Brad Lidge Teetering on the Ledge

May 24, 2009 by  
Filed under Fan News

No one really expected to Brad Lidge to be perfect again in 2009. In fact, I heard some fans say they hope he blows his first save opportunity to put the streak behind him and concentrate more on helping the team repeat as World Champions.

Lidge broke the streak and now has blown three saves. What is more concerning is that he seems to have no command on his pitches and the question of his knee keeps arising.

When Lidge gave up that homerun to Alex Rodriguez in the ninth inning yesterday, I thought of all of the closers in my lifetime that have struggled after having stellar seasons in Philadelphia.

I started with Tug McGraw who never put it all together again after 1980 because of injuries. Tug would only save 15 more games in his career.
Then there was Al Holland. The man they called Mr T. Holland bragged about coming in with the high heat. After winning the Rolaids Relief man award in 1983, hitters feasted on his high heat as he gave up 14 home runs in 1984.

1985 found him being bounced around to three teams before going to the Yankees in 1986 where he would end his career after a poor showing in both ’86 and 1987.

We moved on to Steve Bedrosian. Bedrock came in and was the last relief pitcher in the National League to win the Cy Young Award with his strong performance in 1987.

Bedrock’s ERA went up nearly a point in 1988 and his saves dropped from 40 to 28 respectively. He moved on in 1988 and had an up and down career that ended in 1995 in Atlanta.
Mitch Williams kept our hearts in our throats with some of the most colorful saves in Phillies history. After setting what was then the saves record for the Phils in 1993, he gave up one of the most infamous home runs in World Series history (as least infamous from a Phillies fan’s perspective).

Wild Thing was shipped to Houston where he posted a 7.65 ERA. He never pitched effective again.

Jose Mesa. I still don’t think I can stomach discussing Joe Table. I take credit for the booing of his son at Veteran’s Stadium when he would talk on Phanavision. This guy holds the Phillies single season save record and the the record for the most times a relief pitcher has kept his team out of the playoffs.

I made the second stat up but it must be true! After his 45 save season of 2002, his ERA ballooned to 6.52 and he only saved 24 games while losing his closer job followed by his roster spot on the team. Joe Table would come back to haunt us once more in 2007 where he posted an 81.00 ERA in the playoffs.

Do I think Brad Lidge will head down this road? I certainly hope not. The point though is that many relief pitchers are anything but consistent. Lidge’s problems stem from his mechanics and ailing knee.

But don’t discount that some of it is in his head as well. What Lidge needs most is the get back into a game today and have a one, two, three inning. From there he can regain his form and confidence and again dominate the ninth inning.

Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

Am I Missing Something About Chris Coste?

May 19, 2009 by  
Filed under Fan News

All Chris Coste has ever done his entire baseball life is battle. After an impressive Spring in 2006 he had the team made out of Spring Training. Then a last minute trade brought David Dellucci to the Phillies and Coste was optioned.

After being recalled and batting .328 with seven homeruns as a back up catcher, he was sure to be a lock for the 2007 squad. Not so, as the Phillies made the mistake of bringing in Rod Barajas.

Coste for a second time showed his worth and won the role. This offseason, the Phillies acquired back up catcher Ronny Paulino from the Pittsburgh Pirates. Again Coste had to compete for and again won the back up catcher role.

Yesterday, the Phillies signed veteran catcher Paul Bako to a minor league contract.


Are they filling out the minor league roster or is Coste really this inadequate?

Sure his batting average is down a little this year at .235, but with only 55 at bats, one good game can change all that.

Bako hit .209, .205, and .217 from 2006 to 2008 respectively. He is a year older than Coste and bats left handed, something the Phillies really don’t need on their bench.

Again, the move may just be to fill out the minor league roster, but why does it always seem like the Phillies are saying to Coste, you are just keeping a seat warm for someone else?

Coste won the back up job in 2009. Let him serve in that roll and I bet you will see some big hits from him both when he plays and off the bench.

If he can’t hit all season address it next winter. But for now, bringing in a career .231 hitter just doesn’t seem to make sense. Am I missing something?

Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies