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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

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Myers come back and replace Lidge!

31-15 on the road and 19-5 in July. Amazing how this season has turned around since July 4th when everybody was concerned after the Braves' sweep.

This team is too much fun to watch...REPEAT

19-5 in July and they lost the first 2!

Cole pitched great. Kept the Snakes off balance all night. He's getting better each week.

The bats and the D were good as usual. It was nice to see the patience while running up Haren's pitch count. The Phil's starting 8 can beat up on anyone's middle relief.

Lidge is another story. He's got to get his stuff together if we're to win another WFC. That HR he gave up was a monster.

Nice win overall vs. a top pitcher.

I like to think I'm rare when it comes to Philadelphia Sports fans. I say that because I don't panic when things large or small aren't going well. I've never called for the firing of Andy Reid, Charlie Manuel, the benching/trading/releasing of Donovan McNabb etc.

Having said that, I am officially in panic mode when it comes to the Phillies closing situation. There is no way they can go into October like this. Right?

I don't know what the solution is. If he's healthy you can't just bench the guy, he's owed a ton of money for a long time. God knows you can't move him to the 8th, he's somehow even worse in non save situations.

S.O.S (Save our Saves)

Concerns going into tonight:

1. Hamels
2. Lack of No. 2 starter
3. Lidge

Tonight went a long way toward crossing Hamels off that list. We all home Ruben can take care of the No. 2 starter by Friday. Lidge is still there.

Fun with small sample size---

Many of you may remember I've been predicting Hamels would take off and dominate in the 2nd half, mostly because he was simply getting bad luck in the first half. Through 2 starts in the 2nd half:

15 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 15K, 2 BB

I'm pretty sure he's still our ace.

Is that Cole's HS yearbook picture?

He pitched great tonight and was finally using his curveball more.

He's overdue for a big run of good starts. Hopefully the last 2 will be the first of many here in the 2nd half.

Put me in the camp of giving up less for Lee, Washburn, or Duke over Halladay and investing in another lockdown bullpen guy and a legit threat off the bench from the right side. If we don't give up Happ in one of these deals and do end up getting another starter that leaves us with 7 starting pitchers for 5 spots. That is overkill, considering Lopez, Pedro, and Moyer are all perfectly capable 5th starters and neither will be used in the playoffs.

Lidge is just wayyyyy too shaky this year for my liking and Madson isn't fairing much better lately. I don't want to bet on Myers coming and being the savior of the bullpen. Be it Qualls, Rhodes, Bell...whatever...we need a shutdown guy in this bullpen more than we need ANOTHER starter at this point IMO. But hey, what do I know.

denny b - I do wonder though what the cost for a Bell or Sherrill would be at the deadline though. Would it be a Halladay or Lee? Probably not but it would be larger than I think you estimating. It might require the Phils moving a Brown or another of their premier prospects or a package of at least 3 decent prospects (Donald, Marson, Carrasco, etc).

Remember the Phils had interest in Fuentes and some other lefty relievers (including Ohman) at the deadline last year and team's wanted a king's ransom even for a LOOGY. You have to figure a legit closer like Bell or Sherrill isn't going to be had cheaply.

Also, Hamels now has a 5:1 strikeout/walk ratio on the season. That's pretty damn good.

For some perspective, Halladay leads the AL with a 6.15:1 ratio. Cliff Lee's ratio was 5:1 last year when he won the Cy Young, and is only 3.24:1 this season. Tim Lincecum's ratio is 4.58:1. Johan Santana only has a 2.86:1 ratio.

Dan Haren, going into tonight, had an absurdly high 7.42:1 ratio, which is pretty amazing, and gives you an indication of just how good he has been this year--and the last two nights should also give you an indication of why his record doesn't reflect that.

It is clear as day now that Lidge is really hurting physically with that bum right knee. I know he can't say he is hurt but at you kind of have to just roll your eyes when he says he "feels fine."

I would bet top dollar he has a major surgery on it for the 3rd time in a little under 2 years this offseason.

I do wonder though if the Phils are asking Lidge privately whether or not he thinks he can make it through the rest of the season and the postseason or whether he thinks he might be need to be shutdown. Alternatively, I wonder if the Phils would force Lidge's hand and put him on the DL as they did earlier this season.

