Bad Day for Lidge, Myers

lidge 0815.jpgBrad Lidge
‘s latest is a familiar tale. Brett Myers‘ is not.

Lidge blew his Major League-leading eighth save of the season Saturday in a 4-3 loss to the Braves, while Myers had his rehab appearance in Single-A Clearwater scratched after he said he fell out of his wife’s Escalade on Friday night and slammed his face into the door’s armrest.

Lidge has been struggling all season. He is 0-5 with a 7.27 ERA.

Myers had been making phenomenal progress recovering from his June 5 hip surgery, until the impact of the fall caused his left eye to swell completely shut.

We know what has been happening with Lidge, but the story from Myers’ injury took a strange turn.

The Phillies said early Saturday that Myers suffered an eye injury while playing catch with his son, Kolt. But the Phillies later said Myers changed his story.

“I know exactly what people are going to think,” Myers said in a telephone interview Saturday evening with

In other words, they will think Myers was intoxicated.

Myers said he and his wife, Kim, went to dinner with two friends and their nanny in Jacksonville, where Myers lives in the offseason. (Myers planned to drive to Clearwater on Saturday afternoon for the 6:30 p.m. game.) Myers said he had a two or three beers at dinner.

He said he sat in the back of his wife’s Escalade while their nanny drove everybody home. He said when he tried to get out of the truck, he got caught on some of his children’s toys and fell into the armrest on the car door.

“I couldn’t catch myself,” he said. “My face just smashed the side of it. I basically rolled out of the car, and I said, ‘I need a little help. I can’t get up.’ It knocked me silly. It looks like I went 12 rounds with (Mike) Tyson.

“I wasn’t drunk by any means. That’s why I feel so stupid right now.”

And that’s why he said he initially told Brian Cammarota, who is the team’s Minor League athletics trainers and rehabilitation coordinator, that he got hit in the eye with a baseball. But Myers said soon after the first call to Cammarota, Kim urged him to call Cammarota back with the true story.

“I’m an idiot,” Myers said. “I’ve never felt so frickin’ embarrassed in my life. I feel like a total geek.”

Myers will be examined Sunday by team doctors in Clearwater. He said he hopes to pitch as soon as possible.


Chase Utley wouldn’t comment specifically about the Eagles signing Michael Vick. Utley and his wife Jen are very invovled with the Pennsylvania SPCA. In fact, Jen is a board member. Jen was outside the NovaCare Complex on Friday. FOX 29 had a chance to speak with her. Here is what she said: 

FOX 29: Reaction to Vick?
Jen Utley: “I’m very surprised. Obviously curious and I knew this was going to be a very controversial issue regardless of where the signing took place. … For me, I hope this will shed some light on what the PSPCA organization does. We fight animal cruelty every day in this city and we will continue to do that. This is not going to change anything. Hopefully it will make us stronger and have more people support us in our mission and what we do.
FOX29: Should the Eagles have contacted the PSPCA?
Jen Utley: I think that’s a decision they would have made. I think if you’re planning on being concious of a very sensitive issue it might be positive to do that. Again, I don’t work for the Eagles. I don’t know what their PR department does. I only know that reports said they called us. They didn’t.

The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter.


Does Brett think that going from lame story to another, after admitting he lied, will make him look like less of an idiot?

Also, it feels like 2007 all over again, but instead of Charlie’s blind allegiance to Gordon killing us, it is his blind allegiance to Lidge. I’ll be forever grateful to the man for what he did for the team in 2008, but the Brad Lidge Experiment has got to end. When he is on the mound, you get the feeling that his mind is back in 2005, with Pujols rounding the bases…

I think today’s blown save was a bit embarassing. It’s one thing to allow a couple of hits which leads to runs scored, but the double error on bunt was just bad baseball. (Of course we have several RISP during the game which couldn’t capitalize on)

I think he’d look less idiotic if he would have told the truth in the first place.

Todd – thanks for the Utley update :O) I was curious to see what they would say.
As for Lidge, time to find another closer. This has gone way past awful. I feel for Brad, but until he gets his act straight, I cannot even imagine sending him out there again.


