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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Comments

Paging Brett Myers.

Re: Mets fans' "Phluke" T-Shirts. How quickly they forget. It only took a colossal collapse of everybody's then-favorite punching bag Red Sox in the 10th inning with two outs and two strikes for them to have a shot of winning the 1986 world series. Maybe that's why it's all "1969" and there's nary a mention of '86 in their ballpark.

I don't think you can hang this on Lidge either. Four straight days? He had to have been gassed.

Interesting how we've all been talking and mostly agreeing about how Lidge must go and now we're being told we've been wasting our time doing so.

Hard to disagree with one of our conclusions which is that if Lidge performs as he's been, we have no shot in the playoffs.

limoguy (from the last thread): yes, they weren't playing in Philly. If they were, my guess is they would have been run out of time a long time ago.

I wasn't alive for Schmidt's career, but from what I've heard from various family members who were is that it's amazing Mike wasn't run out of town with all of the crap people gave him. HOFer, 500+ HRs, a stud defensively, helped deliver the lone championship in team history and the guy was still getting booed. It's unbelievable.

Lidge has been here for a year so it's no surprise that he's probably getting it worse (at least on BL- most of these blown saves have happened away from home, thank God) than Schmidt ever did over a sustained period of time.

But the fact remains: baseball is a game of failure. Good hitters fail 7 out of 10 times they come to the plate. Even the best pitchers have horrific years. But you would be hard-pressed to find ANY pitcher capable of going 48 for 48 in saves, regular season and playoffs, leading his team to a title. Nobody here that is trashing Lidge on various levels is keeping in perspective A) What Lidge is capable of, and B) What he has brought this team in the short time that he's been here. It's all 'what have you done for me lately' in Philly (unless your name is Chase), and that's why the fan base has such a horrible reputation.

Show some respect and gratitude and you will be rewarded by players that want to play here. Act like Mike, claiming perfection leading to a championship was merely 'luck,' and your stereotype as a horrible fan is well-deserved.

My only hope is that some of these vitriolic BL posts are not a reflection of the general population of Philly fans, because if Lidge is going to be the closer in the playoffs (and let's face it, the way Cholly is talking I don't see how that won't be the case), the last thing he needs is the town that was ready to crown him king for life less than a year ago booing him anytime he walks a guy.

Iceman - Philly isn't going to change.

Lidge and UC will be reviled forever here if they get bounced out of the playoffs while Lidge on the mound.

I know limoguy. That doesn't mean it's the correct attitude to have, though.

I remember Lidge actually getting CHEERED not only at the moment he blew his first save, but after he blew the game by giving up a HR. He got TWO standing O's. I mean, I thought he might get polite applause, but I remember getting chills thinking "Wow, maybe last year really did change Phils fans."

In other words, I can always dream.

Very well said, Iceman

Iceman,

If you're too young to remember Schmidt then I can forgive your generous spirit, you haven't live with disappointment as long as many of us.

I watched the same games you did last year. I'm telling you, he's not that different from last year, it's a question of chance and luck. The pendulum swung in his favor last year and it's swing against him this year. The reality is somewhere in between, which is pretty mediocre.

Does this mean when Cholly uses Lidge in the ninth in the post-season and he blows it I can log in with "told you so'?

Schmidt was great BTW, but he struck out a LOT and went through some awful slumps, good as he was he could be a frustrating guy to watch.

I don't think Philly truly hates, it's just overly emotional in the heat of the moment,.. kind of like fighting with your siblings growing up. Even Mitch Williams, who believe me, was practically run out of town in '93, is pretty much universally beloved now... same with Schmitty.

Maybe cheering Lidge after his first blown save was a bad idea in hindsight. Perhaps he took it wrong. :-)

I was looking at Lidge's game log for the season on ESPN. He pitched for 4 straight days already once this season.From 5/29-6/1 he got 4 straight saves including one of them being a 1 run ballgame.Just saying.

I grew up watching Schmidt play. He got alot of flak and a lot of love. On balance, though most understood his stature in the game, he took enough flak to nearly (bot not effectively) sully his legacy in Philly. He never was a goat like Lidge. Not even close. It's an inane comparison.

If Lidge is definitely Manuel's guy in September and teh playoffs, he has brass balls. That's why he gets the big bucks. AS for comparing Lidge's sh!t-the-bed performance to the biggest Schmidt-detractor's opinion, Lidge loses hands down. I've never seen a body of work this bad in my life.

Actually, Lidge looks like a completely different pitcher than last year. Yes, there were some nerve-wracking moments, but obviously, when it came down to it, he didnt fail. Beyond that, his fast ball looks different and so does his slider.

