Sunday, August 01, 2010

Lidge is broken, Phils lose again to Washington

 
Video courtesy of WPHL


Brad Lidge has had some scary moments out on the mound many times this season. Bad luck finally caught up with him last night, as he had runners on base in the bottom of the ninth for the third consecutive time, but this time the Washington Nationals made him pay. Lidge had the bases loaded the past two games prior to last night's game, it was a miracle those games were won by the Phillies and now something needs to be done about Lidge.

Part of the fun of writing a blog like this is, that it is not like writing journalism where you have to keep only facts into the article. In a blog, I can mix facts and opinion to entertain the readers.

My opinion on Brad Lidge is is that he is hopelessly broken, and needs to go back down to the minors for at least a couple weeks to get his head together. Earlier in the year, Brad was put on the disabled list as the Phillies wondered why he was not the same pitcher as he was before and why he didn't feel comfortable. Was there a medical explanation for all this? He was getting inflammation and stiffness in his right elbow, but there didn't seem to be anything wrong at the time. so if it isn't medical, is the problem more mechanical or psychological?

To be fair, Lidge is coming off of elbow surgery from last season. His season in 2009 was horrible, he was 0-8 with a 7.21 ERA. The Yankees team had an overall BA of .556 against Lidge last year during the regular season, and one team did better than that, the Pirates owned Lidge with a .714 BA. Look at the chart below to see who hit Lidge the most in 2009:



SplitGABRH2B3BHRSBCSBBSOSO/BBBA ▾
Pittsburgh Pirates27450020002.714
New York Yankees294500140122.00.556
Inter-League4156810141420.50.533
Toronto Blue Jays262310001300.00.500
Los Angeles Dodgers4195821100133.00.421
San Diego Padres3124510100210.50.417
Chicago Cubs393300010331.00.333
Milwaukee Brewers29130001002.333
Houston Astros392300000210.50.333
Florida Marlins7236730100661.00.304
WP lt .5003411924364253115291.93.303
Cincinnati Reds3101310000331.00.300
WP of .500+3312027368168019321.68.300
Washington Nationals103459121002105.00.265
San Francisco Giants140100020111.00.250
St. Louis Cardinals28121010002.250
Atlanta Braves103488202106111.83.235
New York Mets7253400010294.50.160
Arizona Diamondbacks272100110111.00.143
Colorado Rockies4140200000144.00.143
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 8/1/2010.



Brad Lidge had a perfect season in 2008, there's not too many pitchers that can do what he did that year. You can't keep going back to 2008 though, and in 2009 and now in 2010, Lidge has become a liability to the pitching staff. Last night in the press conference after the game manager Charlie Manuel said that he will stay with Brad Lidge, and that sounds like a Captain ready to sink with the sinking ship. Here's what Manuel said about Lidge, "He's our closer." Well, Charlie if he is your closer, than be prepared to sink with him. These are the kind of decisions that will get a manager fired. There is a problem and nothing is being done about it.

Here is a table to see what teams have hit Lidge the hardest this season:



Split G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR SB CS BB SO SO/BB BA ▾
Washington Nationals 1 4 2 3 2 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0.00 1.000
New York Mets 1 3 3 1 2 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 .667
Colorado Rockies 2 14 10 2 4 1 0 1 0 0 4 3 0.75 .400
Florida Marlins 1 6 5 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 2.00 .400
New York Yankees 1 6 5 1 2 1 0 0 0 0 1 3 3.00 .400
Cincinnati Reds 4 19 14 4 5 2 0 1 1 0 4 3 0.75 .357
Boston Red Sox 1 3 3 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .333
Minnesota Twins 2 6 6 2 2 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 .333
Inter-League 5 17 16 3 5 1 0 1 1 0 1 7 7.00 .313
WP of .500+ 20 84 71 10 19 5 0 4 3 0 12 22 1.83 .268
WP lt .500 4 13 10 3 2 0 0 1 0 0 2 5 2.50 .200
St. Louis Cardinals 3 12 10 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 2 3 1.50 .100
Arizona Diamondbacks 1 3 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 .000
San Diego Padres 2 6 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 .000
Chicago Cubs 1 4 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1.00 .000
Cleveland Indians 1 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 .000
Atlanta Braves 3 9 9 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 .000
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 8/1/2010.


Lidge is making $12 million dollars to pitch for the Phillies this year, he's being utilized as the closer with that in mind. At what cost do you keep putting him out there though? He's been in plenty of jams in the past week alone. Is this something Lidge can work out of with just pitching as everything is normal? Keep putting him into the game until he finally works it out? That is Charlie's plan, and this story should get very interesting if something doesn't change with the way that Lidge is pitching. The fans will demand change, and the front office will put pressure on Manuel to make something happen that he doesn't want to do, but may be ordered to by management.

Up through last night, Lidge has pitched a total of 21 innings for the Phillies combined in all of his appearances this year, not too bad for a guy making $12 Million. In those 21 innings, he has given up 21 H, 5 HR, and 13 ER. He has a 5.57 ERA and for a closer, this is unacceptable.

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