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Wednesday, September 23, 2009


This was cute and all when the games weren't of any real importance, but this would have buried the Marlins tonight for good. Not the night I'd have chosen to give Brad yet another chance to hang himself, even if the division is in the bag. I don't know Manuel's strategy here- does he have a "magic number" of blown saves Brad has to hit before he finally realizes it's not going to happen for him this year?

The most enjoyable part of this game, or at least the ending, was predicting which poster would now decide that the division isn't in the bag because of one loss. I narrowed it down in my head to G-Town or BAP before I got on here, and G-Town didn't disappoint.

I actually admire Lidge for answering the bell each time his insane manager rings it.

This BS is so bad that I felt the need to punish myself for watching by drinking one of my wife's Bud Light Limes. Now trying to figure out what's worse? The aftertaste of the lime, or the Lidge closing in the playoffs. This will keep me up all night.

We should trade Milton Bradley for Brad Lidge straight up. Not only would we slightly save a couple of bucks, but Milton Bradley doesn't even have enough time to blow 11 saves.

Some say that MB is a "clubhouse cancer", but directly costing your team 11 wins is worse in my book.

I'm not asking for perfection, I'm just asking that the Phillies allow the gnome to try his hand at relief pitching.

At least this is the last time brad lidge will be brought into close a game this year. Right???? Charlie, CHARLIE!!! This won't happen again?!?!? Right??? SIGH

Why do we need a closer? Couldn't UC just realize that, given the hand he's been dealt, "the book" just doesn't apply? Go with the hot hand, let guys who pitch well in the late innings stay in the game until they get in trouble, etc. He's the manager of the damned WFC and the squad has a real chance to repeat. In a sense, he's playing with house money if he wants to try something outside-the-box right now: everyone hates Lidge and knows he can't be counted on, everyone knows that no-one else on the roster seems up to being "the" closer, and we just won the WFC last year. Damn, Chollie, show some sack and do something to try to deal with this before it sinks the entire season. Even if what he tries doesn't work, it sure as hell is a lot better than going with the current plan.

I found myself rooting for the Marlins. The strike calls on Baker and Ramirez were questionable and it's not like the Phils won't win the division anyway. Give the Marlins some joy.

On another note, is there anyone left in that bullpen anyone has any faith in? I can't think of a single one. If Pedro is healthy I don't think you have any choice but to move Happ into the bullpen in the playoffs. He's the only one left who can do it.

This only reinforces my wish that they'd taken a flyer on Mathieson this September on the slim chance he could have a K-Rod-like rise to stardom this postseason. I know the odds are slim, but the other options are slimmer.

Now I'd like to preface my post by saying that I'd rather have *anyone* closing at this point besides #54.

But when I look around and see our other options, that becomes the scariest part of this entire ordeal.
Lidge simply does not have it this year, and cannot be placed in an important situation for the remainder of this season.

Madson has proven time and time again he is a mental midget in the 9th inning.

Romero is injured.

Myers is injured.

Happ has ZERO history of closing, let alone post-season experience (save for mop-up outings against LA last year)

Pedro has ZERO history of closing either. He may be able to survive on experience and guile alone, but bear in mind his worst inning by far this season has been his first.

I love Tyler Walker and Clay Condrey as mop-up/set-up men, but do you trust them closing in a big spot?

It's an overly facile thing to say that they need to replace Brad Lidge. The real tricky part comes into play when you ask yourself this though: if you're going to remove Brad Lidge, who are you going to go with instead??

"I'll be back. Hahahaha"(Thick Austrian accent)

Fire Manuel. The guy is a total idiot. He is demoralizing to the fans and the players. He just does not learn a lesson. Any fan could outmanage him. He rarely bunts in key situations and plays odds that are always against him.

I can't believe anyone is actually shocked. A 1-run save on the road?

This is on Charlie. Lidge is just doing what he's being asked to do, but incapable of at this point. Manuel needs to make the tough choice here, but he thinks his hands are tied because he won't go outside of the box. Too many of his go to guys are hurt.