Glad I missed the game tonight. From what I've read, this is as much on Lidge as it is on Cholly.

Being loyal to your guy is great, but the Phillies not having a double digit lead in the NL East is because Cholly wants to stand by his closer. 9 f*ing blown saves. C'mon Uncle Cholly, give it a rest.

The definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. That ain't happening! I think we all see the result every time he enters a game. I long for the Octopus, El Pulpo and Joe Table. Hell, even Gas Can might be better.

There seems to be alot of errors this year in the 9th with Lidge on the mound and I think his poor preformance is the cause. The defense plays tense as hell with him out there. He is infectious. Charlie can't take the "my guy" stance much longer. Moyer got moved, Lidge should too. And I bet he will. Thanks for 2008 Brad, but we are set up to win again in 2009 and you can't help us now.

man how can cholly throw lidge out there and sit in the dugout and watch this stuff happen...it's far beyond ridiculous.

MSH: So you're saying there's a chance?

Ugh, I don't know what else to tell you guys except we're stuck with him. For some reason, everyone else who fails is demoted, including Moyer/Park, but Lidge is untouchable. And even Moyer didn't fail as bad in his job as Lidge is this season. It's sort of hypocritical, don't you think? Cholly and the FO must think any other option is much, much worse to not even consider replacing Brad.

Iceman:

I think all Phillies fans have a lot of admiration for Lidge's season last year. Maybe Mike's point was that luck played a factor in the perfectness aspect because there were certainly a number of games last year where it looked like he might blow one, IE the division clincher.

Anyway, I'm definitely not saying Lidge sucked last year, he was great and perfect and that's all that really matters. However, I think the point is that in sports loyalty has its limits, both from the coach/manager and the fan perspective.

It's all "what have you done for me lately" everywhere in the sports world. And I'm sure people would be unhappy if Chase was having the type of season Lidge has been having. If Chase was putting up Gnome-esque numbers this deep into the season you think anyone would be giving him a pass?

Lidge is obviously capable of being a great closer as he showcased last year, but he has been incapable of replicating that success this year because of confidence, injury or some combination of the two. It was a mistake to bring Lidge out for four straight games, especially if confidence is the issue.

If it ends up being an injury and Lidge has surgery after the season we all are right to be really upset about how Lidge and the Phillies have handled the situation.

Lidge is having a Gnome of a season and we just have to hope he gets his mojo back from Dr. Evil before the end of the season.

Hugh - good points about Lidge's "body of work."

I also like the comment made earlier that a starter would have long ago been yanked from the rotation with Lidge's penchant for putting men on base.

Anybody have the stat for the percentage of the first batters to face him have gotten on this year? How about last year?

Also, didn't someone say his strikeouts are down?

If your closer puts people on, he almost has to strike out the guys behind them, especially with less than two outs.

That is exactly right Old Phan. I can recall many games where he walked on a tightrope on some of his saves. But he got it done when it mattered. He never makes it easy. Last year I was always confident when Lidge came in with a 1 run lead. Now, I fully expect he will blow it every time he comes in with a 1 run lead or even 2. I hope he proves me wrong for the rest of this season.

Philly doesn't hate forever.

Mitch Williams was practically run out of town in 93 and he's universally beloved now, as is Schmitty.

Philly fans just get caught up in the heat of the moment. Most aren't mean, but they're intense.

Iceman, if you can't remember Schmidt you haven't had three decades of disappointment, so I can understand your generosity here. Some of us that have had a lifetime of "fan pain" still get the hangover sometimes.

As for Lidge I still maintain this is luck and chance. The pendulum swung far in his favor last year and it's swung far against him this year. His stuff hasn't changed that fundamentally versus 2008. Maybe hitters are just "on to him" now, but the reality is somewhere in between for him... which is probably pretty mediocre.

As for Schmidt, he was great, but the man struck out a LOT and had some godawful slumps. He could be painful to watch and some people just let the frustration get the best of them, but he suffers no ill effects. I also predict that even if Lidge blows the post season (and if he's in I think he really will), he'll still have a warm welcome in Philly in 20 years.

Sorry,

Double post there

Mike Schmidt was way ahead of his time. Strikeouts weren't as accepted back then as they are today and he struck out a lot for the time. Also, the Phils had gotten so close so many years, so there was a lot of undue pressure on him to guide us to the first title.

No i'm not saying their is a chance he can do it again. I am saying he did it before on 4 straight days earlier this season. I just stated a fact. It's stupid to use a closer 4 straight days but Charlie did this once so he did it again. Charlie probably thought that he had a "chance".

