Good Signs from Lidge?


Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for lidge 0523.jpgBrad Lidge
threw perfect innings Friday and Sunday to pick up saves against Atlanta, and with a little more than a month to play before the postseason, the Phillies are hoping they see more of that the rest of the way.

Because the Lidge they have seen for most of 2009 could bring heartache in the playoffs.

Lidge’s struggles have been well documented, but from a historical perspective they are even more jarring. MLB.com researched and found there have been just six relief pitchers in baseball’s modern era who have seen their ERAs jump five or more earned runs in consecutive seasons with 40 or more appearances in each season.

Lidge is trying to avoid becoming the seventh:

  1. Mike Flanagan (a 5.67 ERA increase): The American League Cy Young winner with Baltimore in 1978 sported a 2.38 ERA in 64 appearances with the Orioles in 1991. He had an 8.05 ERA in 42 appearances in 1992.
  2. Mike DeJean (5.38): He carried a 3.03 ERA in 59 appearances with the Rockies in 1998, but had an 8.41 ERA in 56 appearances in 1999.
  3. Gene Nelson (5.27): Nelson, who won a World Series with Oakland in 1989, had a 1.57 ERA in 51 appearances with the A’s in 1990, but had a 6.84 ERA in 44 appearances in 1991.
  4. Vic Darensbourg (5.15): He had a 3.68 ERA in 59 appearances with Florida in 1998, but had an 8.83 ERA in 56 appearances in 1999.
  5. Derrick Turnbow (5.13): He sported a 1.74 ERA in 62 appearances as Milwaukee’s closer in 2005, but had a 6.87 ERA in 49 appearances in 2006, when he made the NL All-Star team.
  6. Ron Davis (5.11): The 1981 American League All-Star with the Yankees carried a 3.48 ERA in 57 appearances with Minnesota in 1985, but had an 8.59 ERA in 53 appearances in 1986.

Lidge is 0-6 with a 7.03 ERA and has 27 saves in 36 opportunities. His ERA is the highest of any relief pitcher in baseball. His nine blown saves and his 75 percent save completion are the worst in the Majors. Last year he went 2-0 with a 1.95 ERA and 41 saves in 41 opportunities in the regular season and 0-0 with a 0.96 ERA and seven saves in seven opportunities in the playoffs.

Lidge’s turnaround could be dependent on one thing: the command of his fastball. Those who have seen him this year and those who watched him struggle in Houston say the same thing: he needs to command his fastball.

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The Phillies have recalled left-hander Jack Taschner, their first move since rosters expanded.

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The Dodgers got Jim Thome before last night’s midnight trade deadline. Thome called Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti before the trade and said, “Uh, you know I can’t play first base anymore, right?” Colletti said that is fine. The Dodgers are looking at Thome as a power bat to come off the bat in the late innings.

I think they’re still having nightmares of Matt Stairs‘ homer in Game 4 of the NLCS.

I kid, but that’s a heck of a weapon to have the rest of the season. And should the Dodgers make the World Series, they have one of the best designated hitters in baseball in their lineup in the AL park.

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Carlos Carrasco makes his big-league debut tonight for the Indians.

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32 Comments

Let’s hope Lidge is back and the Phillies can get their Pen set for teh post season with all the arms they currently have. SOme are going to have to go after the regular season is over. The Thorme move is a good one for the Dogers, who have added a top arm in Pen, a solid starter and a bat off the bench since the trade deadline. I feel sorry for Thorme, though, who will have many fewer chances to hit HRs as a PH then as a DH in the AL. The only reason he is still playing is to move up the all time homers list.

f.i.j.: Thome is a rental. He’ll be a free agent after this season. I’ll never “feel sorry” for any of these guys to get paid the money they get for what they do. As much as I dislike the Dodgers, I hope the whole thing blows up in their face and they’re eliminated in the first round.

I didn’t say anyone would sign Thome, merely that he would be a Free Agent. However, Adam Eaton and Freddie Garcia are working, so anything is possible. As for his at-bat’s, that’s life and I couldn’t give a rat’s a** how many he gets.
I’ll be checking out young Mr. Carrasco tonight.

Mule, I expect the Dodgers to be eleminated early. DO you really tink some team will pick up Thorme as a FA? Instead of getting 3-4 ABs 4 days a week in the AL, however, he’ll get 1 AB 1-2 a week with the dodgers, not the same. Look at what happened with Stairs when he went from teh 350+ ABs he had last year to the 80-90 he has this year.

Todd, when will you know who’s being called up for the Phillies? I expected a notice at 12:01am Sept 1

So far they’ve called up Taschner, which is really kind of lame, I’m hoping they also call up Escalona, who could be handy down the stretch. They’ll probably call Mayberry up too, but who knows.

I would assume they’d call up Taschner, Carpenter, Escalona, Mayberry, a catcher and perhaps the 1B in AAA who has some power and can spell Howard for a game or two. Plus of course the guys we get back from DL

I thought they already said they weren’t going to call up anyone who hasn’t already been here. Their history isn’t to make huge late-season call-up’s. They don’t want to clog up the clubhouse with kids when they’re trying to win something – so they say.

They need to call up a third catcher and we don’t have one who hs been called up before. past that, everyone on my list has MLB time already

What on earth does “clog up the clubhouse” mean?

Disrupting the chemistry. They don’t want to bring in 10 guys and change the mix. Geez, you guys are tough. So serious.

I’m not trying to be a jerk I just think all the folksy sports aphorisms and “chemistry” talk are so silly. Calling up a bullpen arm or two and some bench hitting help is not going to do anything but help the team. Anyway it looks like they won’t call up anyone else until the AAA season ends in about a week, at which point I’m guessing Escalona and Mayberry. I don’t really see a need for another catcher.