It's more sad than anything. The rise and fall of Brad Lidge (again). I've never seen a season of such perfect success followed by a season of such perfect failure.

If there's a silver lining, it's that Lidge has lost the closer job for the rest of the year, bank on it.

Well, on to Milwaukee, looks like we'll face a bunch of starters with ERAs of 5 or 6. Maybe we can win a game or two despite The Pen.

The posters saying Madson was as bad as Lidge tonight are incorrect: Madson fared 50% better.

Brad Lidge is trending a twitter again, ugh

Iceman: If not for Charlie's stubbornness, the division most like would have been clinched by now. However, the simple fact is that NOTHING has been clinched & NOTHING is "in the bag".

This team is a fraud.

This issue cannot be solved now. It should have at least been TRIED to be solved in early August. It never was. The season will end early, because of it.

Its one thing to be loyal. Its another thing to be stubborn and stupid. Being stubborn and stupid will make for a long off-season of "what if's".

At this point, with over half of your bullpen hurt or embarrassingly ineffective, I see only one realistic tact to take to give yourself a punchers chance in October.

Pedro Martinez needs to be the 9th inning guy from this day forward. Nobody else on the roster can do it. Lidge and Madson already have proven time after time after time, they can't do it. Myers and Park got injured, before they got a chance to show they could or could not succeed in that role.

There is nobody else. The one area this team has some depth left in, is in the starting rotation.

Hope to the heavens that Happ is healthy (tomorrow's start becomes a HUGE one in that regard) and he can be the 4th starter in the playoffs. Move Pedro to the closer spot and sink or swim with one of the gutsiest and competitive pitchers of this era. It may not work either. But at this point, the Phils have no other way to go. When you are backed this far into a corner, it takes ingenuity to try and get out of it.

And I don't care if we have to fill our bullpen with guys from Lehigh Valley because of injuries, but Brad Lidge has NO BUSINESS on any postseason roster. NONE. He has been the worst closer in the history of baseball and he is setting the bar so high in that regard, that nobody will likely ever challenge him for that dubious honor.

Send him home and tell him to come back to Clearwater next February and maybe he can regain his spot on this team. Until then, its time to move on in 2009 with the players who DESERVE to play post-season baseball.

At this point, the 9th inning has taken on a life of its own. In the playoffs, it really won't matter who pitches the 9th in a 1-run game, since the history and pressure that now coincides with it will cave in just about anyone. I'm really hoping that we win games either through complete games by the starter, or by scoring tons of runs.

EF: The Phillies can't hit vs. pitchers w/ ERAs of 5.00+. I'd feel better if Sabathia were still a Brewer.

Let's put this loss squarely on the hunched shoulders of Chollie the Boob. Has there ever been a dumber strategist calling the shots for a MLB team?

denny: You don't think it's a bit harsh to call an entire team a fraud because of a few BP arms? They have a pretty good rotation, a slew of great hitters and one glaring hole at closer.

They aren't frauds. They are incomplete, like just about every other team in baseball.

Now, what Charlie and Rube do from here on out to try to fix that hole--and whether or not any arms can come back and be serviceable--is what will make or break this season.

I'm sorry, but I would take my chances on anyone other than Lidge right now. I know Lidge will blow the game. I don't know that any of our other arms will. That is what it boils down to. The sad fact is, this is a debate that should have been had months ago, not tonight. Those other blown saves I could live with. I can't live with this one. The job was to bury the Marlins and Lidge blew it and gave them hope. Us fans should be feeling like it's all locked up right now. Now we're starting to think otherwise. This 9th inning situation should have been resolved a long time ago. Instead, we have to throw at a dart board here at the end of September.

Bring in Lidge? Fine.
Leave him in after a hit? No.
The team is not a fraud, and I'm not on the bash Cholly bandwagon, but this one is 100% on him.

And I'm with those posters who believe that if (when) we make the playoffs, it will have been a successful season. The playoffs are a complete crap shoot.