With all the success the Phillies have had in the last couple years, we haven't had a "Fire Cholly" thread in a long time. But if the Phillies get knocked out in the post-season because Lidge is still our closer and he blows a key game, then Cholly absolutely deserves to be canned. Even the rat in the maze eventually learns to stop taking the path which results in an electric shock. Cholly is like the loan rat who keeps getting shocked over and over and over again, and is never able to make the connection that it's time to try a new path.

Mike, the Lidge I'm watching this year has nothing near the kind of stuff he had last year. Of course there is always an element of luck in the game, but he was practically unhittable last year. This year it's a lot of meatballs with some batting practice thrown in. The guy is suffering.

Know what happens when you continuously run your end-game relievers out there over and over without a break?

You become Joe Torre.

I'm honestly surprised Rivera, Gordon et al have any use of their throwing arms at all at this point.

MSH: I was joking. I thought it was stupid, too.

It was especially stupid given the nature of the game and the 1-run circumstance. Plus, he's been lousy against the Rats in his career.

I love Lidge. I will always have his K to clinch the '08 WFC burned into my mind as one of the very happiest moments of my life. I would never attack him personally. Now, get him the fvck out of the closer spot, pronto!

Lidge threw 34 pitches in the three games before tonight. That doesn't sound like a lot to me, and he's ALWAYS been a guy who claimed the more work, the better a groove he's able to get into. Maybe they didn't need him tonight, but he was out there, and he didn't get the job done, again.

He is not a good pitcher right now, case closed, as far as I'm concerned. If Charlie wants to ride with him, there's gonna be a lot of carnage down the line.

I remember Lidge overmatching many hitters last year by breaking off many a nasty slider.

Seems to happen seldom now.

"With all the success the Phillies have had in the last couple years, we haven't had a "Fire Cholly" thread in a long time"

The first part of the sentence answers the second part. Lidge notwithstanding, it's nuts to even discuss firing a manager that takes you to the WS (and the team is 21 games over .500 this year so far) He must be doing something right.

Since Schmidt's come up, as a total aside, here's my all-time favorite Mike Schmidt story. Around 1981, he does an autograph signing at the Concord Mall in Wilmington, which is where I grew up. I was 10yo and this guy was my childhood hero for as far back as I can remember. My dad took me and my two younger brothers to the event. After waiting in line for an eternity, I finally get up there, face-to-face with my hero. I could not utter a word. I stood there completely agog. He said something to me, but I couldn't even croak out an answer. He signs my index card (which I still have) and an assistant shuffles me out of the way, like the Santa Claus scene in /A Christmas Story/. My younger brother, who couldn't give a rip, goes next and gets his index card signed, basically saying nothing to Schmidt. Last up is my youngest brother, who even then was a real yakker. Somehow, he gets Schmidt engaged in conversation, despite the fact that he (my brother) knows hardly anything about baseball (he was 6yo, so I'll cut him a break). Eventually, Schmidt gets around to asking him who his favorite baseball player is. My brother, not skipping a beat, says, "Pete Rose." Schmidt smiles, puts his hand out, and says, "Well, I'm Pete Rose. Nice to meet you." Coolest thing I've ever seen from a big-shot in that kind of situation.

One thing about ol' Cholly, he's consistent.

His "my guy" mentality and his tendency to give his players an incredible amount of leash is his achilles heel, although the players will argue it's one of his best attributes.

I don't think you can fire a guy with his overall performance over a lost championship, particularly since you know he and Rube will talk about the closer situation ad nauseum. Whatever call Cholly makes in the post season with Lidge happens with the full sanction of the FO.

As for Lidge's "stuff" Dubee made the same comments about Lidge only a few weeks ago. I figure if he thinks it's pretty much the same he's more qualified than anyone on these boards on that judgment.

The "BS!" graphic is a classic. nuff said

I hope there is a save opportunity tomorrow and someone (Madson, Park) gets it done with a 1-2-3 inning. It might be the wake up call that Cholly needs. A taste of someone doing the job flawlessly. Then again, if Lidge only threw 7 pitches maybe he can go tomorrow.

I'd have to know more about Dubee's assessment of Lidge's "stuff.:

Isn't that A fairly subjective observation anyway?

Dubee could just be engaging in coachspeak for all we know.

Gotcha doubleh.Yeah it was an especially stupid move given the circumstances. I think Charlie should have done one of these two options: A) Use someone else for 2/3 of the inning then bring in Lidge or what he should have done B) Use someone for the entire inning.

