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Saturday, August 15, 2009

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Lidge is dead to me.

Give Madson another shot at clossing...it can't get any worse.

If I was the only Lidge defender here before this game, there are no longer any Lidge defenders on this board. When you have a meltdown like this in a game of this magnitude (not make or break, but you have a chance to bury an opponent), you are officially not deserving of any high-leverage appearances anymore. At least for the rest of the season.

Some of the remarks on here regarding Lidge are completely over the top (the personal attacks, etc.). But should he be removed from his role? Nobody can continue to argue that he's the best option, or even an option at all. I'd caution people who want to pencil Madson into the role, however...it's tough to forget how badly he crashed and burned during his audition while Lidge was DL'ed.

I think everyone here should be happy for BAP, by the way, because he lives to see the Phillies fail. He's apparently a Phillies fan, but my guess is he's pretty happy right about now. Countless things to b*tch about.

Edit after reading some of the comments in the last thread: just because I am/was a Lidge 'defender' means I'm going to hide after this loss? Sorry to burst most of your egotistical bubbles, but when the Phils lose a game like this, I'm not thinking, "Oh no, and I defended Lidge on BL. Whatever will I do?" Get over yourselves, seriously. I see more excitement on here when the Phillies fail just because the pessimists are expecting it and this makes them 'correct.' Go to Metsblog and set up camp; a lot of you belong there.

Good news, Lidge not available tomorrow.

Phils should practice the squeeze play. Too many times the runner is stranded at third.

I don't think "excitement" is the correct term to describe what I'm feeling right now, Iceman.

More like rage.

I know this sounds crazy, but bastardo looks like he would be a good closer.

You stink Lidge........time for a new team....everyone knows you are only good for a year.....just glad you are no longer in Texas

Don't get mad, get Madson!

"Mathieson has given up runs in each of his last 2 outings and 4 hits and a walk in those games, too".


So? ANYBODY would be better in the 9th inning right now. If Mathieson or Durbin or Condrey or the Phanatic could get some outs and throw strikes when it matters, that would be an improvement on what we have.

I think Mathieson will be up before Sept 1, but it will be in a middle inning role.

The next closer for this team is sitting in the dugout in the rain in Clearwater right now. We all know where this is heading. Chuckles will eventually (after everybody else in the world has already seen it) pull the plug on this disaster and Myers will be summoned to save the season in a few weeks.

He may not pull it off, but I trust him in a pressure situation a hell of lot more right now then Lidge. At least he won't look like a deer in the headlights out there.

This team will go NOWHERE, no matter Cliff Lee or Ibanez or Howard or Happ or Madson or Utley or Werth or Vic or Feliz, without fixing this closer mess. And staying pat with the current guy, ain't gonna work in 2009.

Smoltz? Myers? Madson? Wagner? I'd consider anything right now.

You win playoff games 3-2, not by three or four runs. Even if Cliffy is tossing shutouts every 4th game, you need a closer who can close.

Maybe Myers shouldn't be "falling out of his truck" and injuring his eye. He might just be needed in the BP soon.

We aren't going anywhere without a legit closer. This team should be in the 70+ win area but we're still worried about our division because of Lidge's antics.

In time Bastardo may be in the closer role somewhere, but right now he has control issues.

I've come to accept Charlie Manuel and his speech impediment, but if I have to listen to him stumble over saying, "He's my closer", one more time about Lidge, I'm going ballistic!

That game was the worst one I've seen in a while. 3-4 runners stranded on 3rd with less than two out. Utley's missed play in the 9th, Lidge's 2 error play...f'n horrible!

we need to give the coaches a bit of credit today.......no visits to calm down the situation...give someone time to warm up.....

dsmmit! i shoulda watched "tea and sympathy."

Chan Ho - set up man
Madson - closer

Lidge - DL

This is getting ridiculous.

Matt Stairs is 1 for his last 25 and has one hit since July 1st.

Our bench still sucks. We need some reinforcements on Sept 1 in a MAJOR way.

"give someone time to warm up....."