This loss stings, but those who think we won't make the playoffs aren't grounded in reality. The Braves will play the Marlins 3 times, and one of those teams will eliminate the other. The team that comes out ahead will need to win every single other game, and the Phillies will need to lose 8 of their remaining 11 games.

I would be shocked and possibly completely demoralized to see Lidge back out there again in 2009.

It is unthinkable that our playoff hopes rest on him even a little bit.

@Old Phan: Its been on UC for 2 months now...or 3-4 losses

If Pedro -- please, please, baseball gods -- comes back healthy, why not try JA Happ as closer?

He's got nerves of steel.

8 losses by the Phils this season when leading after the 8th inning.

Completely unacceptable for a team that claims to be interested in repeating.

"denny: You don't think it's a bit harsh to call an entire team a fraud because of a few BP arms?"

Yes, it is harsh. But lets be real. This team (or any team) cannot and will not win in the post-season with the mess the bullpen is in now. You have to have a effective back-end of the bullpen in 2009 baseball, and the Phils are woefully inadequate in that key area.

Add in a below average bench, a injured starting catcher and a offense that relies way too much on the HR ball for runs, and you have a recipe for disaster.

Other teams have their issues too (the Dodgers starting rotation for one), but the Phils just have that feel of a team right now, that are heading for a sad end.

They will win the East, because the East has been awful this year (the Nats and Mets are also 2 of the worst teams in baseball). But that will likely be about it.

Its too bad, because in some ways this team is FAR superior to last year's team. But not enough where it matters.

Let's not disregard an entire season of evidence and call the team a fraud, OK? I'm all for exaggerating, but this is just annoying. The lineup is scary, the defense is excellent, the starters have kicked it up about ten notches in the last two months. This is an excellent, dangerous team which happens to have a glaring hole in the last inning.

I LOVE that idea Suze but I think it's too late. You're right, the guy has no heart, no soul, no emotions, and he's good. MAKE HAPP THE POSTSEASON CLOSER!!!!!!!

This was a game the Phillies could not afford to use? (G-Town Dave) The team is a fraud? (denny b.) Well, good to see there are no outrageous knee-jerk reactions here tonight.

I know he's been bad in the first inning this year, but maybe people are onto something with Pedro. Maybe his first inning struggles are just from trying to pace himself.

Bad Karma for making fun of the Mets battered pen last season so much

Observer: I don't think so. Try again. The whole world does not revolve around the Mets.

Baseball is a game of failure. Lidge is going overboard proving the adage correct.

Imagine you are Pedro Martinez. You've had an incredible career full of scores of defining moments, and you live for those moments. I have a feeling he goes to Charlie and says, give me a shot. He might be the only guy with the cahones to actually do it. He could condition himself over the last week to warm up quicker and find his best velocity right away. If he were somehow able to succeed, he would go down in immortality. It seems to me to be almost a Hollywood type ending for his career.

I think Pedro will ask Charlie to give him the chance. But it would need to happen pretty soon.

Also, this team as presently constructed has the 2nd best record in the National League. I think it's reasonable to say that bullpens are magnified in the playoffs, but this team somehow managed to win quite a few games this year, including games against the Cardinals, Rockies, and Dodgers.

They clearly can beat the teams that they'll be facing, even with 2009 Lidge, as evidenced by the fact that they've held their own with all 3 teams this year.

Bobby Jenks was called up from the minors in July of 2005, and went on to close in the World Series for the White Sox that year.

I think Happ could be effective as closer. He's already pitched in nervewracking circumstances, in front of huge crowds.

denny b: "Yes, it is harsh. But lets be real. This team (or any team) cannot and will not win in the post-season with the mess the bullpen is in now. You have to have a effective back-end of the bullpen in 2009 baseball, and the Phils are woefully inadequate in that key area."

Darn, I wish we were playing 2001 baseball.

Sign #151 that your season is in trouble? When your closer is a Trending Topic on Twitter.

