Tagged: Brett Myers

Lidge: 11 Strikes, And He’s Out…Or Is He?


The Phillies needed a win last night to bury the Florida Marlins and end any chance they may have at the playoffs.  Cole Hamels pitched 7 innings and allowed 4 runs on 8 hits.  Not a great day for Cole, but it kept the team in the game.

The team took a 6-4 lead into the 8th inning last night and after a 45 minute rain delay, Ryan Madson pitched the 8th.  Madson gave up a single, hit the next batter and eventually gave up one run to make it a 6-5 game.  Ok, fine.  They should still win the game, right?  Wrong.

P8306049 Lidge.jpgEnter (again) Brad Lidge: a double, a walk and 2 singles later, not only does Lidge blow the save, but he loses the game for the Phillies…again. 

11 blown saves later, a disgusting 7.48 ERA which leads all closers in baseball and what does manager Charlie Manuel have to say about it?  In a Forrest Gump moment, Manuel tells the media, “I’ve got confidence in him. I keep sending him back out there and hopefully he does the job. That’s about all I can say.”  Really?  Is that ALL you have to say about that???  OMG.

Ok, let me throw a cushion out there for a second – we all love Manuel and we all appreciate Lidge for what he did last year.  And as people, they are both very nice, dedicated and all-around good guys.  That being said, here come the pins in the cushion.  Lidge is DONE as this team’s closer, at least for 2009.  Manuel, as loyal as he is, needs to put the TEAM first and personal feelings aside.  He cannot continue to let Lidge hurt this team!

I sound like a broken record again, I know.  But how many more disasters does the rest of this team have to put up with?  They play their hearts out every game to win only to be let down by BOTH Lidge and Manuel.  Lidge clearly has issues and maybe he can work them out in the off-season and come back next year renewed.  But for 2009, he should be benched and if the team makes the playoffs, he should not even be on the post-season roster.

Note I said “if” the team makes the playoffs.  With a 6.5 game lead, it should be a lock.  However, if Manuel keeps throwing Lidge out there, I’d say the chances are closer to 50/50.  Give the closers role to Madson or Brett Myers, if he gets healthy or even JC Romero if he returns soon.  I would rather see Eric “unassisted triple play” Bruntlett (Phillies utility player) on the mound than Lidge at this point.  It is THAT bad.  So, why does everyone see this except for Manuel?

Charlie: I love ya, but if this team goes down in flames because of your loyalty to Lidge, the Philadelphia fans, media and maybe even the team management will tear you to pieces.  And how are the other players going to feel when their hard work goes down the toilet as a result?  I would not want to be in your shoes when this happens.

And so the Magic Number stays at 5 since the Phillies lost their series to the Fish, 1-2.  Up next, the Phils will play a 4-game series in Milwaukee against the Brewers starting tonight at 8:05pm.  I wish them luck and a “Lidge-Free” day.

Photo by Jenn

 

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the My Team Rivals network*

 

 

Bullpen Blows 4 Run Lead


Thumbnail image for 0912 Moyer.jpgThis game got off to an ominous start when Jamie Moyer allowed 4 runs before he even recorded an out in the 1st inning.  Things were not looking good.  But the Phillies offense battled back and by the 6th inning, they had an 8-4 lead over the Mets.  Chase Utley, Pedro Feliz and Raul Ibanez all homered to give the team a lift.

And yet, despite 12 hits, including the 3 homers, 3 doubles and a triple (Rollins), the bullpen blew the game for the Phillies.  Even Moyer battled back after a terrible start and wound up with 5 runs allowed over 7 innings.  It appeared as if the planets would align and the Phillies would overcome the bad start.  But when Ryan Howard struck out with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 8th, fans began to wonder if that would come back to haunt them.


091209.jpgLet the haunting begin…the bad start came full circle and turned into a bad ending as well.  Brett Myers and Chan Ho Park combined in the 8th inning to give the Mets 3 more runs, making the score 9-8.  With a precarious 1 run lead, Ryan Madson took the mound in the 9th and gave up a two run homer to David Wright with 2 outs in the inning, his second homer plus 6 RBI’s on the night.  Madson, in for the struggling Brad Lidge, has now blown his 6th save of the season.  Madson and Lidge together have 16 blow saves on the year.

It is official – this team has NO closer.  If the Phillies cannot close out games, they have no shot at success in the post-season, if they even get that far.  Unless a miracle occurs and Lidge can figure out what is ailing him, I hate to be the bearer of bad news but, we are so totally screwed.  I had a few other choice words in mind to express that feeling, but I will refrain for now.  Feel free to add your own “color” to that sentence.


gloves 091209.jpgFrustration
is another good word – frustration, disappointment and downright exasperation.  So, just to make myself feel better, here is a small piece of comic relief.  At batting practice today, I watched a Mets player using what appears to be a child’s glove to shag balls.  It is tiny and quite colorful.  Check out the comparison between a real glove and the baby-glove:

I have had my fun for the day then :O)  The Phillies have a double-header tomorrow night with Kyle Kendrick pitching the 1:05pm game and Pedro Martinez at 8:05pm.  I will be at the night game praying for a win!  For now, here is the Photo Album from today’s game.

