Time for a change in the Phillies bullpen?
He did it again. Brad Lidge blew his major-league leading 10th save on Saturday night against the Astros, giving up a walk-off single to Kaz Matsui in a 5-4 defeat.
As Ed Price of AOL Fanhouse pointed out, his 10 blown saves are the most in the majors since 2006 when Ambiorix Burgos had 12, Francisco Cordero and Huston Street had 11 and Jason Isringhausen had 10. As for this season, the closest is J.P. Howell with eight.
Now 0-7 with a 7.15 ERA and 1.79 WHIP in 57 appearances, it sounds like manager Charlie Manuel isstarting to lose patience with his struggling closer:
“What do I think of [Lidge’s blown save]? I think it’s baseball. I think that’s what you call command. I think that’s what you call being able to throw the ball over the plate and put it where you want it. I think it’s staying focused on what you’re doing -- executing your pitches.”
Sure, the Phillies are waltzing their way to another division title, but they can’t possibly count on someone with a 7.15 ERA to lock down important outs in the post-season. Enter Brett Myers?
Remember, Myers went 21-for-24 in save opportunities while compiling a 2.87 ERA and 64/18 K/BB ratio out of the closer role for the Phillies in 2007. Coincidentally, he tossed a scoreless inning of relief against the Astros on Saturday night, his first appearance since returning from hip surgery.
Though the scrutiny is sure to increase as the playoffs approach, Myersis saying all the right things:
“I’m just back there to help. I’m not there to take anyone’s job.”While that may be true, Lidge isn’t doing much to keep his.