Thursday, September 24, 2009
Big Trouble in Little Philly
Brad Lidge blew his Major League leading 11th save last night. Quite simply, he has got to go. With the Phillies headed into the playoffs, the team cannot afford to have him closing out games. I was willing to let him work out his kinks all season, but he has not been able to figure what he is doing wrong and that is unacceptable for a closer in the playoffs. In the playoffs, I think the Phillies might want to consider Brett Myers as their closer. Bottom line, we can't have a guy blowing a save 25% of the time in the playoffs.
The Phils are sitting relatively pretty at 88-63 with a 6.5 game lead and a magic number of 5 in the NL East. However, imagine where they would be if Ryan Madson and Brad Lidge hadn't blown 16 saves collectively this year, most of which lead to losses. They probably would have clinched before the Yankees. Due to their closer problems though, they are still 5 games away and are not considered a real playoff threat.
Playoff games are way too important to have shaky closers. The Phillies can't afford to blow any saves in the playoffs if they are going to repeat as World Series Champs. Quite frankly, I don't think this is possible with Brad Lidge or Ryan Madson. Someone new needs to step forward. Brett Myers performed admirably in 2007 as the team's closer and I would be willing to give him a chance again this year. He can't do any worse than Lidge or Madson.
I understand that seasons like Lidge's in 2008 are not something you can find just around the corner, but this is ridiculous. If the Phillies go into the playoffs with Lidge as their closer, they will have to win every game by more than three runs or they are doomed. Dump Lidge, give Myers a try. He can't do any worse.