This is pure imagination on my part, but the ESPN article on the Phils and the Indians also mentions separately that the Indians are listening to offers for Victor Martinez.

Wouldn't you sleep better if the Phils ended up giving up Drabek in a deal, but (with the addition of some more talent) got Martinez too?

How sick would our lineup be if even our catcher hit .280 (ignoring the fact that our farm system would be more scabbed and scarred than Paris Hilton's cooch)?

I know it won't happen, but if it did...

After the season, Brad Lidge will admit that he was injured in the pile-up after the World Series.

The Phils could add Halladay AND Lee, but without a reliable closer a repeat of last year is far from a sure thing.
One has to believe that they're at least making inquiries about Sherrill, with acquiring him and DL'ing Lidge as a plausible end game ... pun unintended.

I know I'm probably naive in this case, but I'm still waiting to see Lidge in some real pressure situations before I declare him done. As far as I'm concerned, he hasn't really been tested in weeks. He gives up runs, but then when the game gets close he does, indeed, lock down.

Everyone says that if he gives up 2 runs with a 3-run lead it means he'll definitely give up 2 runs with a 1-run lead. I'm still holding out judgment on that. Or maybe it's just hope. We really don't know until we see it. To me, it's circumstantial evidence until we see some more saves actually blown instead of threatened.

I bet that's what Cholly would say too. (In a much more endearing way, of course)

But, I can understand the concern.

When we were children, running to the Christmas tree hoping for a new bike (Doc) we found a RC car (Lee) instead. RC Cars are fun for a day or two and end up in the garage. A new bike gets rode until the wheels fall off. Cliff Lee sucks, but only if you watch him pitch or check his stats.

In addition to Lidge, one big concern of mine is that darn TV scoreboard guy. :)

Bob Digi knows nothing about pitching.

"one big concern of mine is that darn TV scoreboard guy."

He's been bad for awhile.

Betcha Lidge has been scored upon in close to half his outings. Pretty frightening!

For today at least, Phils have a better record than the mighty Red Sox.

Think we can get Jamey Carrol thrown in with Cliff Lee? He bats right and plays all over the diamond. Then we can release Brunt.

Could the last three games finally put to rest the bizarre concept that Lidge pitches well only when he is in save situations? Probably not. Next time Lidge gives up a home run when he has a four run lead, people will blame Cholly.

Is there any chance we can just promise the Jays that Donald is a throw in as part of any deal, but secretly send them the gnome in a Donald jersey? I would think a vocal "no-givebacks" from Ruben would cover us legally...

Here's hoping for a long Halladay weekend.

Your kidding yourself if you think Cleveland is going to give Cliff Lee up for anything significantly less than it would take too get Halladay. The Indians don't have to trade Cliff Lee. He does'nt make any money. The Indians can let the guy walk and get draft picks If the Phillies are offering some stupid package with Carrasco and Kyle Kendrick.

The Phillies are just using the Indians to give the Jays the impressioon that they have another option. The Indians are using the Phillies to drive the price up on the Dodgers(Kershaw).

The trade requirements all say a player who is almost ready for the big leagues, doesn't Brunt fit this? Okay, maybe he's like two years away.

Did anyone in the game thread talk about Chase putting himself in line of Tracy's throw in order to let Jimmy score? Whe I saw him turn to the infield (on the replay) all I could do was laugh very hard and marvel at his instinctual style of play. What a gift to watch him every night.

Rob: Yes, there were like three pages of analysis of baseline-gate in the game chat.

Methinks a thread on Lidge would be more interesting than another on Halladay speculation.

Great game plan vs Haren. He was toast in the 5th inning.

Not to beat a dead horse to death, but re: Lidge, IMO he's not physically hurt. Case in point: he can throw in a perfect inning once in a while and I'm not talking about the kick-save-DP variety. There are times he commands a mid-90s FB, but most time he appears to be overthrowing and loses all command. It appears to be a confidence thing.

I was kinda surprised none of the game stories mentioned Utley's play. Arizona's announcers were all over it as was our own Generic Announcer Guy.