While it’s not time to panic, because that NEVER improves anything, it is time to realize that you need an IMMEDIATE back-up plan for closer. Right now, I see nobody on the current ML roster who can close. So check the waiver wire and the team’s minor league system . Why NOT kick the tires on John Smoltz? He has experience as a closer, won’t panic in the emotional madness that is the philly fan’s mantra AND while he was STARTING for the Red sox, he would be pitching ONLY ONE inning 4 times a week here. His era was very low for the first time through the line-ups when he was starting for the Red sox. Nothing to LOSE.

I’ve never liked Myers. I think there’s something bad about him. Did someone ask him if he was drunk or did he volunteer the info? If he volunteered it, why would he bring it up? My first reaction to the incident was that he was drunk and stumbled out of the vehicle. It’s the only rational explanation I can come up with.
That said, what does it matter? If he was drunk, so what? His phony story implicating his son is more of an issue than any alleged drinking. He’s just a rotten guy in my opinion, and I’d like to see him gone.
There have been other incidents than this to substantiate my viewpoint.

Myeres brought up not being drunk exactly because of your first reaction, Mule. You would have just assumed he was drunk. He “blamed” his kid, because he’s tryig to get him a contract with the phillies as closer in place of Lidge (a four year old who can throw hard enough to shut a guy’s eye..)

The Phillies had an off night. It happens. Lidge had a normal night; he blew the save and and the game. I wonder how Bastardo’s arm is, he has the FB to close

Loyalty is one thing- blind stubborness is another with Lidge. He had a super 2008 season. I commend him. He is having a horrible
2009 for whatever reason. Whether it is confidence or physical,
I as a supporter do not know. All I see is the manager putting him out there and we all hold our breath. The results is 8 blown saves
which is not up to major league standards and the team needs better results down the stretch. I have never been one to critisize
player perfromance as I know how difficult it is to be a major leaguer and players are human, not robots. But in Lidge’s case I feel he has to be benched because of his performance and we close by committee as one solution. We have the depth to do it, at least
temporarily. I don’t claim to have all the answers, just a suggestion to solve a serious problem.

ghphipps: Name a team that has ever won anything using “closer by committee.”
f.i.j.: Myers is a jerk. Using your kid as an excuse is low. Why not just tell the truth? The whole episode smells.

So, first my kid beaned me. Then I had two beers, fell down, went boom.
Then I had two or three beers, and there was a bar fight, but I wasn’t involved in it. Wonder what Lie 4.0 will look like…

I hate to say it but I’m done with Lidge. There will be more one run games than multi-run games and I cringe every time he comes in. I think closers are like hockey goalies in that they go sour. A change of scenery tends to make them good again. Case in point with Lidge in Houston. Maybe that’s what Lidge needs. Time to move on. Once you make any move, Lidge is done here.

I think there might be a third story with Myers. We just don’t know it yet.

I’ve had enough of Lidge. I wonder when Chollie will?
I’ll always remember 2008 Brad, but we ain’t in 2008 anymore.

     Oh my good god, John Smoltz for closer, this thread is through the motherf***ing looking glass. How about we just use the best relief pitcher as closer (Ryan Madson)? Oh, I know why, because we’re all wrapped up in the closer mystique of “clutchness” and “mental toughness” and whatever other crap ESPN sees fit to prattle on about, and Madson supposedly doesn’t have these things.
     Smoltz would double Lidge’s season-to-date blown saves total in one month.

I’ve never liked Myers and I can’t remember him being a great closer either. At this point, I’m not sure where they go, the Smoltz idea is interesting and is Bastardo ready for the pressure cooker of a post season run? Even if not, he’s in better shape that Brad “You make me wanna jump off the” Lidge.

Oh, and Madson isn’t the closer because he can’t handle it. Don’t believe me? Rewind to early this season when he was given the job when Lidege was on DL – he blew four or so saves and it took forever to get him back into his killer 8th inning setup form. The guy is lights out in the 8th, so leave him there.