Someone needs to start keeping track of the things people say on here after heartbreaking losses. So far in an hour we've gotten:

-The division is not in the bag

-Manuel should be fired

-The entire team is a fraud


Come on people.

Here it is from Todd Zolecki's latest tweet!

Manuel on Lidge: "Him(Lidge) and Madson that's what we've got in the back of our bullpen. He was our closer last year and he'll be our closer now."

Uh, Amaro please do something about that bullshit now! Because I'm really starting to get angry! Time for a beer!

Cliff Lee for closer doesn't look so stupid now.

-The division is not in the bag
Yes, it is.

-Manuel should be fired
No, he shouldn't

-The entire team is a fraud
No, it isn't

Worse than a Lidge blown save

I'm not known to be an overly optimistic person, but when I'm telling people to calm down,'s just wrong.

The entire team is a fraud. Yeah, I'm sure that's exactly what the Brewers are thinking right now. I can't wait to face that fraud Ryan Howard. Or Chase Utley, Cliff Lee, etc. It worked so well for us last year.


(via Zolecki on Twitter): "Manuel on Lidge: "Him & Lidge. That's what we've got in the back of our bullpen. He was our closer last year & he'll be our closer now.""


G-Town: He's the anti-Reid. Loyal to a fault and it's a detriment to the rest of the team.

Edit: Should read "Him (Lidge) & Madson ..."

I know Charlie Manuel is a player's Manager... and likes helping his players reach personal goals or break records, but I find it a little careless to help Brad Lidge try and break the Major League record for blown saves.

ryan howard needs to take a home run swing at lidge's knee. he can say, 'sorry brad, it's for the good of the team' then he can hook him up with a free subway sandwich.

Speaking of 2009, how are there still people who believe "you can't win in the playoffs without good [x area of team performance]"?

If you can get to the playoffs, you can win in the playoffs. See, for example, the 2006 Cardinals. Second, any deficiency can be masked by being sufficiently good in other areas of the game. If your pitchers give up 15 runs a game, and you score 16 runs a game, you're going to end up with a really good record. It shouldn't take too much imagination to figure out how to win with a closer that can't hold a one-run lead going into the ninth.

Our closer has a 7.48 ERA. An 0-8 record. Has 11 blown saves. Has given up runs in almost 50% of his appearances in 2009.

Its September 23rd.

Does that look like a team that will be playing deep into October?

Of course not. We need to put our Phillies Sunglasses down for a second, and see the cold hard facts. Yes the term "frauds" is harsh. But its also probably truthful in analyzing the playoff chances of the 2009 Phils, in its current confused state.

We have huge stars in our lineup. We have 4 30 HR guys. We have guys that steal bases. We catch the ball as well as anyone. We have one of the best rotations in baseball.

But we don't have a closer. Haven't had one all year. Been saying since July this season will come down to the 9th inning. And that likely makes all of the other good stuff about this team, a moot point.

Sure Pedro has never been a closer. But we have NO OTHER options. None.

Pedro has pitched in more big games then anyone we have. He's pitched on the big stage.

I love Happ and his make up. But he's still just a kid. There is no way you should throw him out there and expect him to get guys out in the 9th inning. You would be setting him up to fail. He has succeeded as a starter and that should be his only role, should he be healthy enough to pitch.

Pedro is just competitive enough and just goofy enough and has just good enough stuff, to probably get it done. He'd pitch his ass off and wouldn't cower down like Lidge and Madson do. And to be able to "reinvent" himself and make himself an even bigger legend, by closing games for a playoff team, after being out of baseball for 3 months, would be something he'd probably get off on.

I'd start tomorrow in Milwaukee and make Pedro my guy for the rest of the year. Madson pitches the 8th. Hope you can piece the rest of the pen together with some combo of Eyre, Romero, Park, Myers, Walker and Condrey and hope for the best.

At this late stage, there really is no other way to go.

Does anyone just want to punch UC in the nose after that comment..its so infuriating.

If UC sticks with Lidge in the PO's and he costs us a series at which stage of the PO's would it be fire worthy. NLDS, NLCS, WS?