Lidge pitched three days in a row when the game situations didn't really call for it every one of those days. Someone tell Charlie we have an 8 game lead in the loss column.

Quote from Haren after the game:

"I don't know what was harder, [facing the Phillies last night] or the All-Star team lineup. That's basically the All-Star lineup right there."

Brad Lidge has gone from one of the best seasons ever in the history of closers to one of the worst seasons ever. As we all know, he was a perfect 41-41 during the regular season and locked down all 7 opportunities during the playoffs in '08. This year he's blown 6 saves, notched 4 losses, and has a 7.11 ERA and 1.79 WHIP. His earned run average is tied for the worst in the history of the game with closers having 20+ saves (the legendary Shawn Chacon being his run surrendering buddy). His walks/hits per 9 innings is 5th highest. Concerned? Yep, and we have 2 more seasons of this crap to follow for $10M+ each year.

SmokyJoe - That quote is beautiful.

Carson - All we can really do is hope it's a health issue, or that if it's confidence, he'll bounce back. Honestly, at this point, I have no idea. Some outings he looks like he's figuring it out, other times he's serving up meatballs. You tell me.

Halladay can't keep Lidge from blowing the save. Get the priorities in order and find someone who can close.

shake - You really think that Lidge doesn't have a bump right knee and that he is healthy?

Well everyine has a bump on there knee; it's kind of a defining characteristic ;) Sorry, I couldn't resist.

How ironic.

jr: I don't think we'll be getting any closers at the trade deadline. Maybe another bullpen arm, but not someone of the caliber of a Sherrill or Qualls.

Nope, if someone other than Lidge is closing out our games in Oct. it will be someone that is currently on the squad. Madson or Myers, most likely.

Couldn't stay up for the whole game last night, but when I saw that by careful at-bats the Phils had made Haren throw 49 pitches by the end of the 2nd inning, I said "The Phillies are going to win this one" and went to bed relaxed.

I don't think I've ever seen a team beat up on a good pitcher like that before. He was pitching superbly, they just out-smarted him. Super baseball.

carson, I'll say this once again:

While the stat sheet says Brad Lidge was a perfect 41-41 last season, he was not really perfect.

Brad Lidge and the Phillies DEFENSE were a perfect 41-41.

The two most memorable examples that come to mind was Vic's throw in Atlanta to nail the runner at the plate, and JRoll's great play to get the DP going in the Division clincher in September.

Lidge had basically "blown" those two games, and got bailed out/picked up by his teammates' defense.

Now, I understand that we're talking about baseball here, and these kinds of things happen because it still is a team game (Buehrle's PG is an example - "the catch" preserved it for him, but he had served up a gofer ball), but let's put to rest the notion that Brad Lidge was "perfect"as a closer last season.

He wasn't.

First off, awesome approach by the Phils last night against Haren. Was very impressed by their patience and their obvious goal of getting Haren's pitch count up and getting him out of the game.

That play by Utley was vintage Chase. That guy will just do any little thing in a game to help the team win. Whether or not he should have been called for interference, or whatever the call would be, is besides the point, because he was willing to take a throw right to his body to get Jimmy home. He has taken the mantle from Michael Jack as my favorite ballplayer ever.

re: "another 2 years of this crap"

1 historically great year + ½ disappointing year = 2 more years of crap, nice math.

On another note, I agree with mikes77 and others saying that Lee will not be much cheaper, if cheaper at all, than Halladay, in terms of prospects.

Lee has a considerably cheaper contract than Halladay does, and for that reason alone Cleveland can hold him and trade him down the line. They do not seem to be nearly as inclined to trade him for financial reasons as the Jays do with Halladay.

I would not give up Drabek for Lee, but would easily trade him for Halladay.

OK, boys and girls:

I think it is important that those of us who are rational prepare ourselves for all the "whining and wailing" that we will see typed on to these pages the rest of the season.

The Phillies are 58-40. That's .591 baseball.

(Ass)(u)(me) that they play .591 the rest of the season. that puts them on pace to win 95 games.

That means the have to go 38-24 to close out the season.