    He had 4 rough outings, but he wasn’t pitching well in any inning at that point in late June, much less the 9th. He’s throwing as well as anyone in the pen right now and if you’re going to make a switch, he’s the obvious choice.
    I’m not sure how I feel about Lidge. I was all about giving him the hook a few weeks ago, and I’m disappointed in him for not going on the DL in late May as soon as he knew he should, but his outings have been fairly hard-luck recently. I’m open to the notion that it isn’t his stuff that’s the problem, but if that’s the case, I have to wonder why he isn’t throwing his slider as much as he did last year. He threw it for 56% of his pitches last year versus only 49% this year, with a corresponding 6% increase in the proportion of his pitches that are fastballs. That’s a problem. His fastball is just not very good, and it’s far, far less effective than his slider, which is deadly when it’s on. His slider is his key pitch. I can’t think of any reason why he’s laying off it, but he is.

f.i.j.: “You would have just assumed he was drunk.”
Hmmm … well, now story #3 is out and it appears that he WAS. Go figure. Tripped over some kids toys in the van? Right.

phylan, you are right on about Lidge and his pitches. Last year he would get ahead with his fastball and then bury them with the slider. Now, he can’t spot the fastball so he falls behind and has to throw it in hitters’ counts. He either throws the slider and they lay off it for walks, or he gives in with the fastball while they sit on it. He has to throw the fastball to his spot early in the count and he can’t do it.
Last night may wake him up, as it was the first time Chollie allowed somebody else to go for a save while Lidge was ‘healthy’ and available. Eyre would have had his first save since 2004 but couldn’t get it done. Lidge had to stew for a while in the bullpen until Chollie brought him in.

Mule: I didn’t say he wasn’t drunk, I just said why he gave the first story and mentioned not being drunk. As for liking him or not, I don’t want him as a friend, but as a pitcher. As long as he gets teh ball over the plate and the other guys out, he can be a card carrying member of AA and the KKK for all I care.

Howard seems to be on a Howard like tear. HOpe it continues.

That’s one option Phan, alternatively, Chollie wanted to get 2 outs before bringing in Lidge hoping that he could at least get one guy out, and thus boost his confidence. either way, it worked this time

f-i-j, the first two batters were lefties, and Lidge was warming up. When Chollie let Eyre pitch to the third guy, a rightie, Lidge was obviously miffed. If Eyre had gotten the guy out, Lidge would have been left standing on the bullpen mound while someone else got a save on his watch. That is a wake-up call.

true, but he could have left Eyre in to pitch to the next guy as well….

As for Myers, I can’t believe eithter story. The Guy has hit his wife in public (Boston ’07). Maybe she slugged him this time for whatever reason. Anyway if Brett is linked to anything like that again, the Phils would release him in a heartbeat. I think the Phils should have him hooked up to a lie detector. As for Lidge, I think he must be tipping his pitches. His stuff looks great on TV. What I noticed most is the look in his eyes. He looks timid compared to last year. There is doubt in his facial and body language. Lidge is supposed to have 2-3 different kinds of sliders that “slide” in different directions. Those pitches seem to be there. A 95 mph fastball shouldn’t be that easy to hit, even if you know it’s coming. I still think Lidge can figure it out, so I guess I’m on Charlie’s side…

As for Myers, I can’t believe eithter story. The Guy has hit his wife in public (Boston ’07). Maybe she slugged him this time for whatever reason. Anyway if Brett is linked to anything like that again, the Phils would release him in a heartbeat. I think the Phils should have him hooked up to a lie detector. As for Lidge, I think he must be tipping his pitches. His stuff looks great on TV. What I noticed most is the look in his eyes. He looks timid compared to last year. There is doubt in his facial and body language. Lidge is supposed to have 2-3 different kinds of sliders that “slide” in different directions. Those pitches seem to be there. A 95 mph fastball shouldn’t be that easy to hit, even if you know it’s coming. I still think Lidge can figure it out, so I guess I’m on Charlie’s side…

Eyre is the left-handed specialist. I would guess that the plan all along was to have Eyre get the two lefties and bring Lidge in (hopefully) finish the game against the right-hander. I would think that there was never an option to let Eyre face a right-hander.
erichh1: Check Lidge’s wild pitches last year versus this year. There’s no comparison. That shows me that there’s no bite to the slider anymore. Fastballs are harder to hit if you think there’s a biting slider coming instead. That’s one of the issues with his mechanics this season.