Photos by Jenn

 

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the My Team Rivals network*

 

Soggy Win Puts Phillies Up 6 Games Again

A special thanks today to the Florida Marlins who lost against the Nationals last night, giving the Phillies back their 6 game lead in the NL East and making me feel a tad better.  After an awful road trip, the Phillies came back home yesterday to slap the Mets with a wet noodle, beating them 4-2.


Hamels cr.jpgWhile not the strongest win of the year, it is a start to what Phillies fans hope will be a solid run to the post-season.  Cole Hamels looked a bit watered down from the rain and was not very sharp, but the results are what matters.  In 6 2/3 innings, Hamels allowed only 1 run even though he had a lot of base runners to deal with.

There were no home runs in the game and the Phillies actually manufactured runs with base hits and doubles.  Shane Victorino had 3 doubles in the game and 4 other players had at least 2 hits in the game.  One of those players was Jimmy Rollins who bounced back after Thursday’s 2-error game with a solid defensive performance, 2 hits and 1 RBI.  J-Roll also stole 2 bases.

Going into the 8th inning, Brett Myers pitched a scoreless, hitless inning and is looking very sharp since his return from hip surgery.  However, it is looking more and more like Ryan Madson will be the new closer.  Although, last night Madson had a very Brad Lidge-like outing in the 9th where he gave up 2 hits and 1 run.  A double play helped him close out the game, but he was not exactly “lights out”  which may be a concern. 

I am still not sold on Madson as the closer.  I think Myers would be better at it and wants it more than Madson does.  Madson was the perfect 8th inning guy; why mess with that if you do not have to?  And remember, Madson blew 4 saves earlier this year when Lidge was on the DL.  It looks like the Phillies are being cautious with Myers after the injury, but he is ready now and in my opinion, should be the closer.

Of course, my opinion does not count :O(  Oh well!  The Phillies will take on the Mets again this afternoon at 4:05pm – I will be there and hope to stay dry :O)  Be back with photos!

Happy ButtDay…I mean Birthday…

My friend Sue at Rants, Raves and Random Thoughts is celebrating what I can only assume is her 29th birthday today!  None of us really age past 29, right?  So in honor of her ButtDay / Birthday, here is homage to one of both Sue’s and my own FAVORITE things!

http://www.facebook.com/v/132162387858

Video & Photos by Jenn

 

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the My Team Rivals network*

 

 

A New Closer?

Don’t get too excited Phillies fans; although Ryan Madson did close out the 6-5 win over the Nationals last night, it remains to be seen whether this is a permanent move or not.  P9087835 Madson.jpgThe unexpected, season-long decline of Brad Lidge has forced manager Charlie Manuel to sit him down.  Is Lidge out for the season?  Unlikely.  Manuel is famous for his loyalty and will not give up on Lidge unless he has no other choice.  But with 10 blown saves, the worst closer in baseball may be teetering on the brink of losing his job for the rest of 2009.

 

What is more likely to happen is Madson or Brett Myers will close when the game is close and Lidge will be given a few more shots if there is a 3-run lead to play with.  But in a close game last night, it was a no-brainer to bring in Madson.  He has pitched well lately and saved Lidge from sure disaster the night before, escaping a 1-out bases loaded situation in the 9th.  Last night, Madson saved the game giving up one hit and striking out one batter.

 

Cliff Lee got the win, although for the 3rd start in a row, he did not look too solid.  Lee gave up 10 hits and 4 earned runs over 7 innings, although he did not issue any walks.  Still, Lee kept the Phillies in the game and allowed the offense to battle for him.

 

For the second night in a row and 10th time this year, the Phillies hit back-to-back home runs.  This time it was Jayson Werth and Pedro Feliz doing the honors in the 8th inning to solidify a lead for the Phils.  Four players had at least 2 hits in the game, including Werth, Feliz, Shane Victorino and Raul Ibanez.  Even Lee helped out with the bat getting his 7th hit as a Phillie and his first career RBI.  That RBI may have been the difference maker in the game.

 

The Phillies will try to sweep the Nationals tonight at 7:05pm.  Joe Blanton will face former Met, Livan Hernandez.  Best of luck to them!

 

Photos by Jenn

 

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the My Team Rivals network*

 

Homer Happy

After a depressing 4 game slide against the Astros, the Phillies bats came out swinging last night against the Nationals.  Five home runs later, and it looked like this team may be finding its stride again.  Raul Ibanez busted out of his slump with 2 of the 5 homers plus a single.  The other 3 home runs came courtesy of Jayson Werth, Carlos Ruiz and Chase Utley.  The Phillies became only the 12th team in history last night to have at least 4 players with 30 or more home runs in a season: those 4 are Utley, Werth, Ibanez and Ryan Howard.

