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Return of Bad Brad dooms Phillies

Nov 2, 2009, 12:08 AM EDT

It was fun while it lasted.
Lidge opened the postseason with five straight scoreless appearances. He put together that kind of streak just once during the regular season, when he saved five in a row from May 26-June 1. Of course, he finished the regular season 0-8 with 11 blown saves and a 7.21 ERA.
It looked like Lidge might be on his way to another flawless inning Sunday in a tie game against the Yankees, as he retired Hideki Matsui on a popout and struck out Derek Jeter to begin the top of the ninth. A Johnny Damon single and then one of the oddest double steals you’ll ever see followed. With Mark Teixeira up and the shift employed, Damon swiped second and kept on going, reaching third easily since third baseman Pedro Feliz had been covering second.
Damon’s presence on third as the go-ahead run appeared to make Lidge nervous about using his slider. He went on to hit Teixeira and then give up a go-ahead double on a fastball to Alex Rodriguez that caught too much of the plate. Jorge Posada followed with a hard two-run single to the gap, and Lidge only got out of the inning because one of the game’s worst baserunners chose to continue on to second and was thrown out by 20 feet. Mariano Rivera finished from there, and the Yankees won 7-4.
It was another well played game until the ninth. CC Sabathia was fine on three days’ rest, surrendering three runs in 6 2/3 innings. Joe Blanton overcame a poor first to keep the Phillies in it by allowing four runs over six innings. Chase Utley homered off Sabathia, and Pedro Feliz tied the game in the eighth with a solo shot off Joba Chamberlain. The Yankees got their runs without hitting a homer. It helped that they really bunched together their hits. All seven runs and eight of their nine hits came in three innings (the first, fifth and ninth).
That the Phillies have gotten so little from the first, fourth and sixth spots in their order has made it very difficult for them to sustain rallies. Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard and Raul Ibanez are all struggling mightily right now. Ibanez was particularly awful tonight. His first at-bat, a strikeout against Sabathia with two on and two out in the first, was the worst that any hitter had all night, and he ended up 0-for-4 with three strikeouts.
The Phillies now face a big uphill climb to come back in the World Series. They’re the definite favorites in Game 5, with Cliff Lee pitching at home against A.J. Burnett on short rest. Still, even if they prevail then, taking two in a row in Yankee Stadium, without having Lee to fall back on, will be extremely difficult.

  1. mm - Nov 2, 2009 at 11:00 AM

    Gary Ray Betz………………instead of sports figures or any other public figures, why don’t you try doing something with your life and make YOURSELF your kids role model………then you do not have to worry what other folks do.

  2. Tom - Nov 2, 2009 at 11:15 AM

    Jelly Roll said the Phillies would take it in 5 games. Will game 5 be when Jelly Roll starts to play or is he just going to continue to run his mouth with a plastic bat? Perhaps Charlie Manuel will put someone in at short who can actually hit.

  3. Ranger Rich - Nov 2, 2009 at 11:25 AM

    The elephant in the room is the poor performance by the Phillie Manager. Yes, the hitters are slumping, and Lidge didn’t pitch particularly well, but the Manager put the shift on!
    C’mon, Charlie, show some faith in the basics of The Great Game! Teixeira might hit it between normally positioned fielders, and he might hit a home run. But, if the ball stays in play, your guys will at least have someone to throw to!
    Johnny Damon didn’t take advantage of Brad Lidge – he stole those bases off Charlie Manuel! Everything else failed in a cascade from there.
    And, please, give up on Matt Stairs! He’s been a good (not great) hitter, but his time is over. Second out in NY when you needed three runs, and first out last night when you needed three runs. He isn’t going to hit a three-run homer with nobody on base!
    Surely there’s a bench player left who has a better chance of getting a hit. All you needed was a hit to start things off. Matt Stairs wasn’t – and isn’t going to deliver. Heck, he has to hit a double just to have time to waddle to first base, and then you’ll have to sub for him anyway!
    Players play and managers manage. And players often play on through bad plays. But the Phillies are being managed out of any chance!

  4. John - Nov 2, 2009 at 11:32 AM

    Lidge, on advice from Rollins, felt generous last night and thus allowed NY to scratch out a couple of hits. All it does is add to the drama when Philly comes back to win it all. PHILLIES IN SEVEN!!! MARK MY WORDS!!!