Maybe all Lidge needs is a Mitch Williams, "Screw Ya's, I did what I could" mentality.

If it's physical though and Lidge isn't being honest that's all on him IMO.

There is something decidedly weird and unsettling when a team can cruise through 8 innings, or give every indication that they are a serious threat to claw their way back from a deficit late in a game, but the 9th inning always seems like an adventure at best, with a good chance of something soul-crushing taking place. If it is something mental, I can't see how it would hurt to turn the late innings over to a committee or the hot hand for a while, just to take some of the pressure off and relieve the feeling of dread.

Of course Dubee knows more than anyone on this board, but that doesn't mean he's going to say something in public to rattle his already rattled closer, and I respect that. Still, you can't say Lidge has the same stuff this year that he had last year.

Brad - yeah, maybe Lidge does get the ball tomorrow in light of only having thrown 7 pitches tonite.

That's why it's necessary for Hamels to throw a CG shutout.

Didn't anybody listen to Mitch Williams on the post-game show? He made a lot of sense and he wouldn't go with anyone but Lidge either. And I would hope he, being a former closer, knows more about the subject than any of us do. I personally think Cholly will go with Lidge until, and if, he blows a playoff game. Then he'll change. Has Chan-Ho ever closed?

Mike: You are proving my observation -- made several threads ago -- that, for every argument, no matter how insane and irrational, there is a Beerleaguer poster out there who is willing to step forward and make it.

Last year, Brad Lidge had a 1.95 ERA, a .198 BAA, 4.6 walks and 12 strikeouts per 9 innings, and only 2 homeruns allowed. This year's Lidge has a 6.75 ERA, a .288 BAA (before tonight), 11 homeruns allowed, 5.3 walks, and barely 1 strikeout, per 9 innings. Last year's Lidge allowed 0 runs in April, 1 run each in June and September, 2 runs in July, and 3 runs in August. This year's Lidge has allowed 2+ runs in a single GAME 12 times. Last year's Lidge was 18 for 18 in 1-run save situations. This year's Lidge is 4 for 11 in 1-run save situations. Last year's Lidge had one of the greatest statistical seasons for a closer in baseball history; this year's Lidge is having, arguably, the single worst season of any closer who ever remained in that role for a full season.

Did Brad Lidge have a few lucky saves along the way last year? Of course. No one goes 48 for 48 without getting a few breaks. But to say that the difference between last year & this year just comes down to luck is pretty much the most insane argument that has ever been made on Beerleaguer. And that's no small feat.

I didn't take Dubee's comments as "presspeak" at the time, it seemed like a pretty candid conversation IMO.

As for a clinical comment about, "I don't know if his slider has quite the same movement, we're going to look at that", that's a lot different than, "Brad just isn't the same guy anymore".

One statement rattles confidence, another looks like brainstorming a fixable issue.

But maybe I'm naive, but I would hope the pitching coaches assessment of the situation is something more than, "You'll snap out of it kid, better luck next time". Because if he's all sunshine and optimism to the press and delivers a different message to Lidge in private, that would also damage confidence.

No,.. I think Dubees comments were sincere. Wrong? Maybe. But I think he meant what he said.

I don't know if Lidge does or does not have the "same stuff" this year, but it's neither here nor there. If "stuff" were the measure of a pitcher's effectiveness, then Carlos Carrasco would be our staff ace, Cliff Lee would be an average pitcher who was still with Cleveland, J.A. Happ would be in AAA, and Jamie Moyer's major league career would have ended 15 years ago.

Good stuff is pointless if you have no command of it, and 2009 Brad Lidge has absolutely no command.

bap - great post. You put numbers to what we are clearly seeing - or not seeing - from Lidge this year compared to last.

Mitch Williams' judgment is likely clouded from the "player confidence" standpoint rather than the "best for the team" standpoint because, you know, he's been Brad Lidge. He doesn't even consider the concept of opportunity cost, which a rational mind would use to evaluate the situation of whether a replacement level reliever would fare better or worse than 7.40 ERA and 64% failure rate in one run situations. I think Williams does a great job (and wish he or Kruk were our color commentator), but I'd actually respect the opinions of other managers over Mitch Williams' in this situation.

Dubee strikes me as a "no BS" kinda guy. I'll bet he has trouble sugar coating stuff for the press.

Part of a coach in Dubee's position is to handle the pitching staff. Another big part of the job is talking to the press.

You have to be good at both.

