Manuel Is Sticking with Lidge
Brad Lidge has been a hot topic for Phillies fans lately, especially after he blew two saves this weekend against the Yankees at Yankee Stadium. Lidge is 0-2 with a 9.15 ERA and eight saves in 12 opportunities this season.
His ERA is the second-highest in baseball amongst relief pitchers.
But move him out of the closer’s role? Sit him? Charlie Manuel said he isn’t close to thinking about that.
“I want Lidge to feel like we’ve got all the confidence in the world in him because I do,” he said before tonight’s game against the Marlins. “People are going to voice their opinions and everything like that. Sit him and all that stuff. What’s sitting going to do for him? Sooner or later he’s got to go out there and pitch and get somebody out.”
But what about having him pitch in the sixth, seventh or eighth innings?
“That’s worse,” he said. “What kind of message is that? That’s really worse. That’s what Houston used to do to him. They used to slide him into the sixth or seventh.
“If my manager walked up to me and said, ‘You failed the last two days I’m going to give you a break. I’m going to let you sit three, four or five days or slide you into the seventh inning or something like that,’ how would you feel? I’d say, ‘Hey, Chuck doesn’t like me too good.’ That’s kind of how I look at it.
“I think his stuff is there. I think it’s just a matter of him making more quality pitches and cutting down on his walks and things. I think his stuff will play out over 162 games. That’s what makes him a good closer. His stuff will play out. Will he blow some games? He had a perfect year last year. What the hell? How was he going to top that? He had to have some letdowns this season. That’s baseball.
“I think about treating him right. I think he deserves a chance to work it out.”
I meant to post this, oh, a couple months ago, but sometimes my e-mails pile up: Baseball America ranked FirstEnergy Stadium, home of the Double-A Reading Phillies, the third-best Minor League ballpark in the country.