  5. Bree - Nov 2, 2009 at 12:04 PM

    John, are you serious?? I wouldn’t like anything more but can we win in game 7 with the shaky Hamels? Do you know something the rest of us don’t know or is this blind faith? Or are you playing devil’s advocate?

  6. jaymen - Nov 2, 2009 at 12:10 PM

    Funny to see the Phillies bashing A-rod for using steriods in the past, considering their own teams history with steriods… anyone hear remember Lenny Dykstra? I guess the Phillies stole the pennant in 1993, right? The Phillies lost this series when the classless Jimmy Rollins shot off his big mouth. In my 35 yrs as a Yankee fan, I have NEVER seen a Yankee show disrepect for their opponent the way Rollins did. Jeter is not only out classing Rollins on the field, but off the field as well.

  7. Shely - Nov 2, 2009 at 12:17 PM

    Lidge is still snake bit. Who will he play for next year, as certainly the Phillthys will not give him any more chances. It is all in his head, he should be better than this.

  8. nyyankees1 - Nov 2, 2009 at 12:46 PM

    Come on John, I dont even know you but I do know that you have are smarter than this comment(I hope)!! The Phillies have a great chance to win tonight with Lee on the mound but after that they are done!! From the begining of the series I picked the Yankees in six! I hope they prove me wrong and do it in 5!!! The Yankees “will” win MARK MY WORDS!!!!

  9. Ladyfan - Nov 2, 2009 at 1:14 PM

    Actually Micheil, there are many things that I would be VERY unhappy about my children doing, no matter how much money they could make or what kind of “legend” or “dynasty” or whatever you want to call it, they could start. That’s not what life is about, that’s not why we are here. That being said, and by the way I am not a Yankee fan, we all need to give the steroids thing a rest. It happened, and it happened with a lot more players than we will ever know. A lot of them will probably get away with it and their names will never come up. In plain fact, A-Rod won the game for the Yankees last night, and whether I like the man or not (which happens to be “not”), the truth is that champions win when it counts. We Red Sox fans know this, and I haven’t seen any of us whining because we didn’t make the World Series. We were outplayed, pure and simple. Just like the Phillies last night. It counts tonight. Let’s see who wins.

  10. John - Nov 2, 2009 at 2:12 PM

    Lee will dominate tonight, Pedro will get the best of Pettite in game six and Hammels will finally pull it together in game seven! Never lose faith Bree, NEVER!!! PHILLIES IN SEVEN!!! MARK MY WORDS!!!

  11. Old Gator - Nov 2, 2009 at 2:15 PM

    Don’t worry, Feelies fans. Kevin Gregg is sitting by his phone, waiting for the call, munching on one of those horsemeat and velveeta heroes just to nudge his karma along. You just need to pull a Mike Andrews maneuver with Lidge….

  12. TAlex - Nov 2, 2009 at 2:20 PM

    John, when will you learn? You are quite funny though. First it was the Angels who were going to come back on the Yankees and now it’s the Phillies who are going to win 3 straight when they’ve looked just dreadful the last 3 games?
    If there is one thing about THIS Yankees team is that when they smell blood in the water the other team is dead. Go ask the Red Sox, Tampa, the Twins, and the Angels.
    The Phillies are a great team and I love their players, but some years you can just tell when a team is going to win it all (like the Phillies last year and the Red Sox in 2004). This series is toast even if it goes to a game 6.
    And we’ve been “marking your words” John. So far you’ve been wrong every time. Stop being lame and try enjoying the games. This series has some of the best players in MLB: great pitchers, great hitters, compelling closers, and each game has had great twists and turns. Why don’t the fans of whoever loses the game the night before start having some grace and stop calling the other players who beat them “monsters of the universe.” You can say something bad about every MLB player, but you’d be a whole lot happier if you learned to watch the game as a MLB fan. I think seeing Chase Utley and Jason Worth and Derek Jetter and Johnny Damon and Mariano Rivera and Cliff Lee and A-Rod has been incredible. It’s too bad so many of you have no joy in watching the games no matter what happens. The Yankees lost the 2001 World Series, but that World Series was one of the best.
    Try enjoying the game, huh, John? Mark my words. You might not post a dumb post tomorrow if you learned to like baseball a little!

  13. John - Nov 2, 2009 at 2:26 PM

    And do you enjoy the games when your team loses TAIex? That’s what I thought. As for the Angels they’re not my team I just wanted them to beat the Yankees (in six) but like Nostradamus I missed that one. However with the Phillies it will happen!!! PHILLIES IN SEVEN!!! MARK MY WORDS!!!

