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Time for a change in the Phillies bullpen?

Sep 6, 2009, 11:27 AM EDT

He did it again. Brad Lidge blew his
major-league leading 10th save on Saturday night against the Astros,
giving up a walk-off single to Kaz Matsui in a 5-4 defeat.

As Ed Price of AOL Fanhouse pointed out,
his 10 blown saves are the most in the majors since 2006 when Ambiorix
Burgos had 12, Francisco Cordero and Huston Street had 11 and Jason
Isringhausen had 10. As for this season, the closest is J.P. Howell
with eight.

Now 0-7 with a 7.15 ERA and 1.79 WHIP in 57 appearances, it sounds like manager Charlie Manuel is starting to lose patience with his struggling closer:

“What do I think of [Lidge’s blown save]? I think it’s baseball. I think that’s what you call command. I think that’s what
you call being able to throw the ball over the plate and put it where
you want it. I think it’s staying focused on what you’re doing — executing your pitches.”

Sure, the Phillies are waltzing
their way to another division title, but they can’t possibly count on
someone with a 7.15 ERA to lock down important outs in the post-season.
Enter Brett Myers?

Remember, Myers went 21-for-24 in
save opportunities while compiling a 2.87 ERA and 64/18 K/BB ratio out
of the closer role for the Phillies in 2007. Coincidentally, he tossed
a scoreless inning of relief against the Astros on Saturday night, his
first appearance since returning from hip surgery.

Though the scrutiny is sure to increase as the playoffs approach, Myers is saying all the right things:

“I’m just back there to help. I’m not there to take
anyone’s job.”

While that may be true, Lidge isn’t doing much to keep his.

  1. Kim Perkins - Sep 6, 2009 at 12:53 PM

    Bring on that Alaska kid, Matt Way!

  2. Kim Perkins - Sep 6, 2009 at 12:54 PM

    Bring on that Alaska kid, Matt Way!

  3. Ron Bown - Sep 6, 2009 at 8:31 PM

    If I’m managing a team in the postseason, and we’ve got a 1-run lead going into the ninth, I STILL want Brad Lidge in there. And before too many people crow, somebody should actually beat him (or even score off him) in the post-season first. I’m still with ya, Brad!
    Of course, I still believe in Milton Bradley too. But before you send me to a shrink, remember that this guy who has basically been scapegoated for the Cubs’ whole season has an OPS that’s 30 points higher than the hero they traded away (Mark DeRosa), and 100 points higher than their great all-star catcher.

  4. sportsfan - Sep 6, 2009 at 8:43 PM

    Plus Bradley has a regular job, which is more than can be said for DeRosa.

  5. Vince - Sep 7, 2009 at 11:37 AM

    Ron Brown, you have got to be kidding man.
    First, Lidge from this year is not the same guy as Lidge from last year, be it injury or whatever.
    Second, did you really say “before too many people crow, somebody should actually beat him (or even score off him) in the post-season first?”
    Um….did you happen to be watching… know….the “post-season” when Albert Pujols lit him up like a X-mas tree and mentally scarred him for life? Get a clue, come on back.
    You lost all credibility when you back a guy like Milton Bradley. I don’t dislike the guy, but anyone with half a brain understands that it was a horrific signing considering what he cost the Cubs, and considering there were better guys who signed afterward for a fraction of the cost (see: Bobby Abreu).

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