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:
|New York Yankees||2||9||4||5||0||0||1||4||0||1||2||2.00||.556|
|Toronto Blue Jays||2||6||2||3||1||0||0||0||1||3||0||0.00||.500|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||4||19||5||8||2||1||1||0||0||1||3||3.00||.421|
|San Diego Padres||3||12||4||5||1||0||1||0||0||2||1||0.50||.417|
|WP lt .500||34||119||24||36||4||2||5||3||1||15||29||1.93||.303|
|WP of .500+||33||120||27||36||8||1||6||8||0||19||32||1.68||.300|
|San Francisco Giants||1||4||0||1||0||0||0||2||0||1||1||1.00||.250|
|St. Louis Cardinals||2||8||1||2||1||0||1||0||0||0||2||.250|
|New York Mets||7||25||3||4||0||0||0||1||0||2||9||4.50||.160|
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:
|New York Mets||1||3||3||1||2||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||.667|
|New York Yankees||1||6||5||1||2||1||0||0||0||0||1||3||3.00||.400|
|Boston Red Sox||1||3||3||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||.333|
|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|
|San Diego Padres||2||6||6||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||3||.000|
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.