  14. John - Nov 2, 2009 at 2:27 PM

    And for the record I have never bad mouthed any of the Yankee players. PHILLIES IN SEVEN!!! MARK MY WORDS!!!

  15. Bruce - Nov 2, 2009 at 2:31 PM

    Did you actually pull my blog because it wasn’t about baseball, or because it wasn’t about sniveling?

  16. Bruce - Nov 2, 2009 at 2:42 PM

    This may not be as important as Brad Lidge’s pitching future, but it is definitely more preposterous:
    msnbc has announced that neither the curve nor the slider actually curve — it is an illusion instead! This from Dr. Nancy (eyes/doctor — get it?/) during her noon hour show, as a “spin” subject, and from some poorly unidentifiable “scientific” group.
    She’s one of the contacts which are not made available on line on this site. This is not “science”‘, and it seems unlikely that anyone who knows baseball will presumably be laughing it off. And laughing and laughing…
    Or maybe it’s not so funny, a good doctor losing her crediblity so suddenly like that, live on air.

  17. zzlbc - Nov 2, 2009 at 3:19 PM

    I would stop beating up Gary Ray Betz considering most of you who are commenting idolize these guys as it is or you would not even be defending a guy who not only cheated but broke the law. You are all incorrect by thinking children do not look up to professional athletes. If you do, you must have not played sports. What kid who plays baseball says, “I want to be like my dad who played varsity baseball in high school”? He does not, he says “I want to be A-Rod or Jimmy Rollins or Pudge Rodruiguez”. So to think that no matter what, as adults, we would like for our kids and want them to idolize, that they do not want to idolize over paid athletes that do drugs and cheat is the fault of the parents, I would disagree. I am sure that my father would have wanted nothing more than for me to idolize him or real heros like doctors, firefighter, cops, etc. but instead I wanted to be Pete Rose. That is what kids do. So, despite what you think or say, athletes are role models. The fact that A-Rod cheated makes him a poor role model at best and the fact that he did not even acknowledge his drug use tells me that he is a coward as well off the field. Unfortunately kids idolize the player and not the man, but in this case the man is what has made the player what he is, a cheater. He is no different than Bonds in that regard. Jeter is the true MVP of that team and in my opinion, the best player, lead, a role model in MLB. Jeter does a lot with kids, camps, etc. He is what a professional athlete should be.

  18. Mike - Nov 2, 2009 at 3:20 PM

    I am a passionate Phils fan, but I have to give the Yankees their due and say they are the better team. Better pitching overall (Cliff Lee can’t throw every night), better closer (duh), better clutch hitting. Ryan Howard and Raul Ibanez have been great all year, but look below average during this series. Don’t particularly like A-Rod, but Jeter may be classiest act in baseball. And I think NY fans realize they are spoiled with #42 coming out of the pen – the rest of baseball will welcome his retirement.

  19. Adam - Nov 2, 2009 at 3:33 PM

    If Lee doesn’t pitch exactly the same as game 1 then tonight it will be done. Yankees have got to be relaxed, their playing with house money. Sure they want to win tonight. But three chances for 1W, well that will make for a comfortable team.
    Just remember Jeter owned Lee in game one. Lee is great but Jeter is HOF material, and even better in the playoffs.
    Mariano will get his MVP award tonight!

  20. wbahner - Nov 2, 2009 at 4:06 PM

    “WHAT IS THE PROBLEM ?” – Your inability to find the “Caps Lock” key, for starters….

  21. Don - Nov 2, 2009 at 4:10 PM

    The Giants suck. That’s who sucks now. Ahahahahahahha!!

  22. Marshall Proano - Feb 4, 2010 at 5:24 AM

    I would indicate doing self-complacent merchandising, let me explain. You can get a video professionally produced for around $47.00 97.00 (30-60 seconds) proving your quality desk drawer slide. You can even try how simplified it is to destruct your challengers and blast it around over 100 internet video sites for as little as $5.00 per site to be done manualy!You can get keyword search done for you professionally, keying the keyword phrases that will get you a adequate amount of search volum, yes with lower competing pages. Thank you for this article! I’ve just learned a certainly marvelous blog about true marketing Test it!

  23. Genia Cajka - Feb 8, 2010 at 9:49 PM

    I think that background checks should be classified based on how deep they are.

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