Perhaps I’m missing something, but why would they call up anyone else besides Taschner when they also need to add Myers, Romero and Condrey to the team? If they just use those 4 for September, then they can figure out who is on the post-season roster from the current group.

In addition, Dobbs will be back eventually.

Anyone from the 40 man can play at the big league level in September. Call-ups like Escalona and Mayberry can help out and give some other guys chances to rest, and Myers and Romero and Condrey can fit back in whenever they need to without worrying about roster spots. Call-ups now aren’t to compete for the postseason roster, it’s just about some temporary help down the stretch.

Not to mention giving the Phillies a chance to see these kids in real big league games and not only in grapefruit games.

The Phllies, and specifically Charlie Manuel, have no desire to see ‘kids’ in big league games this September. They will be preparing for the postseason and that means getting at-bats for Stairs, Francisco, Bruntlett, Dobbs and Cairo. They are the players who will get the at-bats when they rest the regulars. Seeing any of the kids in this regard is useless to a team that is vying for a World F***ing Championship.

Phan: While you are correct that Stairs etc will get at bats in preperation for the post season, i expect Mayberry to get some playing time, as well as a third catcher. i also expect to see Carpenter take a start (double header) and perhaps a kid come out of the pen in a blow out situation.

While giving our bench some starts will help them find a rhythem, perhaps, so would getting them more ABs as Pinch hitters. I wouldn’t be adverse to seeing them PH for starters in the 5th or 6th inning to let Cairo, Brunlett and Stairs get soe rhythem going in that regard either. It’s not the same as hitting when you are playing the field as well, just ask Charlie

Bruntlett and Stairs are going to get multiple starts to give the regulars a rest. Stairs had well over 300 at-bats last season before he came over and that is why he was ready for the post-season. Now he has around 80. They have no use for Mayberry when they need to get at-bats for Stairs, Francisco and even Dobbs when he gets back. Dobbs does not just spell Feliz; he can play the outfield as well. I’m just telling you the way it is. Chollie has already stated that it would b useless to bring any ‘kids’ up because they are not getting any at-bats.
And why should Carpenter get a start when they already have six starters? This isn’t tryout camp. They are getting ready to defend and they want everybody prepared.

No reason to start Moyer since he’ll be used out of the pen. better to start Carpenter and bring in Moyer in the 4th or 5th as he’ll be used in post season. I agree that they won’t need many bodies, but a few will be called up. Also, remember, just sitting on the bench and learning is valuable for the minor leaguers we figure to be on the team in 2010 or 2011.

Also, while it looks as if Stairs, Brunlett, and Cairo will be on the post season roster, nothing is preventing us from using mayberry instead or some other minor leaguer who gets hot. That’s why Rube made the move yeaterday to buy out Ellis’s contract and put him on the roster and then DL him, to allow for an extra space if we want/need one

They have six players who can play the outfield already, if you include Dobbs. There is no place for Mayberry to play. It would be a waste of bench space to have him here. Heck, they could bring him up if they choose when the AAA season is over, but he would not get to play according to Manuel.
They have two doubleheaders with off days adjacent to both of the doubleheaders. In reality, they wouldn’t really need to even use all 6 starters in those instances because of the off days. I see no need for a Carpenter or anybody else for the rotation. The only kid who may get a shot to pitch would be Bastardo out of the bullpen, if Taschner stinks and Romero can’t come back. They might need a lefty.

Teams do the September call-up thing every year, even teams in pennant races, and the Phillies are no different. Much like Greg Golson last year, the latest rumblings are that the Phillies will call up Anthony Gose, speedster outfielder from A+, to be a pinch running specialist.

I agree though about Carpenter, seeing him is doubtful.

phylan: I wasn’t the one who mentioned the chemistry thing. That came from the Phillies. They don’t want to disrupt the locker room, and I can’t say I blame them, coming off the championship.
No reason to bring in a bunch of wide-eyed kids who are “happy to be here” when the team is still fighting for home field advantage.

f.i.j.: I think it’s already been decided that Moyer will start the doubleheaders. Agree with phan52 that they have no desire to see the “kids” at this point. That’s what the Orioles, Pirates and others are doing – not teams preparing for playoffs.
It isn’t about 2011.

Ouch, Carrasco got shelled tonight. Gave up 2 bombs and 3 runs before he got an out.

Cole looks like October Cole so far tonight! Wish we scored a couple more runs for him, I hate these late-inning nail biters…

What a game! Two ‘aces’ are better than one!

Phils first 1-0 win since 2005! Hamels is back!! How about Howard playing some small ball?!? Also Hamels stealing a bag! Great game!

Myers had a nice outing at LV and should be in the bullpen by the weekend.
Happ vs. Lincecum tomorrow. Should be another pitching gem by both teams, just like tonight.

Karen, how do you call that shot down the firstbase line “small ball”?

Hamels has figured out that a complete game shut out is the only way to guarantee a win for himself, since the Phils never seem to give him any run support.
Also, last week I posted my theory that Cole’s problem might have been caused by the 3-4 mph increase in the speed of his fastball and change up. Today I tracked the Pitches on MLB.com Gameday, and he only threw 2 fastballs over 91 mph tonight. In other words, he’s throwing his main pitches the same speed as he did last year. I hope he can keep his pitch speed down to where he has laser-accuracy throwing his pitches. Is it too early to say WS MVP ’09?

oops, they changed it up. Brad Penny is going for the Giants tomorrow and Lincecum will go against Pedro on Thursday.

And erich, that was a little like small ball for Howard because he really cut down his swing to just make contact. Good move against a drawn in infield.

Point taken. Ryan Howard will have to start wearing a cape or some other piece of uniform that identifies super heroes. How can this guy be so consistant about stepping his game up to the next level EVERY August and September? It’s awe-inspiring.

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