Does anyone think a half decent manager couldn't get to the playoffs with this team?

Also, this is why the Phillies need HFA: 10 of his 11 BS are ON THE ROAD.

doubleh: Only in Philly would fans have to be simultaneously saddled w/ such opposite extremes of infuriating idiocy.

Really? You would want Charlie fired one year removed from winning the World Series? My what a short memory.

Lidge is DEFINITELY tipping his pitches. Everyone knows the sh*t that's coming.

all joking aside, while i love the hollywood scenario smoky joe posits, Pedro is too valuable as starter #4.

Myers doesn't have enough gas in the trunk and his GPS is all screwy.

HAPP is the ONLY option -- but time is of the essence.

I echo the sentiments of those who called for a change, or at least an audition in August. I too clamored for it. If the bullpen is not fixed and is responsible for an early exit in the playoffs, I truly believe, Manuel needs to be called on the carpet and put on notice, if not fired.

With the window narrowing, this team should have pulled out ALL (sorry for the caps, but I need to emphasize my point) the stops to plug all the holes. Both relief pitching and the bench needed fixing by the end of August and nothing was done about it.

I'll take a deficient bench, but I won't tolerate a bullpen that has been underwhelming the entire year with its closer glaringly in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons.

Sadly, there is no fix. Martinez may be the one, but having him pitch even every other day requires him to adjust completely to a new routine and time is most unfortunately not a friend of the Phillies, no thanks to Manuel and Rube to an extent, sitting on their hands.

They played the game of hope against hope and struck out. At best, the back end will be a hodgepodge of pretenders. For certain, Lidge has to be taken totally out of the equation.

To me, the question is Does he even make the 25-man roster?

One final point: Manuel was quick and decisive when he pulled Park out of the rotation. He agonized about doing the same with Moyer, but he did it. Why in hell did he not have the temerity to pull Lidge when solutions were possible and trades could be made?

I'm afraid that one answer is the truth and not to our liking: money. The hefty contract. Considering what's at stake, screw the contract. It's penny wise and pound foolish, as far as I'm concerned.

I think diggitydave comes closest to hte mark. Who do you put in? I think it has to be Madson but, I don't know that I prefer that to throwing Lidge back out there. The crime in the whole thing was not having someone up to clean up hte mess. Once he lets the lead off guy reach base, the die is cast.

@ Spoilt Victorian Child:

Sure, you're right in theory, but it makes the game prohibitively harder. The playoffs are a crapshoot, but if you've got to make sure you're leading by at least 2 to 3 runs every time the 9th inning rolls around, you're making it awfully hard on yourself every game.

And one other point: BP's "secret sauce," while not perfect, is a fairly good indicator of what areas most World Series winners thrive in. Area #3 is relief pitching, measured in WXRL -- and the Phils are dead last in that category.

ok. just thought of something. call me crazy BUT.....

Playoff rotation:

Lee, Hamels, Happ, Pedro.

Kentucky Joe.

Too crazy?

8th & Pine: "... gas in the trunk ..."?

Careful, your insurance fraud is showing.

nice catch G-town! just mixing up my vehicular metaphors.

G-Town: There are towns worse off than Philly right now.

I will say this: I agree with many posters who have noted that the playoffs are a crapshoot. Once you get in, anything can happen. Shoot, I worried all through last year's playoffs that Madson or Lidge would blow a game because they were so automatic up until that point (and closers are never perfect so law of averages, you know).

Broxton hadn't given up a HR all year until Stairs torched him. I'm not saying Lidge is going to turn it around but for me, personally, just winning the division and maybe winning a few postseason games or a round would be a successful season. Winning the WS is not easy. See Cubs, 2008. They were the best team in the NL. How did they fare?

Spoilt Victorian Child: I don't see you post very often, but just about every time, you have a logical, well-reasoned post. Agree completely. If this team had 2008 Lidge, they'd be a 100+ win team. Even with 2009 Lidge, they're still the 2nd best team in the National League.