Of course, but I bet "handling" the staff comes more naturally than public relations, which it really should. I mean, just look at Manuel. He's like a fish out of water up there, but he's gotta be doing something right in the clubhouse.

49 comments on a BL thread after midnite on a weekday. Rarely happens after a win.

Glad to top a standard Bay Phan... always nice to stand out.

I know what I saw last year. I saw guys on base in the ninth inning more often than not when Lidge was pitching. Did I see him shut guys down? Sure, more than this year, but he still let scoring opportunities happen more often than not. Is a pitcher truly "shut down" when he lets runners on base over 60% of his attempts? Are my numbers wrong? can anyone verify this?

Luck is a huge factor here.. I still maintain he was not "perfect" good last year, no where near, and this year is not as big of a swing skill-wise from last year.

Is it a physical ailment? Lidge says he's great so I have to accept that at face value.

Is it mechanics? maybe, but I'd think a lot of people have been trying to figure that out with no success.

Is it all mental? Could be. It could be he's as mentally fragile as a flat-chested prom queen. But if he is then how did he get through those save attempts last year with one or two guys on? If he is that challenged for confidence, is he really the guy you want out there? How much do we put up with before he exercises his demons with a bucket of KFC or with garter belts under his uniiform?

I saw his numbers last year,.. well aware of them thanks, and even though I was happy from the outcome, I thought many times even then, "He's no where near as good as those numbers suggest he is". My wife even recalls me saying as much last year when we were watching the games.

Seriously, was I really the only person that was not at all surprised to see how badly he's done this year?

Mitch Williams views, BTW, are hardly surprising. One thing is certain, he's well qualified to talk about blowing saves, I'll give him that.

Mike, yeah he let men on base last year. We all remember that. But he punched a lot of guys out behind them - so no damage.

Guys are also getting on this year but the hitters behind them are putting the ball into play and advancing them.

Let me put it another way,

Lidge is not as good a pitcher as his numbers from last year suggest.

Across an average, he's probably not as bad a pitcher as the numbers suggest from this year.

Take a straight average if you think it gets you closer to the answer, but going into the post season, his chances of continuing to be the guy this year are much, much greater than the chances of him reverting to 2008 form.

I don't think anyone expected Lidge to be perfect in save situations again this year, so yes, I did expect a decline, but not a fall off a cliff.

b_a_p makes it sound like Charlie doesn't realize that he's getting burned by Lidge (or, in his analogy, repeatedly shocked). I'm sure Charlie realizes. To me, that means he doesn't like the alternatives (Madson, Park, Eyre, whomever).

As doubleh points out, if Lidge were a starter named Jamie, he'd be gone by now. So we know Lidge isn't keeping his job out of sheer loyalty. The difference with Moyer was that Charlie had a viable alternative when Pedro was activated (I guess he doesn't consider Andrew Carpenter viable).

I think it's clear that Charlie is waiting for Brett Myers to be activated before making a move. In the meantime, I guess he's confident that the division lead will remain intact and I'm sure he's hoping that Lidge somehow rights himself.

I wish he'd experiment with Madson and Park, but it doesn't look like that's gonna happen.

Here's some evidence that Lidge's outing was not simply bad luck:

Remember that wild pitch that bounced away from Ruiz? That wasn't a slider in the dirt. That was a fastball.

Iceman and limoguy: People (on BL and elsewhere) are not frustrated with Lidge because they forget what he did last year. They're frustrated because they want to see their team win games and Lidge isn't helping.

How exactly do you want people to react? They're obviously not going to cheer when he gives up a two-run home.

How should people register their displeasure while at the same time being sufficiently appreciative of the amount of joy the man brought us last year? Figure it out what people should do and then imagine me doing it.

let's assume we make the playoffs. is cholly seriously gonna trot lidge out there in a 1 run game in the playoffs? you've gotta start finding the right answer to the 9th inning now before we have nobody to turn to come october.

TMac said tonight that the offense has really carried this team during the early part of the broadcast . . .

Reality is that the offense has really just been mediocre this month (6th in runs, 1st in HR, 14th in AVG, 13th in OBP, 3rd in SLG, 7th in OPS).

Without the long-ball production this month, especially from Werth and Howard, this offense really would have been sputtering along and in the bottom of the NL in runs this month.

Phils really have been winning with pitching especially their starting pitching which has been dominant even with Hamels struggles this month.

Lee, Happ, and Blanton have just been that good this month including these ridiculous stats (not including tonight):

12 GS, 8-2, 89 1/3 IP, 1.51 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 6.5 K/9, 2.0 BB/9

There was nothing tonight about Lidge's blown save that was bad luck including that fastball that he throw right off home plate.