That's rich.

I gave up on second guessing UC a long time ago, but if he can send Moyer to the bullpen he can sit Lidge (or send him down to AAA for awhile like he did with Myers)

Moving Madson to the closer role gives you no closer and no set-up man.

Why do we assume that Madson can never close again based on one week in June? Perhaps he learned from that week and will continue to throw his change when moved again?

And Park can setup.

i'd be happy to see moyer returned to the rotation and letting martinez close.

(just like) Houston, we have a problem.

I repeat: Anyone see Smoltz in Phillies pinstripes in the near future to give us an option other than Lidge in the 9th?

By all accounts, Lidge is a really great guy. Too bad, because he's probably gonna get run out of town. It's not just that he's performing so poorly. One thing Philly fans can't stand are athletes who aren't mentally tough. Lidge is a mental midget right now.

Would Lidge pass through waivers? It might be worth a shot, if someone claims him we'd be rid of the contract. He's not doing anything for us this year anyway. Valverde is a free agent, Myers could be resigned to close. Obviously this won't happen, but I'd be willing to take my chances if the opportunity arose to dump Lidge's contract.

That 2 error play is what ended it for me. He's done.

IMHO, Madson is the least risky choice. Smoltz, who knows if he can still come out night after night. Nevermind he's been awful at getting lefties out (1.248 OPS). Myers, who knows where he's going to be at when he comes back. Romero, same as Myers plus twice as wild. I can see the walk off walk, blown save already. Sure Madson didn't do so hot in the closer's role earlier this year, but at least he has the stuff and the command. He's our best shot right now.

I love what Lidge did last season. He seems like a great guy and I think he is capable of being a great pitcher. But it's time to tell it like it is. Brad Lidge cannot be closing games anymore. I have zero confidence in him. It's all in his head I think but it is what it is. Throw Madson out there! Throw Durbin out there! Throw Jamie Moyer out there! Yesterday I talked a bunch of smack on the notion of grabbing Billy Wagner for the rest of the season and as much as I hate him, I even think it's worth the risk! Once again, I love Lidge. I will never speak an ill word about him. But he is doing plenty of talking right now, and unfortunately he will not get it done.

I almost guarantee Lidge would easily clear waivers...would you pick him up with 2 more years at high $$ left on his contract?

Are people really saying "Dump Brad Lidge"? I know this has been a bad year, but let's not be absolutely idiotic. You saw what he can do last year; you don't give a guy like that away.

No to Smoltz, he's got a bad contract, the team that picks him up from here on out is responsible for a mess. I don't know if he has the head for it, but I'd give Chan Ho a shot. I think Lidge will take another trip to the DL and despite what Chollie says about him being his guy, I think we've seen the last of Lidge closing games for a while.

NEPP... "Why do we assume that Madson can never close again based on one week in June?"

Answer: Cuz Mad Dog has proven more than once that he isn't an effective closer. He's 4 for 8 this year. And for his career: 9 saves in 26 save opportunities. Nice.

With Myers involved in another suspect incident today, we can't count on him to bail us out. Even if his hip is okay, is his head screwed on right?

Why not try Chopper as the closer - give a chance to someone new who has been very effective out of the pen. And this keeps Madson where he belongs (8th inning).

LIGHTS OUT LIDGE, BABY!!!!!! Can anyone believe that leviathan boob of a manger can keep sendimg this load out there, night after night. Of course you can, since you, dear reader, know more about winning baseball games than Jolly Cholly Manuel ever could. "We'll I think like Lidge has good stuff and I think like he's still our closer and I think like we need to get him straightened out and I think like he'll come around and I think like we need to put him in a position to win and like I think I'm the dumbest buffoon ever to win a World Series and like I think I can't believe I've snookered the Philadelphia public for so long and like I think Barney Fife would make a better manager and like I think I may have been to toast of old Virginnie but I'm just a crumb up here and like I think I've BS'd everyone long enough and like I think I'll just just quit and like I think....therefore I am...Cholly Manuel.