To all the gloom-and-doomers: look at it this way. "Player X" has been on "Team A" all year, and has performed poorly all year. "Team A" has been very successful all year. How can you then say that "Team A" will not be successful in the playoffs because of "Player X"?

The Phillies, as presently constructed, including Brad Lidge, went 4-1 vs. STL, 4-2 vs. COL, and 3-4 vs. LAD. This team is clearly capable of beating those teams. Is there something inherent about the playoffs that makes those teams, which were beatable earlier in the year with 2009 Lidge, unbeatable in the playoffs because of 2009 Lidge?

Clean slate in the playoffs. Get in and it's anybody's game. When Lidge came in tonight, I felt a certain serenity. I want entertaining baseball in September and, godd@mmit, that was entertaining. Not a good result but, I was not bored by any stretch.

Friar: Yes, certainly. I was speaking in the abstract because the point I was addressing was in the abstract.

As for this specific situation, the answer is pitifully easy. You DL the worst closer ever and replace him with a pitcher whose ERA is under 5.00. Hell, replace him with three such pitchers. They aren't hard to find.

What about Cholly's loyalty to the other 24 players? Doesn't he owe them every chance to win?

On Comparing Happ to Jenks...

Jenks came up in 2005 and was throwing 100 MPH. He had closer's stuff and a closer's mentality.

As good as Happ has been, he is a PITCHER first. He doesn't rely on a 100 MPH fastball or a dominant slider/splitter. He relies on location and moving his fastball in and out. And with control being so important for a 1 inning guy, Happ's tendancy for walks/baserunners would be a problem for a late inning reliever. He can pitch around those things easier as a starter.

It would be like putting Moyer out there as the closer.

You have to have a little "crazy" in you to be a closer. You have to be ultra competitive. You have to be tough. Pedro has those qualities in buckets. Sure, he doesn't throw 96 MPH anymore. But he can still throw strikes and still get swing and misses with his fastball/curve/change repertroir (sp). He has still got "it".

At this point, why not try something different? We all know what has been tried (the status quo) ain't working and won't work. Wasting a bunch of career years and the Cliff Lee trade, because of stupidity is not cool.

The players aren't stupid either. They know if Lidge continues to trot out there, with the game on the line, that the chances are they will walk off losers and the season will end sooner then it should. What message is being sent, when a guy can fail 11 times at his job and be as inept and pathetic as Lidge has been since Day 1 of Spring Training and STILL not be demoted?
Not a good one, if you are a competitive person. And this team has a bunch of competitive people.

doubleh: Having been able to finally savor the "big win" last year, I think I can handle the Phillies not repeating. However, I cannot handle this team choking away the division, esp. by continuing to make the same mistakes that have cost them wins all year. Yes, I realize the chances of such a choke are mathematically remote ... but I've been a fan in this town for far too long to ever consider something "in the bag" until it actually, physically is.

Does it seem to anyone that the Phils won IN SPITE of UC last year? He had to make ZERO decisions after the 8th when leading last year.

Now that he's had to make critical late inning decisions he doesn't look like much of a difference making manager anymore.

As a matter of fact he still doesn't make decisions, he's been on auto pilot since last year and hasn't made any adjustments.

Can anyone say overrated?

Lack of adjustments...hmmm...whatever did happen in those AL playoffs where he was up with some commanding leads?

Not ONE person on this thread has offered a single legitimate alternative to Lidge closing for the rest of this year. So it is what it is.

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On Happ in the playoffs: Happ becomes the closer, has a good two weeks heading into the playoffs, and at some point in the playoffs he gets taken yard in a crucial game and they lose.

You'd ruin the kid for the rest of his career mentally. Stupid Stupid thing to do. Let pedro close.

Pedro as closer is a fantasy.
He's going to suddenly gain the ability to warm up in 12 throws and to pitch 2 and 3 games in arow? ain't gonna happen.

And no thanks on Happ as closer. The guy walks way too many batters; and his FIP is almost as bad as Moyer's.

