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Closer and Closer

Brad Lidge blew his league leading 7th save of the season, his 6th on the road, Tuesday night in Chicago. Lidge has surrendered earned runs in 20 of his 46 outings this season....that is 43% of his games. In 2008, Lidge was only scored on in 18% of his outings. Lidge's ERA is up to a MLB worst 7.29.

Reports out this week state that Brett Myers is still ahead of his initial schedule for a return to the majors, following his simulated game, thrown on Sunday. When Myers was the Phillies' closer in 2007, he was only scored on in 20% of his relief outings.

Manager Charlie Manuel continuing to state that 'Lidge is the closer' and refusing to deal with the sheer uncertainty that is Lidge the closer, needs to stop. With Brett Myers en route to a return, perhaps a change can be made, although it may not be soon enough.

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BJ Rosenberg locked down his first double A save Tuesday night for Reading in a win against Trenton. Rosenberg, was promoted two levels last week, from Lakewood. In a game that seemed a lock in the 9th inning, two errors allowed the Trenton Thunder to rapidly shrink a 3 run deficit down to a 1 run hole. Manager Steve Roadcap called the bullpen to relieve Sergio Escalona, and Rosenberg came to the rescue. With a runner on, BJ allowed Eduardo Nunez to single on the first pitch, before getting Chris Malec to ground to shortstop for the final out.

BJ, a South Atlantic League All Star, has not allowed an earned run since May 31st, the last time he blew a save, at Greensboro. He's got a streak of scoreless innings that reached 30 on Tuesday night. During that streak, Rosenberg has allowed only 17 hits and 4 walks while striking out 36 batters.


Rosenberg on his promotion last week:

It was awesome. I was a bit shocked, to skip Clearwater. I couldn't be more pleased, it was real exciting.

Did you feel like you were ready for a step upward for a while?

Yeah, I felt like it. I tried not thinking about it. It was kinda out of my control. Ya know, I just went about my business, and if it happened- it happened. If it didn't, maybe next year. Of course, I was happy that it did happen.

Can I get you to comment on your first double A save?

I was really excited. I thought I might come out the start the 9th, but Escalona came back out (for a 2nd inning) and I made sure I stayed mentally ready. It was awesome. It was too bad I gave up a hit with the first pitch I threw, but I got the next guy out.


Tim Gradoville, recently assigned as a player to Reading after coaching more than 5 months with Lakewood, was in the game in the 9th inning for defense. Gradoville was asked to play, as an emergency filler when both Tuffy Gosewich and Orlando Guevara were sidelined with injuries. Gradoville had been in the system all season as a catching instructor and first base coach with the Lakewood BlueClaws. Gradoville's player assignment is temporary until Gosewich is activated this week.

I asked Tim about making the transition from BJ's coach to catching his first double A save, in the matter of a week...

It's kind of weird being his coach all year at Lakewood, then all of a sudden catching his first double A save. It's just a special moment. It's just one of the most unexpected things I thought would happen this year...where I started and then where I ended up here. I guess God has a plan for all of us in our lives and there's a reason I was here and I was just doing the best I could when I got (the chance).


Hey, Phillies phans...give BJ a little more time. If Lidge continues to struggle and Myers has any setbacks, Rosenberg should be ready for another 2-step jump in no time, and maybe he can hold it down to a better tune than a 7.29 ERA.

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It's PhoulBallz Phillies Wednesday on 1310am's The Shore Sports Report! Click here to listen in. The show is on weekdays from 3-6pm. I will be on today around 3:30pm.

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Anonymous said…
Awesome!!!

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