One of the benefits to covering the Phillies from the comfort of one's own home is being able to call bull once in a while.
If only Lidge was half as good at getting outs as he's been peddling horse pucky this season, the Phillies might have a 10-game lead. Here's Lidge, following yesterday's game: "I walked around the mound just to kind of take inventory and make sure everything felt all right," Lidge said. "And it did. That was huge for me to know that I didn't need to worry about that."
Nah, nothing to worry about here. No reason to feel concerned watching Lidge, owed in the neighborhood of $30 million, shot put the ball to home plate. The only reason Lidge escaped the ninth yesterday was because the Blue Jays let him. Can someone please explain what he's doing back on the mound? How does an obviously injured, confidence-shattered closer make the situation any better? How much ground could the Phillies possibly lose between now and the All-Star break if they gave Lidge more time?
Phillies can afford to wait: Nobody denies the Phillies need another starter, but if Ruben Amaro Jr. decided to stall until they were right up against the July 31 deadline in order to drive down the price of pitching, the National League East may be bad enough to accommodate them. As I write this, the second-place Mets, with Fernando Nieve on the mound, Argenis Reyes leading off and 20-year-old Fernando Martinez batting sixth and playing right, trail Milwaukee 3-0 and are in a bases-loaded jam with one out. As bad as the Phillies have been lately, they've lost no significant ground since opening up a four-game lead before the last home stand. Pitching isn't available anyway.
"Right now, there are only four or five teams that legitimately can say
they're out of their races," Amaro told MLB.com. "With the supply and demand at
this particular time, I don't see much action happening, particularly
with pitching, which is a priority for us."
J-Roll: Following a fourth-consecutive benching, Beerleaguers wondered whether the punishment fit the crime. Rollins is hitless in his last 19 at-bats and is 7-for-56 since June 9, lugging the lowest OBP (.254) in baseball among qualified hitters, so he's clearly struggling and needed a break. But the length of the benching, and the silence surrounding it, suggests it's more than just a player fighting himself. Add last season's disciplinary measures and Rollins has been benched six times since his MVP season.