Sunday, June 7, 2009

2008 Chachi #63 Brad Lidge HL

There's no denying Brad Lidge is struggling. In 28 games so far this year, Brad has saved 13 games in 19 opportunities. He has a 7.27 ERA and his WHIP (walks + hits/innings pitched) is an uncharacteristic 1.81.

The last time Brad blew at least 6 saves in a season (not including the Postseason) was 2007, when he blew 8 saves in 27 opportunities while still with the Astros. However, the big difference between that year and this year is that Brad's 6th blown save of 2007 didn't come until August 24th, his 54th appearance of the season. What makes his struggles so glaring this year are two factors:

1. They've come in bunches, early in the season. Brad will pitch effectively for 2 or 3 games, and then he'll have shaky consecutive outings.

2. He was perfect last year and we (the Phillies fans) got spoiled. He saved 41 regular season games in 41 opportunities. We knew a blown save would come sooner or later, but no one figured they would be this prevalent.

The only person who gets a say as to whether or not Brad Lidge remains the team's closer is the team's manager. To that end, when asked last night if he would be making a change within the bullpen, Charlie Manuel responded, "He'll always be my guy. His stuff is good. There's nothing wrong with his stuff. His stuff is good. ... I think it's important for him to keep his confidence. I think the opposite of how some other people think. My way of thinking is if you rest him or do something else with him or put him somewhere else, I think that can hurt his confidence. I'm speaking right from my heart. That's how I look at it because I played 20 years. I think I do know a little bit about it. His stuff is still good." I sure hope Charlie is right.


night owl said...

I think your point about Lidge being perfect last year is the big one. It makes six blown saves all the more glaring.

It's an awfully difficult job to be perfect in, which makes what Lidge did last year so extraordinary. I think what is happening to him now is he's coming back to earth. But really a few blown saves a season is pretty normal.

Jim said...

I keep hoping his next streak is right around the corner. If he goes 30 for his next 30, and the Phils make the Postseason again, these 6 blown saves will be all but forgotten.