Year In Review: Brad Lidge – Phillies Nation
2009 Year in Review

Year In Review: Brad Lidge

per⋅fect (adj.) / [pur-fikt]:

1. excellent or complete beyond practical or theoretical improvement 2. entirely without any flaws, defects, or shortcomings 3. 48-for-48 in save opportunities

Synonyms:  unblemished, faultless, lights out, Brad Lidge in 2008

im⋅per⋅fect (adj.) / [im-pur-fikt]:

1. of, pertaining to, or characterized by defects or weaknesses 2. defective, faulty 3. 11 blown saves

Synonyms:  causing fans to use profanity, Brad Lidge in 2009

Those 1-2-3 ninth innings in 2008 were nice, right? 2009 was a different story. We were treated to a nerve-wracking ninth that usually ended in disappoint and frustration. If your heart wasn’t pounding, then you were probably on Mars. 

Coming off a “perfect” season, Brad Lidge’s expectations were high, but the only direction he could go was down.  And he hit rock bottom.

Lidge extended his consecutive save streak in his first three opportunities.  Unfortunately, all good things come to an end.  On April 18, Lidge blew his first save since 2007.  Charlie Manuel walked to the mound to take the ball from Lidge.  Proud, and well aware of his remarkable streak, the fans gave Lidge a standing ovation.  It would not be the only time Manuel took the baseball from Lidge, but it would be the only ovation.

7-Eleven: a seven-plus earned run average and eleven blown saves.  Lidge’s longest save streak in ’09 was five.  It was rare that we’d see back-to-back saves from the righty.

Lidge made every appearance interesting, even if he earned the save. He allowed 11 hits and 5.2 walks per nine. Lidge also allowed eleven home runs, a huge jump from his two the previous year.

Lidge would throw his slider early in the count, but the hitter would lay off.  He’d immediately fall behind, and allow the batter to reach base.  When Lidge allowed a lead-off runner, the game was over.  His fastball velocity was there, but sometimes his command was off.  Perhaps hitters figured him out, but in 2010 he’ll have to do a better job of mixing and locating his pitches.  Lidge is a two-pitch pitcher, but his stuff can be deadly.

Due to his poor performance, Lidge’s health was always in question.  He was placed on the disabled list in June (knee), but picked up right where he left off when he returned.  Lidge did not have a single month where he had a sub-five ERA.

Charlie Manuel insisted that Lidge was the man for the closing role.  But, down the strecth Manuel started to lose faith and called for a “closer by comittee.”  Sometimes Madson would close; sometimes Scott Eyre was brought in to get the first two outs of the ninth.

Lidge saved three games and didn’t allow a run in the National League Division and Championship Series’. Unfortunately, he gave up the biggest runs in the World Series.

But hey, let’s look at the positive: who got the win in Game 4 of the NLCS?

2009 stats: 0-8, 58.2 IP, 7.21 ERA, 1.81 WHIP, 31 SV, 61 SO, .296 AVG

Grade: 1.1/10 —  Lidge did a terrific job of raising our blood pressures.  He made history by having the worst ERA of any closer (with at least 20 saves) in MLB history.  He just didn’t have it.



  1. NEPA

    January 14, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    If you think about it,Im surprised we went as far as we did with Lidge as closer.

  2. Don M

    January 14, 2010 at 1:27 pm

    not for nothign.. but he still did manage 31 Saves..

    1.1 out of 10 … a little harsh, no?

    Or is this when the comments about how I must work for the Phillies start??

  3. NEPA

    January 14, 2010 at 1:37 pm

    Thanks for the Phillies job application,much appreciated.

  4. BDPhils

    January 14, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    I can’t agree with a 1.1 either, that’s a bit low.

    Although I know he wasn’t great this year by any stretch of the imagination, push the man to at least a 2! He did “manage” 31 saves and was decent in the playoffs (obviously the Arod hit in the WS hurt).

    Either way these reviews are great to read.

