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Year In Review: Brad Lidge

Posted by Kieran Carobine, Tue, December 21, 2010 11:00 AM | Comments: 13
2010 Player Reviews, Analysis, News, Opinion, Posts

I remember in April of 2009 taking my Dad to a Phillies game with my brother and I. It was the first time he had ever been to Citizens Bank Park and had not been to a Phillies game since he took us to the Vet in the early 90′s.

As you all know, the Phillies were World (F) Champs. And at this point in April, Brad Lidge had converted 47 straight save opportunities. Well that night Lidge came in with a one run lead and left the game with the Phillies down by three. The streak was over. My Dad swore up and down it was his fault, and that he would never attend another Phillies game. Sadly, he has not.

The 2009 season was a rough one for Lidge (0-8, 7.21, 11 BS) and coming into 2010 there were a lot of questions still to be answered. Fans were wondering how he would bounce back to his ’08 form with his devastating slider.

The season started almost a month late for Lidge, who was placed on the DL at the start of April. In his first four appearances off the disabled list Lidge only allowed only one run and was one for one in save opportunities. Unfortunately his ailing elbow landed him on the 15-day DL once again mid May.

Again looking strong coming off the DL, Lidge collected nine saves in 13 chances although his July ERA was an even 6.00 and 5.57 for the season. But just as the Phillies were making their traditional playoff push in August, it appeared Lidge had righted his own ship and was steering it straight for the postseason. In 13 appearances, he was eight for nine in saves and posted a 0.73 ERA for the month. For August, he allowed onle one run, five hits and struck out 12 batters in 12.1 innings pitched.

With another 13 appearances for September and October, Lidge continued to stay hot as the Phillies took over first place. He was a perfect nine for nine in save opportunities allowing only six hits while striking out 13. His ERA was 0.79 and he finished the season with a 2.96 mark.

Lidge struck out more than twice as many hitter than he walked (52/24), only allowed five home runs and had a WHIP of 1.23 for the season. For a closer, I would have liked to see his walk numbers down but when your slider isn’t working some nights it is hard to get guys to chase.

Personally, I have always thought a closer should not factor into the wins or losses column and Lidge did great in this sense going 1-1. It was a huge turn around from his 0-8 in 2009. For 2010 he was 27 for 32 in save chances. For those scribbling numbers at home, that is six fewer blown saves than in 2009.

All in all, it was a great regular season for the Phillies closer. He put up some pretty impressive numbers in spite of two trips to the disabled list. He did endure his lowest inning workload since 2002, and I think this may have helped him. In ’08 he appeared in 72 games and then 67 in ’09. This is when we really started seeing the elbow issues come to the forefront. He appeared in 50 games for 2010 and opponents were only hitting .196 off him.

KIERAN’S GRADE: 8.6/10

PAT GALLEN’S GRADE: 7.9/10 – Maybe I’m picking nits here – and yes, Lidge had a great season – but I could never feel fully 100% fine when he came into the game. His velocity was down greatly and his workload was down, too. He gave it all he had and that slider might be the best in the game, so I do applaud Lidge for a very good season. It just wasn’t great.

MICHAEL BAUMANN’S GRADE: 7.5/10 – In terms of numbers, Lidge in 2010 was closer to 2008 than 2009. But unlike 2008, when you didn’t even have to watch the 9th inning of Phillies games, I still felt myself getting that rising vomit feeling in my chest whenever he came into a close game. Couldn’t pitch worth a damn with men on base, but on the whole, not bad.

Avatar of Kieran Carobine

About Kieran Carobine

Kieran Carobine has written 180 articles on Phillies Nation.

Kieran has been writing since 2010 and is based in Virginia Beach.

 
 
  • Posts: 952 betasigmadeltashag

    Avatar of betasigmadeltashag

    The one thing I would disagree with is that in 2008 even though he was perfect in saves, he was not really a 1 2 3 inning guy, I would not say I was as nervous as when he came into games last year, but until the finale pitch in the WFS I was always a little nervous when he came in. I really think the injuries have effected his ability to get top speed on his fastball. I think with Madson and even Contrerous you can limit Lidges apperances in 11. I can not see into the futrue but I really think this will be Lidge’s last year in a Phillies Uniform unless he not only has a great season, but stays healthy, and his velocity is up with better control. I really like what he has done for the Phillies but I think his option is just a little too much for this payroll, I would not be surprised to see either youg arms and or even Madson to some .closing auditions this year

     
  • Posts: 193 bfo_33

    Avatar of

    Beta, my thoughts exactly. With his velocity down, more sliders, he’s going to give up walks to disciplined hitters. On a whole, worth his contract, but probably not another one.

