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Lidge Blows the Comeback

Posted by Amanda Orr, Tue, August 25, 2009 11:51 PM | Comments: 180
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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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About Amanda Orr

Amanda Orr has written 713 articles on Phillies Nation.

Amanda has been writing for Phillies Nation since 2009.

 
 
  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    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.

     
  • Posts: 0 psujoe

    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?

     
  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    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

     
  • Posts: 0 Don M

    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)

     
  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    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.

     
  • Posts: 0 Geoff

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

     
  • Posts: 0 psujoe

    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.

     
  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    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.

     
  • Posts: 0 Don M

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

    holla

     
  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    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.

     
  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    I think Lidge is fine.

    The Dipsy

     
  • Posts: 0 NJ

    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.

     
  • Posts: 0 psujoe

    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.

     
  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    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!

     
  • Posts: 0 Geoff

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

     
  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    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.

     
  • Posts: 0 Georgie

    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?

     
  • Posts: 0 psujoe

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

     
  • Posts: 0 theprez98

    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.

     
  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    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.

     
  • Posts: 0 Don M

    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..

     
  • Posts: 0 psujoe

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

     
  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    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..

     
  • Posts: 0 mg52

    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.

     
  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    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.

     
  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    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

     
  • Posts: 0 Bruce

    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.

     
  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    I want Hoffman.

    The Dipsy

     
  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    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.

     
  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    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.

     
  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

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

    The Dipsy

     
  • Posts: 0 NJ

    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,

     
  • Posts: 0 Bruce

    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.

     
  • Posts: 0 george

    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.

     
  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Should have gone after Sherrill…

     
  • Posts: 0 mg52

    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.

     
  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    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

     
  • Posts: 0 Richie

    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.

     
  • Posts: 0 Chuck

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

     
  • Posts: 0 george

    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.

     
  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    Dominic Brown.

    The Dipsy

     
  • Posts: 0 TJ

    Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com 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?!

     
  • Posts: 0 mg52

    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.

     
  • Posts: 0 psujoe

    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.

     
  • Posts: 0 NJ

    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.

     
  • Posts: 0 george

    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.

     
  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Go hard after Hoffman. Have to do it.

     
  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    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

     
  • Posts: 0 dodger fan

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

     
  • Posts: 0 george

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

     
 
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