It's not a fluke hit or two...
Brad Lidge is having one of those horrific seasons that can not be underestimated!
Let's recap his line from last night:
No innings pitched... three batters faced.... three hits... three earned runs... one walk off homer.
And he did it against the Pirates. The POST TRADE DEADLINE Pirates.
Luis Cruz and his whopping 32 career games led off with a hit.
Career minor leaguer Brandon Moss followed with a hit.
Andrew McCutchen, the rookie in his 70th game, hit the walk off.
It's one thing when Tazawa lets up a walk off to A-Rod.
It's another thing when a World Series veteran gets schooled by rookies and quadruple A players.
His record is 0-6.
He has blown 9 saves.
His ERA is 7.33.
This isn't an April 7.33 ERA where you can blame it on one shellacking! This is a "Holy Crap! We may need to fake an injury soon!" situation.
Let me put it this way... let's say he throws 20 more innings this year.
And let's say he throws 20 scoreless innings to end the season.
His ERA would STILL be 5.13, unforgivably high for a closer!
The Phillies are going to make the post season... and if Cole Hamels pitches well, they could have a solid shot to repeat.
Which is why there is NO WAY Charlie Manuel can use him as a closer in the playoffs.
Now I heard on XM Home Plate this morning Seth Everett talking about "Well, who do the Phillies have in their bullpen who can close?"
Didn't I hear that same insane logic when the Giants were dragging Armando Benitez's fat butt to the mound night after night?
How could having Ryan Madson throw the 9th inning be worse? Lidge is literally letting up 7 runs for every 9 innings he pitches. If he is constantly brought into 1 run games, he would on average let the other team tie the game 7 out of 9 times.
Can Ryan Madson do better?
Hell, I think Ryan O'Neal could do better!
Did the Cardinals know what they had when Adam Wainwright was suddenly thrust into the closers role?
Or last year when Joe Torre decided to use Jonathan Broxton instead of Saito in the late innings?
There's talk about having Brett Myers, who has been out with a torn labrum since May, taking over the closer's role in the playoffs.
If that isn't a red flag I don't know what one is.
Seriously... I know just a year ago he was on the bottom of a pile celebrating the World Series. But that was the past. The Red Sox stayed with Keith Foulke a little too long in 2005 and it cost them the division title in the end.
They tried Curt Schilling and Mike Timlin in the closer role, all the while not being sure what to do with this young whipper snapper named Papelbon.
Have Madson close games NOW! Have him get used to the roll. Right now the Phillies have a 7 game cushion.
When the playoffs come around, the standings are thrown out the window and Lidge is bound to let one slip away.
Charlie Manuel was asked about this situation on MLB This Morning on XM. His answer was so evasive and round about, I am convinced he was coached by Sarah Palin.