I couldn't even believe that Wheels was strongly mentioning that Ruiz should have blocked that pitch if he hadn't tried to backhand it. Maybe but that was thrown really hard and bounced right off home plate sharply.

I wonder if Lidge should start hanging out with Myers more often. Maybe he could accidentally injure himself in the near future.

Isn't fair to criticize Lidge this year for having one of the worst seasons every in MLB history (arguably the worst) by a closer?

There is no need to name call but at the same time it is pretty ridiculous to suggest that Lidge should be free from criticism or maintain his job solely because of what he did last year.

This isn't late May/early June. If it was, I would be more than inclined to see if Lidge could work out his problems. It is the last week of August and Lidge has been consistently horrible through out the entire season.

Phils are just really fortunate they play in a weak division this year and that they don't have a team that is pressing down their necks.

Unfortunately, they don't have a bunch of alternatives and this bullpen is still very much a work in progress as they only have 2 guys right now (Madson and Park) who you would want to see in a close game late. Maybe Eyre but he really is a situational guy at this point to solely face a lefty.

Phils just have to cross their fingers and hope that Myers can come back to fill the closer role and that Romero comes back to fill the other lefty role out of the pen in Sept.

If the Phils have a bullpen with Myers as the closer, Park/Madson as the setup men, Romero & Eyre as the situational lefties, then they could mix & match the last two spots which frankly aren't that important in postseason series. Means that Lidge would be the odd-man out but I just don't see right now how you could want him to appear in a 1 or 2-run game late.

I think it's time for EFF to do a season to season comparison of the team. I just saw some stats and I think this time last year, we were 6 games worse. We still have a 7 game lead in the division despite Hamels, Lidge and a somewhat anemic bench.

Things could be worse. Gotta keep on keeping on. I still like our chances.

The Mets are trying to win a World Series. I felt like this was the right place to be. There's a difference between winning and being competitive. In the end, I thought (the Phillies) were more interested in being competitive than winning.

Billy Wagner, after signing with the Mets a few years back.

2009: 72-51, 7 game lead (8 in loss column)
2008: 65-58, 2 game lead
2007: 65-58, 5 games back
1993: 78-45, 9 game lead (9 in loss column)
1983: 63-59, .5 game lead
1980: 65-58, 6.5 games back
1978: 66-57, 4 game lead
1977: 78-45, 7.5 game lead (9 in loss column)
1976: 82-41, 15.5 game lead

Quotes:

Lidge- "Today is frustrating. I want to get out there and compete and get those guys out. Unfortunately today I just didn't have enough in the tank, I guess. I didn't have anything on the ball tonight. The fourth day in a row for me historically has been pretty bad. I wasn't able to make an adjustment today and I just didn't have anything on the ball. I need to be able to make an adjustment if I threw four days in a row."

*Once again, Charlie was stupid for using him last night.

Manuel- "He's got to stay with it. He's got to keep going. That's all we can do. That's where we're at. That's our closer. I've said that all along. That's the guy we give the ball to in the ninth inning."

*The game of baseball is all about adjustments, and when you refuse to do so, you end up losing. I gravely afraid Charlies refusal will cost us dearly.

Lidge had pitched four consecutive days six previous times in his career: He was 2-1 with a 5.40 ERA (three earned runs in five innings), two saves and two blown saves in those appearances.

BAP: Fire Charlie? You're being facetious right?

MG: The Phillies are averaging 6 runs a game in their wins this month. I'd hate to see what a good offense looks like to you. And how can anyone seriously make a statement, "Take away the long ball production, and we're average." So home run production doesn't count as runs? Maybe we should put asterisks next to all the wins in which we homered.

If you want to know what's really wrong with Lidge, click on the link on my name

http://www.fangraphs.com/fgraphs/563_P_SL_20090823.png

And this one is his Fastball velocity(previous was his slider velocity)

http://www.fangraphs.com/fgraphs/563_P_FA_20090823.png

TI - Phils have scored 107 runs through last night in 22 games in August or 4.86. Decent, sure but the average NL team is scoring 4.73 runs this month too.

That's why the Phils are 7th (out of 16 teams) in runs in the NL this month. Not terrible but certainly not what is carrying them this month.

Lidge's 7.33 ERA is not only the highest ERA of any relief pitcher in baseball, it is 0.81 earned runs higher than Indians right-hander Jose Veras, whose 6.52 ERA is the second-highest. Lidge is now just 4-11 in one-run save situations this year.
Lidge's 9 blown saves are tied with Steve Bedrosian (1986), Jose Mesa (2002), Ron Reed (1976) and Mitch Williams (1991) for the third- most in Phillies history. Mark Leiter holds the franchise record with 12 blown saves in 1998. Dick Selma is second with 11 blown saves in 1970

Chan Ho for closer.

