It will be too late for many people's liking, but it's really about time to NEVER USE BRAD LIDGE IN A SAVE SITUATION ON THE ROAD AGAIN. Lidge in 2009 road games- 0-6, 8.10 ERA, 15 saves, 10 blown saves.
One of my favorite statistics that I regularly update here on PhoulBallz is the percentage of games that Brad Lidge has allowed earned runs in this season, compared to the 18% he allowed in 2008. This year, Lidge has allowed earned runs in 43% of his outings. And, as a reminder, in 2007 Brett Myers allowed earned runs in just 21% of his relief appearances.
Considering Lidge's season-long struggles, what is the solution when Brett Myers is ailing with a back muscle/shoulder injury, when Chan Ho Park has an injured hamstring, when Ryan Madson looks just as inept in the 9th inning as Brad Lidge seems and when JC Romero is still unavailable to pitch due to a forearm injury? Well, on Wednesday night, with Hanley Ramirez batting with two outs and the tying run on 3rd base, your answer was Scott Eyre. Ramirez ended up walking, which led to a Jorge Cantu game tying single, then Ramirez later scored the winning run on Brett Carroll's game ending hit. Eyre would have been the ideal pitcher to face Hanley in that spot, needing just one out. Eyre is a lefty. Ramirez is batting 39 points lower against lefties this year than he is against right handers. He also has hit just ONE of his 23 homers against lefty pitchers this season. Furthermore, Eyre has been exceptional on the road this season, having allowed only 1 earned run in 22 road games. The Phillies stated that Eyre was available for Wednesday night's game, and he should have been used.
Don't confuse the outcome with the decision either...sure, Ramirez was not the batter who got the walk-off hit, but that doesn't change the point that a better match up, with a left hander facing the batter, is more likely to end the game there.
Charlie Manuel has spoken plenty about Brad Lidge getting back on the right track. Okay, even if he was on the track, he's just standing still on it. When that train comes through, it makes an awful mess.
It makes sense to some extent that the Phillies might try to stand by Lidge based on financial details. Brad Lidge is currently the third highest paid player on the team. He is owed a guaranteed $24.5 million dollars, going forward. Sure, there's an investment involved and he costs a lot, but he's costing the team more than money right now. Lidge is costing the Phillies games.
Can Brad Lidge continue looking in the mirror and not see what he has become? It doesn't matter. Can Charlie Manuel continue watching Lidge blow games and not make changes? Hopefully, not.
PhoulBallz has had plenty of Lidge posts this year. Follow these links to a couple favorites you may have missed.
Lidge Will Prevent a Repeat
Lidge needs to renegotiate his deal with the devil
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