Prepare yourselves for all the griping, negativity, and suicidal talk that those 24 losses will bring.

It's coming!

Oh Rolo, great. I come on to read your ridiculous banter about Brad Lidge ACTUALLY not being "perfect". You are seriously looking to complain about something aren't you?

By your logic, every homerun stolen over the wall actually counts as a HR, there is actually no such thing as perfect games or no hitters because the defense had to help the pitcher at some point and bad calls by umpires actually shouldn't count because they are right.

Get a clue man, it is baseball. It is literally a game of centimeters. Lidge was perfect last year, get over it.

Oops, slight math problem.

That should be 37-25......even worse......and even more griping, wailing and whining.

tommy, you're being leviculus tomas preur again.

If you can't understand the subtlety of what I was posting than that's your problem.

Go whine someplace else.

I hear Metsblog is looking for a few new recruits.

rolo: Whine? I am Mr. Positive, you are the whiner. Weren't you JUST whining about Lidge?

rolo: Remember just 6 games ago I said over the next 34 games we will go 24-10. I believe it was you that said playing at a .700 clip wasn't going to happen. Well now it is down to 19-9.

Brad, as it looks right now, I suspect they may eventually settle for Washburn if they can make a deal with Seattle.

If they do, depending on who they have to give up, they could wind up with:

Hamels, Blanton, Happ, Moyer, Lopez, Pedro and Washburn 'vying' for rotation spots.


That's pretty crowded. I wonder what they will do if that happens.

Do they try to deal my namesake after the trade deadline in a non-waiver deal?

What would Lopez fetch? A RH bench bat?

Would some of the teams looking for a 5th starter have interest in him if he keeps pitching as well as he has?

It's sure going to be interesting to see what happens.

Personally, I'm more concerned about the overall health of the bullpen - not just the closer - than I am about the starting rotation.

tommy boy, please go find where I posted that it "wasn't going to happen".

Never said it, so please stop making things up.

BTW, are you back in "I told you so" mode?

MG: "It is clear as day now that Lidge is really hurting physically with that bum right knee. I know he can't say he is hurt but at you kind of have to just roll your eyes when he says he "feels fine."

Yeah, it couldn't possibly be anything else. It couldn't be a reversion to the 2007 season when he was perfectly healthy and lost the closer job. It has to be the knee. Yeah, that's the ticket.

Every spring, Beerleaguers gather in a small suburb of Philadelphia to await the dawn with MVPTommy. Will Tommy see his shadow this year? Will that mean another long winning streak?

We will get Washburn. Watch and see. Bah! Humbug! And I'd say 20% chance that we get a RH bench bat and reliever. I am not optimistic because they are playing so well. I believe Rube is afaid to pull the trigger on any deal if it doesn't make financial sense to him. It seems he doesn't have the "win now" attitude.

"BTW, are you back in "I told you so" mode?"

Yup, just like everyone else on here always is. Jack is already saying "I told you" about Hamels and 2 starts in the 2nd half(not that I disagree).

Hamels
Blanton
Washburn
Happ
Pedro

Is not the worst rotation on earth. Washburn is a WS champ if you'll recall (with Anaheim) so he does know how to pitch in the postseason.

I want Halladay, damnit!

Atlanta lost to Florida last night, so now they are 8 and 7 games back, respectively.

Bravos have the Dodgers next, so I think I'll root for them to take the next two from the Fish.

(Because who I'm rooting for has a HUGE effect on the outcome.)

NEPP: Tell us how Happ & Pedro will pitch down the stretch and the playoffs.

I'll admit that Lidge is sucking big time right now, but it is a great time to be a Phillies fan. Just think how great their record would've been if they won a little more at home and we didn't have all those blown saves. God is rewarding all of us long time faithful suffering Phillies fans.

My advice to MVP Tommy is to lighten up. Quit taking pokes at the realists and the pessimists on the BL site. While Tommy flies high on his magic carpet, there are many who still can't quite believe that all is right within the Phillies Universe.

