Spell Check for the Phillies…

This week is going to be
a struggle to stay on top of things, work has become an issue, or rather
a time consuming event at the moment, so let me apologize in advance if
I miss commenting some of your blog’s, I will try and catch up at the
weekend, with that said my own blog will suffer and I may not get
another post in till the weekend, we will see how things transpire, so I
leave with these thoughts on the closers situation in Philadelphia.

How successful can a team
be with a 74% chance of your closer giving you a successful finish. At
this time it means you could be 4 1/2 games up in your division with 47
games left to play, with more than 50% of those against division rivals.
How important will your closer be during this final stretch. Well it’s
all a numbers game and if you make the math work for the worst scenario
then you could find yourself 1 game back at the end of the season, best
scenario is you will win the division by a sizeable margin, but we all
now that is less likely than worst scenario. It’s time to look at
alternatives to try and make sure we are going to have a better chance
to win the division and get to the play offs, after all isn’t that why
Pedro Martinez is pitching tonight, which is currently in a rain delay.

If we review Brad Lidge’s
stats we can decide if we should be at least trying to utilize someone
else, or restricting the situations when he actually comes into the
game. Recently, both Manuel and Amaro, expressed their confidence in
Lidge, with Charlie saying "he thinks Lidge needs just one clean
inning to get back on track"
, sorry Charlie, but I think he’s
missed that boat.

Career, Lidge averages
about 17 pitches per inning, 2008 he averaged 18 pitches per inning,
2009 he’s averaging 20 pitches per inning, this stat tells you he’s
losing something.

Career, Lidge saves about
84% of save opportunities, 2008 he was at 100%, 2009 he’s at 74%, again
says he’s losing something.

Career, Lidge averages
1.3 base runners per inning, 2008 he averaged 1.2, 2009 he is averaging
1.9, again says he’s losing something.

Career, Lidge averages 0.42
runs per inning, 2008 he averaged 0.24, 2009 he is averaging 0.88 runs
per inning, again says he’s losing something.

With all this in mind I
propose that if the Phillies will not look into other options than they
should at least consider a spelling change.

Lets face it a closer with attitude is
going to strike out more than he lets his fielders assist, so if you
can’t strike them out your going to be in greater jeopardy of BLOWING
the save as well as your hand.

The recommendation, try Chan Ho Park a
few times, what can he do that Lidge isn’t except save more games. If
Park is doing okay, send Lidge to ‘AAA’ to work out his problems, be
them physical or mental.


Brad Lidge…’it’s all about you’

When a team has got a lead going into the final inning of a baseball game it’s the closers job to come in and shut down the opposition so that your team gets the win. It doesn’t matter whether it’s the 9th, 10th or even more, and it doesn’t matter if your at home or on the road, it is without a doubt the primary responsibility of the closer to secure that win.

Yesterday in Atlanta the Phillies did exactly that, Cole Hamels pitched good, for him this season, through 6 innings, giving up just 2 runs on 3 hits, okay he walked 4, but still considering how he has performed this year, when it came to crunch time and the Phillies needed a good outing he gave us one.

The bullpen came in to relieve Hamels in the 7th inning and gave another good performance, shutting the Braves down in the 7th and 8th innings. So now its up to the closer, Brad Lidge, to enter the game and not give anything away. We have all seen him this year, but Charlie Manuel and his coaches still have confidence in Lidge to come out and do his job. Maybe its time to re-think Charlie, Lidge is not cutting it at the moment. Yes the error by Utley didn’t help, but then loading the bases, because your afraid of the strike zone doesn’t help either.

Trying to blow magic on your hand, like a magician, isn’t going to work Lidge, you shouldn’t have loaded the bases in the first place.

If this wasn’t a message to Charlie Manuel then I don’t know what would be, and if Lidge can’t do it, if he has some inner- self that’s giving him a hang-up, then he should be a man and tell Charlie, and save us all the continued embarrassment of sending a closer out there that nobody is afraid to face.

I could offer up some suggestions, I am sure many a blogger will, I am also sure many fans that don’t  blog here will be commenting at the ZoZone about what should be done and how to do it, but the bottom line is you get paid to make those decisions Charlie and it’s time you made one regarding Lidge. You had no trouble telling us “it’s for the best interest of the team”, when you sent Moyer to the pen, so how about that same attitude regarding the closers spot.

Today JA Happ goes to the mound, I just hope if this is a tight game and the Phillies have the lead at the end, we use an alternative to Lidge…


The Pen….

The Pen MLB Network Sunday nights…. if you haven’t seen it, youre missing out. The only problem with this show is it isn’t long enough. I normally DVR this show and watch it on the off day, so I get my 7 day Philly fix. This show has given me a new found respect for the guys in the bullpen. You only saw them for an inning or one hitter, if they did good then they did their job if they sucked you didn’t want to see them for a few days. Well this show has introduced you to their personalities, it has shown you want they go through just to stay in the pen. I have to say it’s probably one of the hardest jobs on the team, like they say, these guys have one shot, they have to bring their best and deliver, if they screw up or have a bad day, the whole team suffers. I know you might think the same goes for the rest of the players too. Consider this, position player has a bad day, his team mates try and pick up the slack over 9 innings, if the starter has a bad day then the fielders can help and there is always the bullpen. So next time the bullpen has a bad day, don’t be so hard on them, especially Madson and Lidge who probably have the hardest jobs in the pen. Watch The Pen on MLB Network and you too may get a new found respect for these guys.