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Thursday, September 17, 2009

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Anyone for letting Moyer take on the first game against the Fish?

Will give other starters a rest, he has a reasonable shot against that team, and Johnson is tough on us anyway.

The Phillies are now 7th in Team ERA in all MLB @ 4.10. They have come a long way since June.

Phils starters in last 5 games: 3 ER in 38.1 IP

Serious question: Is this the best starting staff top to bottom that the Phillies have ever had?

doubleh:Yes

when i look at games in the virtually empty stadiums, like the nats, i simultaneously feel bad for the fans that do go, because of the horrible, echo-y atmosphere, and wonder about the future of such a franchise. then i think, hey, philadelphia is now an elite baseball town packing cbp every night. maybe we could support two teams like we used to.

I'm surprised everyone on the game chat thought Lidge pitched well. He got the save, but he was far from sharp. His command was way off, especially on his fastball. His pitches never ended up where Ruiz put the glove. To me he looked like he was really laboring trying to get the ball over the plate.

"I hope I never get on your crap list BAP, otherwise I know I'm never coming off no matter what I do."

Think about this. It isn't that difficult. If Eric Bruntlett hit .335 for the rest of the year, and Shane Victorino hit .225, would you want Bruntlett to be our starting centerfielder in the playoffs? If Jack Taschner makes 8 appearances from now until the end of the season, and he pitches 8 shutout innings, do you want him to have a key role in our playoff bullpen?

Lidge has stunk for 145 games. Along the way, there have been 4 or 5 times when he had a decent stretch of 5 or 6 games, but he always reverted to prior miserable form. So I'm supposed to change my mind and want him as my closer if he puts together another decent 5 or 6-game stretch at the end of the year (which he probably won't, although it's possible)? Those 5 or 6 games are suddenly more predictive of his post-season performance than the 145 before them?

Bullit, I agree. Especially when you are used to seeing CBP full every night. After the Phils game, I switched over to the Reds/Fish game, and no one was there.

BAP, what if he is trending upwards?

Ha! A "trending upwards" reference. I was just thinking how we hadn't had one of those in awhile. Perfect!

Personally, if all of a sudden Lidge could settle down and pitch better in the post season, I could easily forgive his performance in the regular season.

SmokyJoe: To answer your question from the previous thread, I at the game.

Edit: Kindly insert a "was" between "I" & "at". It's been a long day.

doubleh: No, check out the 1915 squad (team ERA+ of 126, mostly from the starters). Those guys were good. Really good.

doubleh: Better than Rawley, Carman, Ruffin & Gross?! :-o

Agreed. I'm glad the Phils won but I expected them to win. The Nats and the Mets are beyond awful. The Braves and the Fish? Not so much and I'm not convinced they can't win either. I know many are out there willing to put the division in the bag, but the Marlins seems awfully hungry right now.

BAP: you said about Lidge having had a "decent" 5 or 6 game stretch earlier in the year. But would if Lidge pitches brilliantly the rest of the way and if he shows that he figured things out (no walks, good control in general)? Still don't want him to close in playoffs?

Does it matter what any of us think RE: Lidge? Charlie has said repeatedly that Brad is his guy. Madson hasn't done any better as a closer, & Charlie steadfastly refuses to even give Myers a shot. At the very least Lidge will be allowed a chance to fail as a closer in the playoffs ... & by then it might not matter what the other options are.

There are many reasons not to trust Lidge in the playoffs. It's not just his blown saves and his ERA. His peripherals are terrible. Too many hits, way to many walks, too many home runs. He's also never figured out how to hold runners on, which can be crucial in one-run playoff games.

Finally, there's the most important reason of all: He's never figured out what was wrong so he's never been able to correct the problem. Read the Daily News story where he and Amaro say he is not tipping his pitches. He sounds like he's completely guessing. He talks about it's possible that hitters are able to see some of his sliders better because he changed his mechanics to compensate for his knee injury. There's no explanation for why some nights he is completely unable to locate his fastball.

Nothing in the last week/month/season has shown me that he has identified the problem and corrected it. Until he can hit Carlos' glove with sharp pitches on a consistent basis, I don't see how anyone who watches this team as much as we do can trust him.

(Side note to BAP: The Bruntlett/Lidge comparison isn't really fair. Lidge has been terrible this season. Bruntlett has been consistently terrible his whole career.)

Most likely, if not for the miscue in the outfield, Lidge would have pitched a 1-2-3 inning tonight. Can't ask for much more than that.

Old Phan: I know he got three outs, but to me it looked like he had trouble locating his pitches and then he got hit hard. But I seem to be the only one, so I maybe I'm seeing things.

Old Phan: If he pitches great in the playoffs, I'd forgive him too. But, if it were my call, he would never get the chance to pitch great in the playoffs because, based on what he's done this season, there is absolutely no reason to trust him in the playoffs.

Jay: About his pitching brilliantly and suddenly showing total command of his pitches . . . good question. If he did that, I'd put him on the playoff roster. But if Madson keeps pitching well, I'd stick with him as closer. Now my question: do you really think there's even a 5% chance he's going to start pitching brilliantly? He loooked OK tonight in as low leverage a save situation as you could possibly have. But he was far from brilliant.