Why not just not have a closer? Put in whoever's fresher, or who's been pitching well, or who has good matchups against the batters coming in.

TNA: I suppose that depends on what your idea of "legitimate" is. From where I'm sitting, pretty much any pitcher on the staff BUT Lidge is now a legitimate alternative to the unmitigated disaster he has become.

If it's an elimination game in the playoffs, the Phillies can bring in Lee or Pedro to close or keep the game tied. But it's a one-off thing.

Basically, it's going to come down to the starting pitching, offense and defense this post-season. And hopefully, they'll get lucky.

As for this specific situation, the answer is pitifully easy. You DL the worst closer ever and replace him with a pitcher whose ERA is under 5.00. Hell, replace him with three such pitchers. They aren't hard to find.

Yessir. I just don't have any faith that Charlie's going to do this, at least based on his quotes from tonight. And if the Phils do plan to employ Lidge in 1-run save opportunities next month, then it will be a self-fulfilling prophecy -- the rare case where you can't mask the team's one deficiency, and it costs you your season.

I know it's crazy, but how bout Jamie Moyer for closer?

It's desperation time, folks.

#1 choice: Pedro
#2 choice: Blanton

You have a good 4 man rotation with either of those guys as the closer. They both have the stuff and the stones to close.

I know, it's crazy and it won't happen, but they would be the two best choices.

Y'know, if you really wanna think outside the box, go into the postseason with three starters. I mean, the bullpen needs another arm more than the rotation a day of rest. They're gonna be left in for 130 pitches anyway. Let's go for broke.

PhillyFriar, I think we are pretty much of the same mind. I have no faith that Manuel is going to replace Lidge, but for whatever reason I think of the Phillies' true talent level as being independent of Manuel's weird mental deficiencies.

As much as I love the Phillies I can't say that I have any love or respect for the manager.
Baseball is a game of strikes and balls.
He struck out many times but here are the three blows of the current year:
1. Paulino out
2. Bako in
3. Not taking Lidge out when he would take others out for a lesser offense.

11 blown saves? HmmOur record could be what now?

P.S. Leave garbage utility players who can't hit off playoff roster and replace with pitchers who hit for about the same average/power anyway.

P.P.S. Manage these extra pitchers like Bowa did and yank them after not liking the only pitch they threw.

I've been in favor of eliminating the position of "closer" on this team since August. I'm definitely against adhering to the convention in the playoffs. Whatever it takes.

This is apropos of the situation, and I've seen it more than once to describe CM's bullpen conundrum: The definition of insanity is to repeat your mistakes over and over, and to expect different results. Nuff said.

CSN replays games at 1:30am whenever they air the original.

Games like this should not be re-aired.

A few observations:

1. "We don't have any other options" is not an argument. The option you're using right now blows virtually every close game he pitches and has an ERA of nearly 7.50. You could literally use Jack Taschner as playoff closer and we would be a better team.

2. I still don't get the "Pedro as closer" argument. The guy habitually gives up runs in the first inning. That is not a guy you want closing.

3. While I still say Madson's the best suited for closing, there's something to be said for leaving him in a role where he has done well (especially since it's September 23).

4. Myers doesn't look like he's going to be of much use, and I don't know about Park. The options to me, are Walker or Happ. Do I really think a mediocre ROOGY like Walker could be a decent closer? Actually, no. I think he'd probably cost us a game or two in the post-season. Lidge, however, will cost us EVERY game he pitches, unless the lead is 3 runs -- and he might even cost us some of those.

5. If Cholly really intends to stick with Lidge, then he is truly the single biggest imbecile on the face of the earth. Amaro needs to take matters into his own hands and just tell Cholly that Lidge isn't our post-season closer because he isn't gonna be on the roster. If Amaro fails to do this, he will be just as blameworthy as Cholly when Lidge brings our season to an end.

Only looked this up because my buddy asked me how Lidge's BS affected Hamels.