Tommy may not like it but rolo is right in this instance. Look with any pitcher and especially with closers it helps to have good fortune sometimes. It's the old adage of, "Sometimes you're good, sometimes you're lucky, and sometimes you're good AND lucky." That last one was Lidge last year. No closer is going to go 41 for 41 without having some good fortune. Victorino and Rollins both made great plays on balls last year that preserved the perfect season.

Now look at this year. There was some talk- I think by MG- that no rational person could trust Lidge in a game where he is asked to preserve a 2 run or less lead. This despite the fact that 13 of his 20 saves have come in that instance. He has however blown 6 leads of 2 runs or less. Still though- the magic number MG gives for save percentage around the league is 65% and Lidge has saved 76% of his games this year putting him above the average MG presents.

Inside those numbers Lidge is 10 of 12 in save situations where he is given a 2 run lead. That is a save percentage of 83%. In games where he is given a 1 run lead he is 3 of 7 which is a save percentage of 43%. But let's go next level on that and tie back into the original point.

3 of those game scould have very well swung the opposite direction. He blew a Sunday game against the Yankees where a guy hit a 100 hopper up the middle that somehow found the hole. He then broke a guy's bat on a pitch but the ball dumped just beyond the infielders for the tying run.

He then blew two games in LA about a week later. The first one was a Friday night where he got the ground ball to third to end the game and Pedro Feliz booted the ball. The next day he made a really good pitch to Furcal that he somehow hit for a home run just beyond the outstretched arm of Jayson Werth. It was a good pitch. 9 times out of 10 Furcla probably doesn't hit that pitch out- this was the one time he did.

If two of those swing the other way he is 5 of 7 on 1 run saves which is 71%.

So, sometimes good fortune plays into saves. I don't think any rational person expected Lidge to be perfect again this season. I'm with people in that it gets a little troubling sometimes, but with some of the good fortune he had last year his season could look really different.

Gee leviculus, if Jack went skydiving without a prachute you would too, no?

****NEPP: Tell us how Happ & Pedro will pitch down the stretch and the playoffs.****

I assume Pedro will get about 10 starts...thus he should go 10-0 with 10 CGs. Happ will likely go 9-1 with 9 CG.

Right?


Seriously though, I completely agree, there are too many questions in the rotation barring a major trade. Happ is not the 2.70ish ERA guy he is right now, Pedro is a huge mystery and we don't know for sure if Blanton is gonna keep up his streak of great starts. I'd feel a hell of a lot more comfortable with a Roy Halladay in the rotation...especially considering STL, LAD and BOS all have RH dominanted lineups. Odds are we'll face one of those teams in the Postseason. NYY has some pretty good RH hitters too. A LHP like Washburn is probably not the best answer...and even Lee is getting hammered by RH this year despite having fairly neutral career splits.

LF, please do not invoke the Creator.

That has a way of coming back to bite.

clout, while I have no idea how Happ and Pedro will pitch down the stretch or in the postseason, the rotation that NEPP laid out does have 4 starters - not only with postseason experience - but who have won in the postseason. (Happ does has postseason experience last year, but not as a starter).

If experience matters then that's good, no?

(I'd still rather have Halladay!)

Pedro says he might be ready to start next week:

From ESPN.com
Pedro Martinez arrived at the Philadelphia Phillies' Triple-A outpost in Lehigh Valley on Tuesday and threw a 59-pitch bullpen session.

Although the Philllies haven't announced his schedule, it's believed he's on target to pitch Friday for Lehigh Valley against Columbus. If all goes well, he could join the Phillies' rotation as early as next week.

"I hope that if everything goes well, that will be my last step," Martinez said, according to the Philadelphia Daily News. "I'm looking forward to making the next one, on Friday, the last one."

Martinez, on the disabled list with a mild shoulder strain, said he felt good after Tuesday's bullpen session.

"I went out there, I was free, easy, and [had] no soreness at all," he said, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. "Perfect, perfect. I couldn't ask for a better day."

Hamels does have a reverse split so the 3 LHP in your top 4 is overblown. It'd be pretty even from that respect. The probably is that too many of our potential matchups in the playoffs have RH heavy lineups.

Granted, in any given series, we'll have the better offense and likely the better defense...but pitching is still a huge IF.

Thanks Truth. You mean the sky is not falling? Can you send a copy of that post to Lidge? I might help ease his mind.