Charlie Manuel isn't even interested in taking baby steps, sending him out for his fourth-consecutive game rather than wean him away from a heavy, macho workload after making positive progress during the Mets' series.

Absolutely correct. I can't understand why Lidge would be used 4 days in a row. Or 3, especially since Monday was a non-save situation. I like Charlie as much as the next guy, but he still makes some head-scratching moves sometimes.

TI - The Phils own splits this month as a team:

.252/.317/.469 for a .787 OPS

That is there worst month since June and the average is slightly better than June (.248) and their OBP is slightly worse (.320).

The offense right now is in many ways like it was in June. Picked up a bit recently but unless the Phils hit at least 1-2 HRs a game, they don't score enough to win even with the stellar pitching.

They are going to hit HRs (been the one constant on the offense this year) but they have gone through a couple of periods where they don't hit that well as a team or walk a whole lot.

Moyer for Closer.

"The Mets are trying to win a World Series. I felt like this was the right place to be. There's a difference between winning and being competitive. In the end, I thought (the Phillies) were more interested in being competitive than winning."

Billy Wagner, after signing with the Mets a few years back.

Posted by: EastFallowfield | Wednesday, August 26, 2009 at 06:23 AM

Ironically, http://www.philly.com/inquirer/sports/20090402_Engineering_championships.html>Gillick came to the same conclusion soon after Wagner left.

Mark Leiter in 1998 Dick Selma in 1970?

Players and teams we'd rather forget.

Nevertheless, it gives perspective to where we are with Lidge right now.

MG: Seriously think about what you are saying.

This is basically what you are saying:

Unless the Phillies get a hit that scores runs (home runs) they don't score runs.

Also, like I said- in their wins they are averagining over 6 runs per game. Of the ones they won this past month I would say 4 were stellar pitching performances. The rest were them scoring 5 or more runs coupled with good pitching.

Now that doesn't mean I think TMac is right. But TMac is one of your favorite targets so whatever he says you like to attack the opposite direction to prove him wrong. You do that with all your usual targets. But in this case you're not right either in trying to portray the offense as "mediocre."

The pitching and hitting have both been great this month so the better statement to make would be, "The pitching has as much to do with the Phillies doing well as the hitting." But you went the complete opposite ddirections of TMac and ended up wrong too.

I think they're going to pitch Lidge every day until he blows his arm out. That's what I'm hoping anyway.

Houston Street was unavailable after pitching 3 straight days...

hmmm...

What a novel idea to rest your closer after 3 straight appearances.

That loss is on Charlie.

re: offense

Werth and Howard are hot and are carrying the team. There is nothing wrong with that, so you can't dig up the stats and say 'take those 2 out and we stink'. Go and take out the two best hottest hitters on any team over a period and guess what, they're probably not that good either. Pointless to even research/discuss.

re: Lidge

A very trying time right now for my phandom. Every reasonable part of my brain is screaming for September to be official Closer Tryouts Month. But then I start thinking of the people who want to trade Rollins, cut Howard, and make Hamels our 4th starter - and start thinking maybe it is best to let Lidge get back on track.

Very torn over the issue. The one big component that is clouding this situation is that Madson was given a week to close and pitched worse than Lidge.

You can't just say "well he only threw X amount of pitches in the game". As we all found out last year at the All-Star Game, the pitches you throw in the bullpen matter too.

I think this one is on Charlie.

Cipper: Well, hindsight is everything and even Lidge himself said he usually sucks when he pitches 4 days in a row, but the fact is, King Myno is correct: 34 pitches over 3 days is nothing. I guess the question becomes, do these guys ever talk to each other? I mean if Lidge thinks he sucks when he's used 4 days straight, wouldn't Dubee and CM know that? Wouldn't someone mention it?

BTW, despite the idiotic rants of posters on the last thread, here's Lidge's record for the past 6 games: In only one of those games did he give up an earned run. This does not excuse how bad he's been this season, but the fact is, until last night, he'd dropped his ERA by nearly 3 runs in 3 months.

Clout: I agree Lidge has been pretty good as of late, but still I feel three days in a row has got to be the limit for just about any closer.

Take Myers for example. He used to get so pumped up to come in and close out a game (I feel lots of closers are like this). He said it him self. To get so worked up 3 days in a row and warm up, come in, and pitch, regardless of the work load has to take a toll.