I don't have much confidence in Park as a closer. He kinda seems like a head case too.

Jean Paul Satre:

I assume you meant Jean-Paul Sartre, but not a very existential post.

myno - I'm not for releasing the guy, but seriously, he's been given more than half a season to get it back on track and he doesn't appear remotely close.

No matter what Cholly says publicly, I'd be very surprised to see Lidge in a high leverage situation in the next 7 days.

When major league players who have had success in the past struggle to the extent that Lidge has, it always baffles me. How can you explain the fact that half of AAA pitchers could do no worse than the man who was on the mound when the Phillies won the World Series??

Madson's career 9 saves in 26 opportunities is an incredibly misleading stat, and you know it. He's been a career setup man, and the 8th inning guy can be charged with a blown save but cannot be credited with a save.

Also, we're assuming that somebody who had a 2.13 ERA in the playoffs last year, almost all in high leverage situations, doesn't have the mental makeup to close? He hit a rough stretch in June, no matter what inning he was pitching in - we're gonna use that to decide that he just doesn't have a closer's mentality?

The reason Lidge has the worst statistical yaer of any closer in a decade is because Cholly keeps running him out there every game because he has no clue or imagination when it comes to the ninth inning.

He should be either DL'd, given a Myers-like '08 AAA ticket or switch his role in the BP for a bit. Something is seriously wrong with the guy and it is just idiotic to keep sending him out there game after game after game after...

Brad Lidge has lost his confidence. Plain and simple. He needs to go on the "DL" for a few weeks once Myers comes up to see if he can regain it.

I think Madson's a safer bet, but I'm intrigued by the idea of Martinez closing. At this point, though, the person who LEAST has a closer mentality is Brad Lidge. I think he comes in expecting to fail, by now. I know I expect him to, by now. He didn't exactly coast through yesterday's 9th, either.

God bless him, but he will not be helped by blowing another 1-run lead.

It is 2007 all over again, but instead of Charlie's blind allegiance to Gordon killing us, it is his blind allegiance to Lidge. I'll be forever grateful to the man for what he did for the team in 2008, but the Brad Lidge Experiment has got to end. When he is on the mound, you get the feeling that his mind is back in 2005 with Pujols rounding the bases...

put lidge on DL with 'Anxiety disorder'

What closer mentality is there?

You have to get 3 people out.

Strikeout, groundout, flyout, who gives a crap, get 3 people out.

Why not let Jamie Moyer close?

king myno: you must be new to BL. Knee-jerk reactions are the name of the game here.

Lidge going through a bad stretch? Run him out of town, he's a bum. Moyer has a tough start to the season? He's washed up. The armchair GMs of BL have no mercy, or patience.

Lidge going through a bad stretch
If you call the entire 2009 season a "bad stretch", then ok.

Not to worry, CJ says there's no chance the Braves can make the playoffs. They can be written off.

Time for some verbal diarrhea . . . Yeah, Lidge blew another one and we need another answer in the 9th. The hell of it is that this loss doesn't spring from the same problem with Lidge. He foreshadowed this loss the other day with that high throw to first. Steve Blass/ Sax disease has set in. He isn't hurt, I don't think. His stuff is good but he just can't repeat pitches or put his fastball in the zone. I think they need him - wouldn't go sign smoltz - but, they have to stop sending him out there in the 9th. Shuffle the deck already.

It has taken me five hours to calm down. Surprisingly, I am indifferent to who closes. We have no real alternative. The threat of Lidge may make our starters and hitters do better. Lidge is not making Cholly's job easy this year.

General observation: When there is a crisis, the number and frequency of stupid posts on Beerleaguer rises sharply.

Specific observations:
1. Madson ought to be given a shot. As BobbyD noted above, there is no one to replace him as setup man, but the Phils could do what Houston did when Lidge lost the closer job 5 times in 2 years: Use him as setup man, where he pitched very well. Just flip the two. If Madson can't handle it, flip 'em back.