  5. MP

    January 14, 2010 at 1:44 pm

    Yeah, I have to agree with Don, the score is way harsh.I get how terrible he way, but he still got 31 SV. And a lot of them were shaky, but people like to selectively forget that in 2008, just because he was perefct, a lot of those saves wern’t 1-2-3 innings. I’m in no way saying he was great, but give the guy some credit.

  6. Ed R.

    January 14, 2010 at 1:45 pm


    Ruben called. He wants to know when you will be back from lunch?

    All seriousness though, 1.1 does seem a little rough but that ERA makes me shiver whenever I see it.

  7. Don M

    January 14, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    the losses bother me more than his ERA

    but the fact that he still managed 31 saves, means he was clutch – at times

    Im sure he’ll rebound this year, as most relievers are good one year, down one year, good one year, down one year

    Which is how we were able to get buy-low on JC ROMERO, SCOTT EYRE, etc.

  8. Bob in Bucks

    January 14, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    1.1 is generous! Lidge was the WORST closer in the MLB last year. An ERA over 7!!

    I am not a Lidge hater but things were not that easy in 2008. He usually put men on base because most of his pitches are out of the strike zone. It is just that they bit at the slider in 08 and held back in 09. His HR per fly ball ratio in 2008 was ridiculously low so I knew he could not do it in 2009.

    I hope for better in 2010 but not expecting 2008 ever again. The fact that the Phillies went to the WS without a reliable closer for the entire year is quite an achievement.

  9. MikeB.

    January 14, 2010 at 2:21 pm

    Got to give the guy at least a 4 or 5 for putting forth the effort.

  10. Chuck

    January 14, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    I’m sure Lidge…along with Hamels…is very glad that 2009 is in the past..

    We all need to get behind both of them…cut them a little slack….and root for them to regain their respective forms…

    Will Lidge be “perfect” again?? Probably not…but hopefully, he can bounce back and be the closer that we can depend on

  11. Chuck

    January 14, 2010 at 2:36 pm

    We also need a healthy Romero, an effective Madson and guys like Durbin and Baez to be consistent….for the bullpen AS A WHOLE to succeed….

  12. joedad

    January 14, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    It would have been 1.1 out of 100 if not for him pitching well in the first 2 rounds of the playoffs.

  13. Manny

    January 14, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    Well, 31 saves AND 11 BLOWN saves is a HORRIBLE job for a closer. Perhaps one of the nicest guys on the planet, but definitely the worst closer of 2009.

    “He made history by having the worst ERA of any closer (with at least 20 saves) in MLB history.”

    Hello people?? That says it all! 1.1 is right about what I would’ve given him, based on the stats. Maybe a 1.5 for his decent playoffs. But the bullpen was shattered because of Lidge… nobody had set roles anymore, because of his inability to close games effectively.

  14. Chuck

    January 14, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    You can’t blame ALL the bullpen’s problems….just on Brad Lidge…all of them had their problems…at times.

    And Lidge DID have times when he was effective out there…

    Someone above said that even with his 41/41 in 2008…that in some of those games he was shaky…

    Look at most closers…they all have games where they crumble..

    The thing with Lidge was his confidence was severely shaken at times…you could see it on his face..

    He needs to regain his confidence…and know that he’s a good closer

  15. Bob

    January 14, 2010 at 3:28 pm

    This season is going to show how right Charlie was for sticking with “his guy”. We needed him past the 2009 season. This is where it will pay dividends.

    A decent year from Lidge keeps the rest of the pen in line.

    1.1 is a bit harsh, he did show signs of turning it around last season. If he works his way out of that 9th inning in Game 4…….

    New season, better Lidge. He can not be any worse. No chance

  16. NEPA

    January 14, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    Sorry about the application joke .Only kidding…..some people might take it seriously.
    I think Lidge merits better than a 1.1.But I also would say his injuries must have been bothering him more than we know.You have to give him credit for playing while he wasnt 100%.