Then again, I never closed a game so my thought might be off.

clout: What do you suggest to do with him? You are here giving us stats on his last 6 outings, yet a few weeks ago when he saved 9 out of 9. You were the one telling me that isn't good enough. Are you now changing your mind and saying that Lidge is in fact our best option?

If Cholly doesn't come around and see that Lidge just is not the answer this year he could end up getting Lidge run out of town ala Mitch the Wild thing. Can you imagine loosing first round of the playoffs because Lidge blows 2 saves ??
Cholly - for his sake put him back on the DL.

mvptommy: You just make this stuff up don't you? Go back and find a post by me that was anything remotely like that.

This is on a par with saying Ibanez place in the batting order was never mentioned in the debate over 100 RBIs when half a dozen other posters remember just the opposite.

So, uh, Stairs still doesn't have a hit since 7/11?

clout: A couple week ago, did you not as usual insult me for being alright with Lidge when he was 9 for 9 in save opportunites? The answer is yes. All I want to know is why are you ok with him now?

"Without the long-ball production this month, especially from Werth and Howard, this offense really would have been sputtering along and in the bottom of the NL in runs this month."

Great point. And if I was 8 feet tall, I'd bump my head entering my house a lot more than I do now.

clout: Would you consider any of Lidge's performances dominant over the past 10 days leading up to last night?

As far as strategy we can debate all we want, but if Manuel had a lot of faith in Madson, he would have put him there by now. It seems pretty clear that both Charlie and the FO view Madson as a setup guy and would prefer to keep him in that role.

Which brings me to Myers who is anything but a sure thing back there. First, he's had success back there, success that has been publicly lauded by Amaro and Gillick. When they moved him back to the rotation they openly praised his willingness to help the team after having "success" as closer. Second, they are pitching him on back to back days today in Reading. So you have to feel that if he can succeed today, he's got the inside track to being the replacement for Lidge, should there even be one...

Sneed: Agree, Madson IS their setup guy. But remember where you are. This is a site that doesn't believe in roles for pitchers. And believes that Mitch Williams "overrates" that term "role".

Ok, but tommy, the thing is Madson had his shot and failed, so not only has he inspired no semblance of confidence that he can do the job, but he's also held down another valuable position of the setup role, which means you ultimately upset two positions in your late game strategy if you make the move.

I was at the game at Yankee stadium in May that Lidge blew (homer to Arod, Melky walk off). I strongly advocated and argued in favor of giving Madson the opportunity to close then and there. Numbers wise, since last September he had been one of, if not the most dominant reliever in baseball. However, he did not get the job done as closer and there is no question that the 8th and 9th inning roles are markedly difference in pressure and scope. He only lost the decision makers and the fans confidence during that stretch.

What Myers lacks in stuff as a closer I believe he makes up for in makeup. I know he's a goon and an idiot, but you can't doubt that he relished the job to take the ball in the 9th inning and be that guy. We KNOW he wanted to remain the closer. So in lieu of making the same mistake I made in May, my point is that I think he's the next best option, but very far from a sure thing.

After not posting here for a couple of days and reading the threads when I have had a chance. Along with what is being said so far on this thread. I am nearly 100% certain that some posters come here just to disagree with majority view. Also, clout thinks that by baiting posters to drive up the counts he will get something out of it. Typical clout daily baits he trys to get fools to engage him in are as follows i.e. his ridiculous attempt to get everyone worked up yet again with Abreu, Hanson and even a third bait try on a Burrell vs. Ibanez ageless BLer debate.

10. turbulence on commuter flights
9. loud and ignorant political pundits screaming at each other
8. (back seat) ||: "Are we there yet?" :|| repeat 1,232X
7. extroverts with hallitosis, in elevators, during a blackout
6. groin pulls
5. mosquitoes buzzing in my ear at night, missing when the light is on
4. colonoscopies
3. diarhea on vacation
2. neighbors' car alarms that go off predictibly every night for two hours
1. Brad Lidge pitching in 2009 with a one run lead

Sneed: I think we agree on this subject. I have been in favor of keeping Madson as setup guy. My point was most people here don't believe madson is just a setup guy, which as we have seen is wrong. From here I say give Lidge until he blows his 10th save. Then he is done and you go to eithier Myers, Martinez or my darkhorse candidate Chad Durbin.

tommy - I'm offended. I was the one trying to get everyone worked up about Abreu to generate traffic for Jason when he said he was feeling a bit burned out. How dare you take my very fine work and attribute it to clout!

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