2. Myers MIGHT end up closing, but won't be ready for another two weeks at least.

3. There is ZERO chance that Pedro or Moyer will close.

4. Romero has had a setback, but even if he were healthy, please look at his K/BB and then tell me you want him to close.

5. Smoltz, unlike Moyer, really is washed up.

6. I gotta believe Ruben has called Omar and asked just how much of Wagner's contract the Mets are willing to eat.

7. Bastardo, the most overhyped prospect in Beerleaguer history, is a talented guy, but the idea of throwing him into the stretch of a pennant race, coming off an injury, in a role he's never had before, with a 6.75 ERA, is an idea that could only be expressed by a drunken Eagles fan attending his first baseball game who thinks the guy's name is awesome. No one with even a mild passing knowledge of the game would take it seriously.

Fred, I share your ambivalence on who closes. I understand why this guy continues to get the nod. But, as clout reminds us, it's ok - the division race is over. Braves are no threat. We can toy with the bullpen for hte next six weeks because there's no way they can lose it now.

The Gnome for closer. He certainly can't swing a bat, let's put him on the mound and see what happens.

Can someone please tell me why we could not have Madson start the 9th--he pitched all of 9 pitches effectively in the 8th! Was Stairs really a necessary substitution in the 9th?
Also I am in NY the game was not on and MLB.com blocks it. I am curious given that Gonzales (lefty) was pitching to Howard and given that Victorino was on 3rd and given the shift was it really not possible for Howard to lay down a squeeze bunt with one out? Or a slow grounder between third and second?

I can not handle Lidge enterting in any game where we have a lead less than 5-6 runs -- it's time to put him to pasture (the DL) and hope that Myers/Madson/Park can close for the rest of the season. If Cholly can't see that Lidge is killing the team with these demoralizing blown saves, then we won't have to worry about Brad's meltdowns in October, since we'll be out of the playoffs altogether or out in the NLDS

I too am intrigued by the thought of Pedro closing. Of course, we'd have to see a couple more starts from him before we know whether he's pitching well enough for that to possibly be a good idea.

I was at this finger nail ripper of a game tonight and, although Chase made a curiously lame attempt at that ground ball, Brad Lidge once again was poison for the late inning efforts of the Phillies.

I nearly hurled in my seat...actually, it would have been in the concourse since I sensed impending doom and wanted to seek a quick and miserable get away if and WHEN it happened.

Utley's misplay should have nothing to do with Lidge's little league folly at fielding that routine bunt. It was incredibly laughable. That guy doesn't need to get healthy. He needs a shrink. At least someone who can get him to relax out there. He is a self fulfilling prophecy of failure. Anyone who was able to watch him take the mound tonight could see that in his body language.

I hope the Phillies donot get any bright ideas re: Flash :

"D'Backs Release Tom Gordon By Eddie Schmid

According to Nick Piecoro at the Arizona Republic, the Diamondbacks have released veteran reliever Tom Gordon. Flash, now 41, went on the DL in May with a hamstring injury after pitching only 1.2 innings on the year. He had begun a minor-league rehab assignment on July 13th."

"6. I gotta believe Ruben has called Omar and asked just how much of Wagner's contract the Mets are willing to eat."

Unfortunately Wagner is history's greatest monster, so he's a non-option.

Wagner's not history's greatesst monster, he's just a loser. Been there done that.

Basically, the Phillies have about 6 more weeks to figure the situation out. The first priority is obviously to get Lidge the hell out of the closer’s spot before he can blow yet another game. Flip-flopping Madson & Lidge will not only get rid of a massive problem in the closer’s spot; it will also allow the Phillies to do a controlled experiment to determine if the problem is with Lidge the closer (as it was in 2006 & 2007) or, more generally, with Lidge the pitcher.

If Madson again has trouble handling the closer’s role, or if Lidge flops in the setup role as badly as he flopped in the closer’s role, the Phillies still have other arrows in their quiver. They’ve got Myers coming back in a few weeks (hopefully). They could return Moyer to the starting rotation & try Pedro in either the setup or closer’s role. Or they could try to swing a trade for an older closer or setup man who could clear waivers.

