The Phillies had a lot of things working against them last night. Roy Oswalt, the Astros ace, was sure to pitch a good game; the Phillies offense has been slumbering lately; and Chase Utley was out of the line-up with a bruised foot. What the Phillies did not count on working against them was their own teammate, Brad Lidge. But that has been the story all year long and still, manager Charlie Manuel refuses to do anything about it.
The patience has run out with Lidge, who took a 4-3 lead in the 9th inning and then proceeded to hand the Astros a 5-4 victory. It was his 10th blown save of the season, which leads ALL closers in the majors, as does his 0-7 record and disgusting 7.15 ERA. Only Matt Capps of the Pirates has more losses, but also has more wins: 3-8 record. This makes Brad Lidge officially the WORST closer in baseball. Lidge has gone from first in 2008, to worst in 2009.
There are no more excuses that can be made for him; Lidge is DONE. Give the job to Brett Myers, who incidentally, pitched a scoreless, hitless 8th inning last night in his first appearance back since hip surgery. Maybe Lidge can come back next year, but for 2009 in a playoff push, the Phillies cannot afford to wait for him to find his pitches. BENCH HIM NOW!
So a nice offensive breakout by the Phillies was totally wasted. A good performance by Joe Blanton who pitched 6 innings of 3 run ball was wasted. A nice job by our bench players to fill in for Utley , like Miguel Cairo who went 2 for 4 with a double – wasted. And the Phillies lead in the NL East has now dwindled to 6.5 games.
This afternoon, the Phillies will lean on Cole Hamels to right the ship. Game time is 2:05pm.
Photo by Jenn