  17. Buster Heyman

    January 14, 2010 at 7:04 pm

    1.1 is a retarded grade. 31 saves is 31 saves. Did he blow way too many? Yes. Is his ERA unacceptable? Yes. Did he lose 7 games? Yes. He was not good last season. That being said, there were times when he definately got the job done as well. 5/10.

  18. Nick

    January 14, 2010 at 7:46 pm

    Brad Lidge is my favorite player all time, and I really hope he doesn’t leave Philadelphia on a negative-note after all that he did for us in 2008 (I will love the Phillies, but hate the fans if they really throw him out like that)

    However, I think he deserves his 1.1/10 grade this year. Buster Heyman is right, 31 saves is 31 saves, but Phils would have won the division by 10+ games (not that it matters) had they had like any other closer in baseball.

    Glad he’s coming back next year as the first closer, and I hope he can win his second comeback player of the year award and win back the hearts of all Philadelphians.

    I know how bad it sucked to be the only guy in the Philadelphia area that still believed in Lidge even after he blew 8+ saves. You don’t go from a 1.95 ERA to 7.21 just like that. Go Lidge!

  19. Nick

    January 14, 2010 at 7:47 pm

    What we should also consider is:

    How freaking lucky we were that Lidge had his perfect season in the year where the division went down to the wire (2008) and sucked in the year where we had the division all year long (2009).

  20. Nick

    January 14, 2010 at 7:51 pm

    (Sorry for the triple post) And I do agree that he needs to do something with his sequence.

    It came down to the point where I could predict the pitch Lidge was going to use 90% of the time. If I can guess correctly that often, then I could see the professional hitter guessing right 99% of the time.

    If Lidge gets ahead in the count 0-1…
    Likely another fastball, sometimes a slider to try to get him to chase. 0-2
    Slider in the dirt until he strikes the batter out or walks him.

    If Lidge gets behind in the count 1-0.
    Lots of fastballs.

  21. Brooks

    January 15, 2010 at 3:02 am

    Amanda, that was NOT the only occasion where Lidge got a standing O from the seats. Take the last day of the season when Chahlie put him in for the last out of the last game.
    Lidge was terrible, no doubt but Phily pretty much gave the guy a pass from the stands – he could be the 2008 Phillies MVP. What he did no one will forget in 08. That is why most of us are hoping, believing he will come back (somewhat at least) but, this town has a deep respect for what Mr. Lidge did and he received more than one standing O from the Phillies faithful.

  22. Marisa

    January 15, 2010 at 8:14 am

    thats a harsh score. it was a little tough watching Brad this year but he did get 31 saves. I am still a Lidge fan and i think he’ll be great in 2010. and at least now we find he was more hurt than we thought…come back strong Brad!

  23. WFC010

    January 15, 2010 at 11:40 am

    Well, i’m getting more and more nervous about Lidge this coming season, seeing as he is going to have ANOTHER surgery, and it remains to be seen how he recovers. On the bright side, at least he’s still a lot younger than Grandpa Jamie!

  24. Phylan

    January 15, 2010 at 3:39 pm

    The fact that Lidge compiled 31 saves pitching like he did is not a bright spot for Lidge, it’s a condemnation of the save statistic.

  25. Brian Sr. of CO

    January 16, 2010 at 9:08 am

    And yet “Grandpa Moyer” put together an ERA almost half of Lidge. This one kinds of hurts (obviously not personally since I dont know the guy personallu) but after the ’08 season, he was one of my favorites, but still he was flat out HORRIBLE. No denying it. Maybe 1.1 is a little harsh, but note LITTLE. If he got anything higher I think it would be like a 1.5 or 2. LOL. Lets hope for a better season. If Hamels can be even close to his ’08 form and Lidge has even half the amount of saves this season, that would be nice. If the rest of the team plays similar, it could be another NL East. I know by most people, we are the favorites and probably the favorites for more than that, but I refuse to put the cart before the horse. Either way, this is one helluva time to be a PHan.

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