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Philadelphia Sports Scene


September 13, 2009 4:04 AM

Phillies Closer Nightmare

Enough Already!!!

To quote Green Day: Wake me up when September ends.

I don't want to write or debate about the Phillies current closer predicament any longer. This is ridiculous...and almost laughable because the team is on the verge of collapsing like the Mets have the last two seasons.

The Florida Marlins are five games back and play the Phillies six more times, including the final series of the season at home which should make things interesting.

I don't want an interesting pennant race. It has been interesting the last few seasons and incredibly exciting but with health care in the state that it's in, I can't afford any late September heart attacks.

I think it is safe to say that Brett Myers, Brad Lidge, and Ryan Madson are not capable of closing a game at the moment. Whether it's health, confidence, or an amazing series of bad luck...further experimentation is needed.

I hate saying this especially after previously writing adamantly against this but...Pedro Martinez needs a shot at closing.

There I said it---knowing full well the list of arguments I have made against it:

1. He is old and might not be able to pitch night after night.
2. He has more value as a starter (he is better than J.A. Happ, Jamie Moyer, and Kyle Kendrick)
3. We have three "capable" pitchers in the bullpen (Myers, Madson, Lidge)--this point is fading quickly.
4. He has three career saves and the last one came in 1994 when he was with the Expos.
5. Putting Pedro in as the closer could potentially destroy any confidence Madson and Lidge have left.

Other options: J.C. Romero but he walks guys a lot and isn't expected back until mid September.

Martinez is supposed to start tomorrow night (Game 2 of the double header) against Tim Redding so it is highly unlikely a move would be made the day of his start but within the next few weeks Pedro Martinez should at least get one shot to come out of the bullpen.

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