Brad Lidge recorded his 8th blown save of the season in the Phils 4-3 loss today. Was it all his fault? The Phillies failed to capitalize on some crucial situations with runners in scoring position (clearly the bane of their existence this year), so feasibly he should have had a larger lead to work with. Still Lidge was the one who loaded the bases without getting a single out, so he is at least partially at fault for the outcome.
To put his struggles into perspective, Since July 22nd Lidge has allowed at least one hit in seven out of his nine appearances, allowed at least one earned run in four out of nine, and his K:BB ratio (8:5) isn’t anywhere near where it was last season.
The Phillies insist he isn’t hurt, but at this point given Lidge’s recent performance that comes off more as wishful thinking than anything else. Something is clearly wrong with him whether it is mental or physical, and the Phils have to hope either a demotion or DL stint can fix it or Brett Myers can recover from his mysterious eye injury and take over the closer role. To those of you suggesting Madson should close, look back to late June when he blew three saves over a two week span. We don’t want to put him (or us) through that again.
Before you accuse me of jumping the gun and unnecessarily burying Lidge, let me say that I still love the guy, and I still believe he can be a dominant closer, but I don’t believe for a second he is pitching anywhere near 100% right now. Over the past few weeks he’s looked like the Brad Lidge of 2007 with Houston (where he coincidentally blew eight saves) rather than the Lidge of ’08. If the Phillies had a comfortable division lead we might be able to afford letting him work out of this funk, but given how close the race has gotten the Phils just can’t put it off any longer.
Interesting/Unfortunate Factoid of the Day
This comes courtesy of STATS:
Brad Lidge of the Phillies becomes just the 5th player since 1954 to have a loss, blown save and two errors in one game.