I'm with BAP. Lidge had all season to figure this out, and he hasn't. We already know that Lidge isn't suddenly going to snap out of it--it's a total crapshoot with him every time now, and thats not likely to change. IMO that means you try out Madson and Myers, and if neither of them pitch well enough to become closer, you can go back to Lidge for the playoffs, but until then you stop pitching him in the ninth.

Lidge was "less bad" today. Not bad but not sharp either. Frankly, the worst thing that can happen with Lidge is that he picks up a couple of these saves where the Phils are up 3 runs in the 9th against a garbage team like the Nats.

It might give Cholly just enough faith in Lidge that he will use Lidge in a close save situation in the playoffs where Lidge will likely fail especially if it is a 1-run game.

Lidge still doesn't look like a guy who can help this team in the playoffs.

BAP: yea I don't really expect him to pitch brilliantly. Just wondered if something might click for him. Hamels' performance this year changed pretty quickly and maybe Brad's will too. Maybe if Brad is pitching in the postseason he'll step up his game. He will have flashbacks of 2008 and things click for him. Maybe we don't want to find out lol

I think it's in the phils best interest to keep putting Lidge out there for the 9th until maybe a week and a half from the end of season and hope he figures things out. The bullpen works better with Lidge in 9th and Madson in 8th. If Madson closes, who is your 8th inning guy? Myers? He gave up 3 runs in 8th inning the other night. Or you can hope for 8 inning games from Lee, Hamels.... but that's not guarenteed

Edit: spelled guaranteed

Greg v: At this point it would take literally a Metsian collapse to lose the division. We are 7.5 up with 17 to play.

Jay: I disagree. I would rather see Madson in the role with Tyler Walker in the eighth inning. Lidge has had more than enough chances to figure things out in the ninth inning. Madson has not been good in the closer's role, but if we're going to give someone a chance to figure things out in the ninth, I'd much rather give that chance to the guy who has been effective in at least one role this season. And if you're comparing Walker's and Lidge's seasons this year, there's no doubt that Walker has been the more effective pitcher. I don't think he's exactly the best, but at least give him a shot at a more important role. Just about anyone else would be better than Lidge. And instead of continuing to put Lidge out there, we should be trying other things so we're not stuck with our current setup in the playoffs

When I saw Lidge come out of the pen, I closed my eyes . . then fell asleep. Lidge has finally shortened the game to 8 innings.

If Phils collapse it would be worse than the Mets since we have a bigger lead than they did at this point...

It was good to see Lidge wrap the game up, and not have it turn into a funhouse carnival upon his entry. I really can't fault Cholly too much thus far for trying and trying again to see if Lidge regresses to the mean and becomes a shadow of the closer he was last year.

But count me as one of those not convinced by Lidge's outing last night. He struggled to find the plate, let alone demonstrating much command; and several balls were hit pretty hard. In just one inning. I do not think there is ANY of that "lights out" confidence he engendered last year from the team, the coaches, or the fans.

Although velocity does not appear to be the problem, I'm convinced neither he nor Dubee, nor Cholly really knows what the problem is. Is it tipping the pitches, the knee, the blister, too much overthinking on the mound, issues working from the stretch? Some combination? What? It may be unknowable.

Maybe give him a couple more games to see if by some miracle he "comes around". Indeed, Hamels has seemed to ramp things up a notch, and he acknowledged that in a post game interview last night. But I think we are at the point where it is becoming more important to get everyone settled in and acclimated to their potential roles in post season than to continue to ride it out hoping Lidge can fix things that haven't been shown to be fixable for 90% of the season.

Do we really want to go into post season - enough of a roller coaster ride when everything is set in stone - with Madsen and Myers not really knowing whether they will close or set up? Cholly cannot control many factors such as Park's injury, how a given player responds on a given day, etc. But the Lidge situation and how to handle it with his team, is within his control.

Anyone know what the Phils' magic number is now?

I'm as hard on Lidge as anyone but I'd hardly call what happened 'allowing' a run. Even if Werth or Francisco had played it right, let alone caught it, and held Duke to a double he wouldn't have scored.

The magic number is 10. That is the Braves elimination #. Marlins E # is 9.

As indicated, I didn't see the inning Lidge pitched so I must trust the opinions of those who say the run was due to shoddy defense. Still, the excuse-making is tiresome. The guy has given up at least one run in almost half his appearances. It's beyond awful. With that said, the voices clamoring for Myers to close are dreaming - the Phillies are publicly saying what was obvious for hte past week that Myers isn't ready for a full work load, much less the closer role. Madson might be able to do it but, somebody has to pick up Park's slack if he isn't ready when the playoffs start. At this point, as much as I want to join the chorus calling for him to be deactivated in the playoffs, Lidge doesn't really have a replacement in the bullpen, although Madson seems his only potential replacement as closer. If Madson is going to do that, Lidge may slide into the 8th inning and, I'd be tempted to just do that now instead of jerking around for another couple weeks.

Yo, new thread

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