Lidge Experiences Highs and Lows in Philly

September 24, 2009 by  
Filed under Fan News

Last year, Brad Lidge looked immortal by throwing the high heat on the hitters, and it helped him achieve perfection last year by going 48-for-48.

This year is a different story for the beleaguered Phillies closer. Lidge watched the other team celebrating victories off him when he closed games.

Lidge handed the game to the Marlins last night after he blew his 11th save, and it helped the Marlins get a walkoff victory that helped them take a series in keeping their playoff hopes alive.

There’s no question Lidge was not going to repeat the year he had last year. It’s hard to be perfect as a closer, so what the Phillies saw out of Lidge in his first season was an exception.

A closer is going to blow four or five saves a game, and include Mariano Rivera in that discussion. Still, Lidge’s performance has not been good at all, and it reached a point Phillies skipper Charlie Manuel needs to do something with the closer role.

Playoffs start in two weeks, and it’s hard to think Lidge will magically turn it around.

Once a closer struggle, it snowballs to the point he does not recover, and that’s the case with Lidge.

Manuel actually took Lidge out of the game after he struggled to close the game against the Nationals few weeks ago. Ryan Madson came out and preserved a victory for the Phillies.

Manuel’s strength as a manager is loyalty, and he’s done all he could to show his faith with Lidge. Now, it’s a lost cause.

After last night, he needs to hope Brett Myers can answer the role at closer or else the Phillies will not repeat.

This Marlins writer did not endorsed the Phillies to repeat this year as champs because of the unsettling situation at the bullpen. By moving Myers or Madson as the closer, it changes the roles of the relievers that are comfortable at their original role.

It can be hard to adapt. If Madson closes, who will be the set-up guy?

What about who will fill the role of a seventh-inning guy?

When a closer fails, it takes the life out of a team even for a great team like the Phillies.

In Philadelphia, those fans turn on players the minute things go bad even if that player helped their team win a championship.

It’s about what he has done now.

Lidge experience the joy when he did well, and now he deals with the misery.

It’s a life of a closer.

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Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

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