    I also believe that Madson has closer stuff, but to get the mentality, he needs to start the spring as “the” closer. Make it his job to lose, and I think he’ll perform.

     
  • Posts: 5064 Lefty

    Avatar of Lefty

    I agree with Betasig about 2008. Despite his perfect save percentage, he was not a 1-2-3 lights out guy all that often. He tends to make my stomach churn at times too. That said, his grades are right on, and he’s a pretty good closer. Not Mariano good, but there are many worse.

     
  • Posts: 38 GoPhils

    Avatar of GoPhils

    Brad Lidge started slowly in 2010. I remember when Manuel told him he was giving him heart attacks and said basically that they were stuck with him. Then when Zimmerman hit that walk-off homerun I thought he would be bumped from the closer role. But he was out there the next day, we crossed our fingers, and he had changed the way he pitched, becoming a pitcher rather than a thrower. Lights-out Lidge was back from that point into the the postseason. The velocity on his fastball is down and he seems to have a hard time locating it. But he throws it enough to protect his slider, which is still wicked. It’s amazing that hitters know its coming and still swing at it in the dirt. Lidge is also a fine person involved in community efforts. If this is his last year, I am not entirely comofortable giving the job to Madson. He has struggled as a closer, although at this point his stuff is superior to that of Lidge. He needs to prove that he can do it first, so it may be good to give him some opportunities in 2010. DeFratus is a candidate as is Soria of the Royals who could be dealt.

     
  • Posts: 2977 Chuck A.

    Avatar of Chuck A.

    Even Mariano coughed it up in key games. As in the 2001 World Series.

    Point is closers can’t be expected to be 1-2-3 all the time. All these guys make managers nervous as hell and the fans, too, at least once in awhile.

     
  • Posts: 952 betasigmadeltashag

    Avatar of betasigmadeltashag

    GoPHils I to think this year may be a trial run for Madson and others I would not be surprised if some minor league arms come up this year, especially if the phillies are lucky enough to get a big lead in the division and you can throw some of the young arms out there in closing situaitons.
    I was not a big fan of Madson the closer of the future, That said I think this past post season Madson came in some real tense situations and his mentality seemed a little different, and despite giving up the HR in the 8th in game 6 he just seemed to have a atitude of a closer. But he has to prove it in the 9th inning this year if they are going to plan on having him there in years to come

     
  • Posts: 122 Jay aka Phillyboy

    Avatar of Jay aka Phillyboy

    OVERALL BRAD DID A OK JOB LAST YEAR,THAT BEING SAID MY YEARLY STOCK OF TUMS ARE DWINDLING………..

     
  • Posts: 952 betasigmadeltashag

    Avatar of betasigmadeltashag

    I have been flagging these spam posts when I see them, any chance that when some poster gets flagged enough they will no longer show up. It real is just annoying

     
    • Posts: 579 Brian Michael

      Avatar of Brian Michael

      Yes, their IP address gets banned. Unfortunately spammers have a lot of ip addresses. We’ll take care of it.

       
      • Posts: 2977 Chuck A.

        Avatar of Chuck A.

        Brian, seeing your avatar, that reminds me of the Jeltz/Asburn awards. I am assuming you guys are planning to keep that going with the new site??

         
  • Posts: 222 tavian

    Avatar of tavian

    Lidge is losing effectiveness as his velocity declines. I hope he is healty this year and we can get a solid last year from this warrior. He has meant a lot to the Phils and we will never forget his perfect season. WE NEED HIM in 2010.

     
  • Posts: 2069 Brooks

    Avatar of Brooks

    Kieran, Pat, Mike – you all failed to mention that Brad had how many cortisone shots to keep him going?

    I mean, to me that is tantamount to using elmers glue — apply again, hope it sticks – and again, hope it sticks.

    No doubt, Brad’s velocity was down considerably but, for what the cards he was holding he did a damn good job and I think most of it is all heart. There were sometimes when I did not think the breaking ball, his bread and butter and cheese – was enough to make it but he found a way.

    Kudo’s to Lidge – for his performace I rate him very high – at least an 8. For his heart, I rate even higher. I developed a new respect for the man this year and can only hope that this year we see some speed back (for his sake too!)

     
 
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