Philadelphia Sports Scene

September 24, 2009 3:45 AM

The Rise and Fall of Brad Lidge

How the mighty have fallen.

This will be the fourth and, I pray, final time I write about Brad Lidge blowing a save. The same Phillies closer who was perfect last season. He finished 4th in Cy Young voting and 8th in MVP ballots in 2008.
Now, his stats are looking eerily similar to the horrendous year in 2006 only worse!

Tonight, he lost his 8th game of the season, has blown his 11th save, and increased his ERA to an unheard of 7.48. One run lead, bottom of the ninth....Phillies have a problem. I have ignored this obvious concern to the best of my ability but I can no longer turn a blind eye to how pathetic Brad Lidge has been this season.

I am not sure what season was more remarkable and beyond belief: the success of last season or the failure of this one.

This Phillies squad has everything, and I mean everything, a championship ball club needs.
Pedigree (defending champs), power (4 guys over 30 home runs), speed (Rollins, Victorino, Utley, Werth, and even Ryan Howard), defense (2 or 3 potential gold glove winners), starting pitching (AL Cy Young winner Cliff Lee, League and World Series MVP Cole Hamels, Joe Blanton having a career year, possible NL Rookie of the Year JA Happ, and a future Hall of Famer named Pedro Martinez), and even a solid set up man in Ryan Madson.

The only ? is the mental state of Brad Lidge. Physically, he must be fine because he still has nice velocity with his slider and fastball.

I thought his perfect season last year was a sign he was past the Albert Pujols saga.

However, it seems the fans in Philadelphia are reliving what happened in Houston a few years ago.

I have offered various opinions on what to do regarding Lidge and the closers role in general. Nothing has worked, although Charlie Manuel gave Ryan Madson his fair share of opportunities to no avail.

Post Season play begins in 2 weeks and the magic number remains at 5. The Phillies are a team that everyone fears, but Brad Lidge is one pitcher that batters are happy to face at the moment.

Don't count him out yet. You must have faith because the Phillies will continue live and die with Brad Lidge as their closer this season. Like it or not.

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