Although the forecast called for rain last night, Pedro Martinez got a break from Mother Nature and was able to pitch 6 2/3 innings uninterrupted.  Martinez gave up 3 runs on 7 hits and a walk and did a good job keeping the Phillies in the game.  He even showed some attitude when he signaled to a Nationals player that he had his eye on him.

Here are a few shots from the game:

Thumbnail image for 090809a.jpg

Despite the 5-3 lead going into the 9th inning, the drama was not yet over for the Phillies.  As usual and despite his struggles, Brad Lidge was sent in for the save and proceeded to self-destruct once again.  A hit, then a hit batter and a walk loaded the bases.  With only one out and the game on the line, Charlie Manuel emerged from the dugout, angrily tossed his gum across the dirt and took Lidge out of the game.  Ryan Madson bailed him out by retiring the Nationals best hitters in order; Ryan Zimmerman struck out and Adam Dunn grounded out.

It seems to be crystal clear to everyone except Charlie Manuel that Lidge is DONE.  He should be removed from the closer role immediately.  This has gone on long enough and has turned into a major problem.  I respect Lidge as a person and as the guy who got it done for this team in 2008, but this has gone too far.  Put him on ice and try it again next year.  If Manuel refuses to do what is necessary, then I believe GM Ruben Amaro Jr. needs to step in and take the decision out of his hands.  I have never been a fan of GM’s interfering with the manager, but in this case, it appears that Manuel just cannot muster the courage to do the right thing.

I feel for Charlie, really I do.  I would not want to be in his shoes, but the manager needs to put personal feelings aside and get this team back on track.  Brett Myers has experience closing and he wants to do the job.  Right now, Lidge looks like he is dreading having to step on the mound every time out.  Myers is capable, he is healthy and last night, he pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings; it was his third straight scoreless outing since returning from hip surgery.  Clearly, he is ready, willing and able to do the job.

I understand that Manuel does not want to crush the confidence of his closer, who is going to be with the Phillies for the next two years.  However, Lidge will have an entire off-season to get over it.  And yes, the Phillies have a lead in the division, but watch how fast that lead disappears when the Phillies do things like get swept in a four game series by the Astros and then nearly blow the next game against the Nationals because Manuel is worried about hurting feelings.  No lead is safe when your closer cannot perform.

Here is the full Photo Album from the game….enjoy!

 

Photos by Jenn

 

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the My Team Rivals network*

 

Lidge Blows His Tenth Save

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.  P8306049 Lidge.jpgBut 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

 

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the My Team Rivals network*

 

 

 

Age Trumps Youth As Martinez Regains Old Form

With 2 rain-shortened games for Pedro Martinez in his first 4 starts, he had to be wondering when he might get a real shot at showing the Phillies what he has left in the tank.  Wonder no more; Pedro is back to the Pedro of old.  The 3-time Cy Young award winner beat out the Giants ace, reigning NL Cy Young winner, Tim Lincecum.  Take a look at the stats comparison: 

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

HR

ERA

Martinez, P (W, 3-0)

7

5

1

1

0

9

1

3.52

Lincecum (L, 13-5)

7

4

2

2

1

11

1

2.34

 

Martinez Lincecum copy.jpgIt was a really, really close match up, but Martinez came out on top.  The only big mistake he made all night was the very first pitch of the game which the Giants Eugenio Velez sent into the outfield seats.  After that, it was lights out from Martinez.

Lincecum made a few more mistakes and the Phillies made him pay.  Jayson Werth sent a hanging slider into the second deck of the left field seats in the 2nd inning.  Then in the 6th, Chase Utley was hit by a pitch.  A visibly annoyed Lincecum then had to face the big man, Ryan Howard and Howard took advantage.  Howard smashed a fastball into centerfield for a double which scored Utley.   Those were the only two runs for the Phillies, but with the great pitching, it was all they needed. 

The back-end combination of Ryan Madson in the 8th and Brad Lidge in the 9th finally worked the way it was meant to.   Madson sent the Giants down in order and Lidge got the save, although it was another eventful one.  With 2 outs, he gave up a hit, a walk and two stolen bases.  But Lidge buckled down and to the relief of everyone, finally got the third out.  Whew!

In other news, Brett Myers is back!  He will be activated tonight when the Phillies travel to Houston to start a 4-game series.  Myers has made an amazing comeback from a very serious hip surgery that looked like it may have him out for the entire year.  But Myers worked hard to get back into shape and the Phillies can really use him in the pen, especially if Lidge had another melt down.

A few other September call-up include pitcher Jack Taschner, who was with the Phillies a good part of the year.  And Paul Hoover, a 33-year old career minor league catcher, has been called up as well.  We should also be seeing JC Romero back soon; I saw him working out with the team on Wednesday, which is a very good sign.

Tune your TV in to Phillies baseball tonight at 8:05pm; Cliff Lee will try to bounce back from a bad start his last time out against the Astros.  Go Phillies!

Photoshopping by Jenn

 

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the My Team Rivals network*