Lidge has taken away WINS from the following pitchers:

Hamels 3
Happ 3
Blanton 2
Moyer 1
Myers 1
Park 1

Phils won 3 of his BS

Madson has cost the following pitchers wins:
Hamels 3
Happ 1
Moyer 1
Blanton 1

Lee and Pedro have been immune to the bullpen... so far...

I know people don't care much for the win stat... but its important to those names above...

10-9 looks MUCH different than 16-9.

In JA Happ's case, he's lost 4 wins from the bullpen. 14-4 would have made his ROY candidacy more reasonable...

I think it is going to take Lidge himself, or the other players going to Lidge to declare himself "mentally exhausted" for the rest of the year. Cholly clearly won't do it.
mm: Happ is not a kid. He clearly has his head on straight,and your scenario would only make him better.

Also, belatedly, thank you DH Phils. I appreciate you saying that.

doubleh: My $14. cable doesn't include the game live. I have to listen on radio and then watch the replay. It's the ninth inning right now, and I want to see how bad it was with my own eyes.

BAP - So you think Happ should be the closer?

Since we're all throwing out crazy ideas, perhaps we should have the bullpen throw the first inning of the game and then bring the starter in with the second inning. All of the starting pitchers have looked good in closing out games. Perhaps they should have Lidge throw the first inning and at least give the offense a chance to come back if he gives up a bunch of runs. In doing so, the Phillies can revolutionize the use of pitching staffs and redefine the label, "starter".

If UC is going to bring Lidge in, why not have him on a super short leash? The person that is suffering the most from this is Lidge. It's like Cholly is torturing him.

Has anyone stopped to think what our record would be right now if we had 2008 Brad Lidge? Of Lidge's 11 blown saves, 8 have resulted in Phillies' losses. Plus, there are the 3 additional losses which resulted from Madson's blown saves in closing situations -- which never would have happened if Lidge hadn't been DL'd, and later demoted, due to ineffectiveness. So that's a grand total of 11 extra wins we'd have right now if we had 2008 Brad Lidge closing for us this year. With 11 extra wins, we'd be 99-52 -- a .655 winning percentage. Over 162 games, that projects to 106 wins.

BAP, better not to think about that. Too painful.

The argument has moved beyond whether Lidge is the closer or not. The question is can he help this team on the postseason roster and the answer is clearly "no."

No other team in their right mind would put a pitcher who has a season ERA near 8 and has allowed at least 1 run in 31 of the 64 games he has appeared.

I didn't think Lidge would be able to help this team on the postseason roster (and yes I would much rather have even a guy like Durbin at this point on the roster) two weeks ago and unfortunately now the window has largely closed to try a radical alternative.

Additionally, the Phils are just continuing to increase the likelihood that not only will Lidge not be able to close next year but that he might not even be an effective reliever again next year.

Some of the posters on here will rant and rave that you "need to only focus on today" with the typical short-sighted vision of the manager but the reality is that the Phils have an additional 2 year/$25M invested in Lidge and like with Gordon before, Lidge is likely going to be counted on to be the closer next year out of spring training and the Phils are high unlikely to get another closer candidate this offseason for several reasons (e.g., money they have invested in Lidge, overall large payroll, signal it would send to Lidge, etc).

BAP - yeah, 106 wins in the regular season sounds nice, but it's more about the post-season. i have doubts, but hopefully lidge can enter the post-season mentally with a clean slate.

I still can't believe that Amaro is allowing Cholly to trot out Lidge in 1-run save opportunities. Some of the blame not only deserves to be placed on Cholly blind adherence to bullpen dogma but for Amaro letting this situation continue to fester and the announcement after the game that Lidge will continue to be their closer.

There is a clear line between loyalty and foolishness and Cholly has crossed that with Lidge.

Yeah, Madson isn't a great closer and has had his share of troubles in the 9th but he needs to be the guy the Phils go with from here on out and try to figure out the rest of the pieces around him in the next 2 weeks.

Either way, the bullpen will be a clear weakness going into the playoffs but at least there would be some clarity going ahead forward to figure out what the Phils have and that the closer would be Madson.

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