I just can’t see Lidge getting himself right this year. He needs an offseason to clear his mind and start from scratch. What a mess. He almost threw that one bunt away the other night and then Saturday he actually does. Plays like that are strictly mental. Baseball is a sick game in that respect.

As for Myers, it’s just bizarre, like his entire career here. I’ve always liked Brett the competitor. I’ve never been very fond of Brett the person. You have the wife beating, and just his attitude in general off the field with the media. He’s just not personable at all. That’s fine with me really. I’m not trying to be the guy’s friend.

I still think Chopper should get a look at closing because right now his stuff is electric and he is throwing all his pitches for strikes. I know the starting role didn’t work out for him so why not say “Hey Chan Ho, I know you wanted to be very important to this club as a starter so here is a second chance to play a role in even more ball games as our closer.”

Good series win last night but I really wish they got that Saturday game as well. Happ danced around disaster. He was due for a start like that. I’m glad he kept the wheels on.

joed: Happ seems unflappable. Pitched out of trouble without panicing.
As for Myers, I at least have to respect somebody before I can get on their side, and as you said, Myers’ several off-the-field shenanigans leave me cold. In plain language, he’s a punk.
So Park’s the closer? What to do with the year left on Lidge’s contract?

muleman, not only was it an option for Eyre to pitch to a righthander, he DID pitch to a righthander. That is what got Lidge so steamed. But Eyre didn’t get him out so they went to Lidge anyway.

As far as Brett Myers is concerned, I am not surprised by anything that happens to him off the field. He’s a goofball and sh*t happens to goofballs. It’s a non-story.

Happ is not so unflappable. He made a couple mistakes during the sixth inning that he got away with, missing some signs from the catcher. They showed he and Ruiz going over it in the dugout afterward.
The walks are going to get him at some point. He doesn’t give up a lot of hits, but his SO/BB ratio is not very good. He spots that high fastball pretty well right now, but that is a pitch that can come back to haunt you if you have to throw it for a strike. The smart hitters are laying off it when he’s behind in the count and that is the reason for a lot of his walks. As the announcers mentioned last night, he is eventually going to have to learn to pitch down in the strike zone.

fij mentioned Howard and yeah he’s starting to get locked in and into Mr. September form a little early this year. He has been incredible in Septembers of past but if he heats up now then hopefully September will be stress free.

Well Jamie still hasn’t backed down from his comments about being misled so I would think he’s not happy about Lidge getting such a long rope. I think some of the players are starting to give up on Lidge too. Werth’s body language after retrieving the errant bunt throw on Saturday was that of “unbelievable….again….again!”

muleman, if Brad Lidge has more wild pitches this year, it would make more sense that he has MORE bite on his slider, which would explain why even Carlos Ruiz can’t stop the ball- because of the extra spin on it. I’m sure location is the main problem, but what is causing him to miss his spots. All last year he threw that sinking slider into the dirt and everyone was swinging at it. The only explanation that makes sense is that they KNOW when he’s throwing a fastball. And they simply wait on it. He knows that if he hangs a slider even Furcal can hit it over the fense. Yet if he throws one low/in the dirt and no one’s swinging at it, he’ll be forced to throw his fastball. All evidence points to Brad tipping his pitches. How else can a guy with a 94-97 mph fastball and three of the wickedest sliders in baseball have the results he is having?

erich, his fastball doesn’t mean anything if he isn’t hitting his spots with it. He is trying to throw it on the edges of the strike zone but is instead throwing it right over the plate. If he could spot it, it wouldn’t matter if they knew it was coming. But now, they know it is coming AND it will be in a hitting zone.

Location is his problem with all his pitches. But the fastball is killing him.

On a side note, I wonder how Jamie feels about Charlie giving Brad unwaivering, unconditional support beyond logic, while not giving him the same treatment.

Myeres came into Spring Training 20-30 pounds lighter then his weight last year. I think he can handle the 3 beers diet wise, whether he can handle them and not be a fall down drunk (pun intended) is a different story

phan, I hear you but at this point Lidge has gotten so bad it’s time to try any and everyone until you find that right mixture. You still have some breathing room in the division right now to take a couple chances.

Back to Brett: ” ‘just’ three beers” doesn’t sound like he’s the kind of guy who the team nutritionist can keep on an athlete’s diet. Has anyone seen pictures of him recently? Does Myers have a beer belly and 2-3 chins? God, I hope not!

