarde over Feliz and he’s not that young (31).

  174. Don M

    August 26, 2009 at 2:40 pm

    Someone threw out the idea of ALex Gordon for Michael Taylor … with Arbuckle in Kansas City, there is a chance that something along those lines could be realistic

    I don’t know that Gordon will be the better player, but after next season.. how much will Feliz have left? He’s already slowed in the field (better bat, but worse fielder coming off back surgery?) ..

  175. NJ

    August 26, 2009 at 2:40 pm

    Very few teams are deep at third base and if you look at the stats right now there’s only 11 3rd basemen in the NL that have ‘qualifying’ stats. Most infield positions teams are pretty thin with major-league plus-bat calibre talent except 1st base where some teams consider you could put a donkey at as long as he can hit.

    The Phils have drafted a guy they consider to have incredible tools and in the mean-time they’ll address the position with Pedro Feliz or cheap options like say where Garrett Atkins will probably be a couple of years down the line. It’s not possible to have stars in the making at every position and you can only score so many runs. Look at the Dodgers, they have Casey Blake at third base who’s a couple of years older than Feliz manning third and traded away their 3rd basemen in-waiting in the Sherrill deal.

  176. george

    August 26, 2009 at 2:42 pm

    bill hall to play 3B?yea he was driven out of milwaukee but he looked good early in his career and a change of scenery could do him good,but seattle already traded for him.

  177. Don M

    August 26, 2009 at 2:43 pm

    Im pretty sure that Hewiitt has been projected most places as an OF ??

    Drafted as a SS… projected by the Phillies/and moved to 3rd Base

    But everywhere else you look they lable him to be an OF

  178. Don M

    August 26, 2009 at 2:46 pm

    Chone Figgins is NASTY … in every way

    when healthy, he’s one of the most underrated players in all of baseball

  179. Chuck

    August 26, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    Did we all really think that Feliz was anything more than a 3 year plan anyway?? Don’t get me wrong…he’s been a great addition to this team, but yeah…how much does he have left??

  180. Whizwithout

    August 26, 2009 at 3:29 pm

    how effective do you think we could be by working a closer by committee?

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