I've never really believed it's absolutely essential to have a single reliever who is responsible for pitching the 8th inning. The Phillies never really had such a guy until this year. Even as recently as last year, they basically just went with the hot hand -- with Gordon, Durbin, Romero & Madson all occupying that role at various times over the course of the season. In a perfect world, you'd like to have a single setup man to pitch the 8th inning. But if they had to juggle that role around depending on the situation, it wouldn't be the end of the world. Right now, the most important issue is to find a closer. If finding a closer means creating some uncertainty in the setup role, so be it.

gm-carson: I don't know if Charlie talks like that normally..I thought I heard once that he gets flustered while talking to media

Jimmy Rollins has seen only 15 pitches in the past 2 games in 7 official at bats (did have a sacrifice bunt on Friday). I've counted at least 3 times that's he made an out on the first pitch of the game this week too. That's pathetic.

Our bench is atrocious. Matt Stairs has 1 hit in the past 2 months (1-26 Jul/Aug). Eric Bruntlett is having one of the worst seasons OPS-wise (.398) for a non-pitcher this decade. Paul Bako is batting .175/.493, so glad we rid our organization of Chris Coste, Ronny Paulino, and Jason Jaramillo. Greg Dobbs is 7-45 (.156) as a pinch hitter this season.

In defense of the catcher decisions (which certainly look bad in hindsight), (1) Jaramillo never showed anything at AAA, (2) Paulino stunk in spring training, and (3) the team clearly concluded that Coste lacked the skills necessary to call a game behind the plate (an assessment none of us are in a position to evaluate). Also, the team has made clear that they don't care about offense production from the catcher's spot. Having Francisco and Dobbs as your first two bats on the bench isn't atrocious.

Compared to the problem they have in holding leads in teh 9th, the deficiencies of their bench players don't even qualify as "problems" for the Phillies. It's getting late to try and shake things up.

After having a night to think about it and calm down I've come to one simple conclusion:

Lidge sucks.

no vitriol toward lidge. he just clearly doesn't have it this year. this has happened before in Houston. And Charlie is a stubborn mule. So how's this? No major announcement of new closer. They just play it situationally for the next few weeks. If Madson throws a total of six pitches in the 8th, let him pitch the ninth. Sometimes Chan Ho gets the nod. Sometimes Eyre. And maybe if a three run lead, Lidge. That's called managing. If it were just a matter of following the same routine every game, then anybody could do it. Manage, Charlie. The situation has changed, and now you have to too.

Lidge has been awful and was probably somewhat lucky Friday night. That said, this game was lost when all those runners were left in scoring position. And, if Utley makes that play, the complexion of the inning is much different. Even the winning hit is a double play ball with the infield at normal depth. I hear all the talk of Park, Madson, Mathieson, etc. Call me stupid (who wants to be first?) but I'm still hoping Lidge can get on a roll. A positive one, that is.

I'm troubled by Brett changing his story about the black eye. Smells like he may have been involved in some sort of altercation.

Smells like Brett drank his dinner on Friday night.

Lidge is worse than I thought. He spews more rhetoric than Ed Rendell. Just once, I'd like to read a quote from him where he owns the FACT that he is NOT getting the job done this year, and that he needs to remove himself from his role until he can do it. I'm tired of reading how good he feels, how confident he feels, etc. The other night he "wasn't getting the calls," now it is "ball not bouncing the right way." Please. JUST OWN IT!

I, for one, fell on my face all the time as a 20-something -- when I wasn't walking into doors and other inanimate objects.

Lidge will NOT find his stride. Like Moyer has swallowed his pride like a man.Lidge must do the same. Charlie, Ruben FO we need a reliable closer.ENUF!!

It's a good thing we already have the division all wrapped up. I must say, though, that the Braves don't act like they've gotten the message, or even that they're impressed.

If the Phils get the runners in from 3rd,
a Lidge holds a 4 run lead
b lidge may not even be pitching the 9th

Hitters are not very smart at times.

jr - moving runners and manufacturing runs is for girls. Real men swing for the fences.