I still can't believe Lidge was perfect last year. He got very lucky in quite a few games (wish I had your encyclopedic memory, TTI).

*it* might ease his mind.

I am on the Lidge confident issue side.

As clout has noted with regularity there is past history of this being a problem and last night his facial expressions and mannerisms reminded me of one Gavin Floyd back in the day.

These are professionals but they are not always perfect and maybe the Pujols' nightmares are starting again.

For those who follow fangraphs.com, Chase is now the top player in WAR, above Pujols.

I don't think Chase is better than Pujols, but I did find it pretty cool that he was in first.

Rolo, I know that God doesn't take sides in sporting events (or political elections), but it does feel heavenly to have the Phils playing so well right now.

With all this Halladay, Lee, Drabek, Pedro hoopla, I think our man Rolo has been a real bright light in our recent winning ways.

Truth, thanks for the support, and for expanding on the point I was making.

Reading tommy boy's posts, you would think I said Lidge sucked or is washed up. Not so.

All I said was he was both good and fortunate last season.

To deny that he was fortunate is simply denying reality.

Lidge needs someone to tell him that he's tipping his pitches. And he needs some time in the minors to get his mechanics perfected and confidence back up. It's becoming apparent that he's not able to sufficiently work out these issues while with the Phillies. They have a good-sized lead in the loss column and they should use some of that cache to give him a break. In the interim, try Pedro to set up and Madson to close again. Or vice-versa.

I wonder how Pedro would do as a closer...


He totally has the mentality for it...killer instinct, no fear, etc.

Clout: I'm not sure if it's injury or what, but Lidge is pitching FAR worse than he was in either 2006 or 2007. K's are down, BBs are up, HRs are way up, Hits are up.

Again, I have no idea if he's hurt or not. But this isn't just a reversion to what he used to be. This is way worse than he used to be.

clout - "Yeah, it couldn't possibly be anything else. It couldn't be a reversion to the 2007 season when he was perfectly healthy and lost the closer job. It has to be the knee. Yeah, that's the ticket."

I said just last night that it was a confidence problem too but when was Lidge perfectly healthy in 2007. That is just flat out wrong.

Lidge missed nearly a month in 2007 on the DL with inflammation in his right knee, had at least 2 cortisone shots that year in the same right knee to treat the inflammation, and had arthorspoic surgery the day the season ended to reform torn cartilage and clean out the joint.

Yeah, besides that Clout Lidge was perfectly healthy in 2007.

How can anybody defend Lidge's performance right now or have confidence in him in a close game?

When looking at statistics, you can always find some number to support your point. Almost always. But if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, its a duck.

Yo, new thread

Clout: Why are you so opposed to the notion that Lidge's knee isn't affecting his mechanics, and ultimately his performance.

This is a knee that he has had surgery on before (multiple times?), and he has already spent time on the DL THIS year for it. It isn't as if he is strictly having "bad luck" on the mound, as hitters now know Lidge can't throw his fastball with any command. This was extremely evident in Upton's AB last night.

The Phillies haven't exactly been open with injuries in the past, and Lidge kept saying he was "fine" before his previous DL stint.

Clout, what would you say is more important to the Phillies post season success - Trading for Halladay, or Brad Lidge finding his rhythm?

Also, Clout, if things keep going as they are, you may just get your wish from last year and see Lidge as a setup guy and Myers as a closer.

I'm in the same camp as rolo and Truth on Lidge being good and fortunate. It is not just limited to baseball.

When I was racing motorcycles decades ago, one of the paddock truisms was (and still is) "sometimes it's better to be lucky than good." I won races not only because I rode well and often throughout the year but also the "other guy" broke down, lost concentration, crashed, rode injured, etc. I took those "lucky" wins along with the ones that were a result of my just being better than the rest.

Yeah, I knew I had lucked out on occasion, but no one denied me my championships.

Carlos Carrasco has been scratched from his scheduled 11am start for Lehigh Valley against Columbus. Lou Marson and Jason Donald are also out of the lineup. Cleveland has been known to have interest in Marson and Donald. . Stay tuned.

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