During the course of a 162 game season, every team faces a huge decision that could potentially shape the course of their season. These decision can come from about 100 different areas.
For the New York Yankees, it was the decision to put Phil Hughes in the bullpen and for the Colorado Rockies it was the decision to fire Clint Hurdle in May. Both decisions have come from the complete opposite end of the spectrum, but both proved to change the course of each of franchise for the better.
I think for the Philadelphia Phillies, they are about to face a huge decision that might have a direct impact on whether or not they will repeat as World Series champs.
Last night Brad Lidge blew is major league leading ninth save in a 6-4 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Lidge came into the game trying to protect a 4-3 Phillies lead and in just three batters later, the lead was gone and the game was over.
Lidge now has a 7.33 ERA, which, amongst relievers with at least 40 innings pitched is dead last in baseball. Everyone knew Lidge would blow a couple of saves this year after going perfect in save opportunities last year, but a 7.33 ERA? That is inexcusable.
“He’s our closer,” Manuel said. “I’ve said it all over the place. That’s the guy who we’ve got.” I appreciate the loyalty Charlie, but at some point you have to realize there is a massive problem here.
I keep wondering how different Manuel would feel if the Phillies were in a dog fight to make the playoffs.
Perhaps Manuel is waiting for Lidge to turn it around, but in late August/early September, you are what you are. Lidge right now is the worst closer in baseball.
If the Phillies do decide to make a change they have a couple of options. They could decide to use Ryan Madson, who filled in nicely for Lidge when Lidge went on the DL (four saves), or they could use the soon to be returning Brett Myers, who closed for the Phillies in 2007 (21 saves).
The Phillies have the offense and with the addition of Cliff Lee they have the starting rotation. Now they just need to get their Brad Lidge problem straightened out.
If they don’t, they might not make it back to the World Series.