If Myers hadn't already long since pounded the final nail in the coffin of his Phillies career, he surely did so with that reversal of explanations. They might actually need him right now, however, so I can't ingenuously say good riddance quite yet.

I'm pretty stunned after reading Andy Martino's piece on Moyer. That is one bold and unrestrained opinion piece by a beat writer. It's certainly not going to make his job any easier in the long run. He must know that, and I commend him for it. I also agree with his take on the situation; it's pretty unbelievable for Moyer to not grasp the inherent contradiction of calling the press together specifically to hear you gripe, and then in the midst of it say you don't want to be a distraction.

Myers states that he only had "2 beers" while out to dinner with his wife.

So yeah, basically within law enforcement circles, the running joke with DUI and other alcohol-related incidents is as follows: An individual almost never says that had any other number of beers when questioned at the scene of the incident.

"you been drinking?"

"Yeah...I only had 2 beers/drinks at dinner."

Typically the suspect then goes on to blow a .25 on the Breathalyzer. So when Bretty tells the world that "Yeah, I was out drinking BUT I only had 2 beers with dinner" I tend to question that a bit.

I wouldn't be stunned if he was either totally slossed at dinner and that's why Kim was driving. Or he was totally slossed at the bar and got into some sort of altercation with another patron.

Or maybe he just "fell" out of his truck after having "2 beers".

Yeah.

Jsy: He does indeed speak differently to the media. In casual conversation, Charlie sounds like a Penn professor with a slight English accent.

Carson: "Greg Dobbs is 7-45 (.156) as a pinch hitter this season."

That can't possibly be true. Flipper said Dobbs can only hit as a pinch-hitter, that he cannot hit when he's in the starting lineup.

"I do believe it is the season of hitting, ol' chaps!"

AFish: I agree with all of your points on the Phillies catching decisions except for this one:
"(3) the team clearly concluded that Coste lacked the skills necessary to call a game behind the plate (an assessment none of us are in a position to evaluate)."

If that were true, why would the Phillies have allowed him to start 175 games? Did it take them that long to figure it out? It's not apparent from his CERA and I've never read a story saying that management believed that.

The Coste/Bako move is one of the great mysteries of this season. Bako was a known quantity and even the causual fan knew that he was a downgrade from Coste. To the extent he had even a tiny advantage, it was that he hit lefthanded, but that was not a skill the team needed. Just the opposite in fact.

I predict the true story of the Coste/Bako move will eventually come out and we will learn that it has nothing to do with baseball, it has to do with personalities or something that happened in the clubhouse.

curt: It's possible the Braves don't read CJ's declarations on Beerleaguer so they don't realize that they're dead yet.

Of course, it's also possible that they're Zombies, so it doesn't matter that they're dead.

NEPP: It's also possible that Kim popped him to make up for the smacking he gave her in Boston.

Now they're even.

NEPP: The nanny was driving. Interestingly, the only 2 beers has now turned to 2 or 3 beers... perhaps they were the big 32 ounce bastards that you can get in the F terminal bar at Philly International. Those are nice.

Technically 64 ounce growlers are made of glass.

Careful, RSB. One does not speaketh ill of the Geezer here, who, by the way, Is Not Washed Up.

Still, the most improbable sight last night had to be Geezer warming up in the bottom of the 9th.

Curt, I'm not nearly as inclined as some to throw Moyer onto the dung heap. The guy continues to lead the team in victories, and I think he deserved a better fate.

But I also think he could have handled that fate more appropriately in a public sense.

Yo new thread. Good discussion, so RSB and others have the header.

I think that the guys off the bench this year (dobbs, stairs, bruntlett) aren't playing as well this year because Pat the Bat is no longer around. Pat was consistently only playing around 2/3 of each game, letting the other guys get in a lot more regularly. Not so thus year with Raul. It's gotta be hard for the guys on the bench to find a rhythm, and that's why they're not producing like last year.

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