The difference between Lidge and Moyer is options. They have options as starters, not so much for a closer. They tried Madson already and are probably reluctant to lose their setup man again. It took him a while to get back on track after the failed experiment. The rest of the candidates have either failed in the past (Walker, Eyre) or not ever done it (Park) and the rest are hurt (Romero) or too inexperienced (Bastardo, Mathieson).

phan52, I think you are guessing about the location difference between this year’s fastballs and last year’s. Last year he DID have a lot of fastballs over the middle of the plate. Hitters were simply swinging right through them because they were expecting a slider. What I am trying to say is that no one seems fooled by any of his pitches anymore, which gets back to my theory that he’s tipping his pitches. Chase Utley is one of the best in all of baseball at finding a way to detect a pitcher’s pitch. Maybe Dubee can ask Chase to look at film of Lidge and see if he can detect anything. I STILL think Lidge can pitch the way he did last year. It may not happen until the 3rd week in September, which would mean at least 4 more blown saves. But at this point in the season, Charlie thinks it is WORTH the risk. SO DO I.
Many Phans are assuming that Cole Hamels will be ready for the playoffs when they start, like there is a switch that says WORLD SERIES MVP and all he has to do is turn it on. Don’t get me wrong, I’m NOT saying he won’t be able to. I’m using this as an example to explain Charlie’s logic. He thinks Cole will be ready for the playoffs, but in the same way, he thinks Brad will be ready to. In Charlie’s mind, the only way he can get Brad ready for the playoffs is to unconditionally support him now. After the Phils won the WS last year, I promised myself that I wouldn’t second guess Charlie Manuel. He knows his players better than their own families know them, and he won’t do anything to jeopardize the team’s chance of repeating this year. It’s a tightrope walk, but to win the WS that’s the kind of manager a team needs.

joed, I think the only chance they will continue to take is with Lidge, unless the division looks to be in peril. I can’t believe how fast Chollie got to the top step last night when Eyre walked that guy.
I believe that if it continues they may give Myers a shot when he is ready, but Madson is locked into the 8th inning and Park is too good at what he does.

     Cole will be fine, like I said. His last outing was 6 IP 3 H 2 ER. 4 walks, but his location is obviously settling back to normal. I know his outings have been frustrating to watch but Phillies fans hand wringing over him of all people has been one of the more puzzling things about this season.
     If the Phillies exit early in the playoffs or blow the division it won’t be because of the starting rotation, at least.

In the 60 Minutes interview, Vick was working closely with the Humane Society, which would explain why he hasn’t contacted the SPCA.

phan52: The “right-hander” Eyre pitched to was a switch hitter. Second, I’m saying he had more wild pitches LAST YEAR than this year. Since I have to look it up for you … He had 11 in 2006, 6 in 2007, 5 in 2008 and only 2 this year. I’m saying his slider isn’t as “wicked” as it was last year, which is my point.
You don’t have to be fooled by a slider that doesn’t slide if you can afford to wait on a fast ball, no matter how fast it is. Major Leaguers (and even minor leaguers) can hit a fast ball if they know it’s coming and don’t fear the other pitches.

He still pitched to a righthanded batter and proved that he just doesn’t have it in him to challenge them. It is the story of his career and why he hasn’t had a save opportunity on years. I like Eyre as a lefty specialist but that is it. The Phillies apparently agree.
Lidge apparently thought he was coming in to pitch to Norton; you could tell by his body language on the bullpen mound. That was a pointed message by Chollie but, in the end, he went to the closer because he still thinks Lidge is the better option.

And his slider would still be effective if he was locating his fastball with any consistency. His problem is the fastball, not the slider.

Who is Chollie? Do we really need to incorporate Philadelphia argot into the written language?

You know who ‘Chollie’ is. Get used to it because the more you complain the more I will use it. All you do is complain about collateral detritus. Try to focus on the substance and you won’t be such a noodge. I’m sure I am not the first person to tell you that.

mule man, that was what I was saying from the beginning: they KNOW when he is throwing the fastball and NOT only because of the pitch-count. He is TIPPING his pitches.

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