Manuel Has His Limits with Lidge


Thumbnail image for lidge 0815.jpgCharlie Manuel
is sticking with Brad Lidge, but his patience has a limit.

He said this afternoon at Nationals Park that while Lidge remains his closer, there will come a time when the Phillies must “win the game.”

Lidge is 0-7 with a 7.15 ERA and a Major-League leading 10 blown saves, but the postseason is less than a month away and the Phillies need more certainty in the ninth inning. Phillies right-hander Brett Myers remains Manuel’s top option to close should Lidge continue to struggle and the Phillies decide they need to go in a different direction.

“When that comes up I think it’s something we will definitely work with,” Manuel said. “I think that he’s our closer. I talk about it every day with (pitching coach Rich) Dubee as far as where he’s at and how he feels and what he’s doing. But at the same time we’re trying to win a championship and everything like that. I’m hoping he’s going to really get more consistent and really help us.”

Asked if he has thoughts about Myers, Manuel said, “I have a lot of thoughts. Really. I think about winning the game. How many times you have guys in the last five years heard me say, ‘I try to win the game.’ What did you make that dumb move for? I said I did it because I tried to win the game. How many times have you heard me say that? Believe me, I was trying to win the game.”

Lidge has had a little bit of everything go wrong this season. He had reporters circle his locker today to ask him numerous questions about a blister on his right index finger, which has bothered him recently. (You never feel more tool-ish as a reporter than when you’re talking about a minor injury, and the questions about that minor injury go on forever.) Lidge said he is fine and ready to pitch. Most of all, he said he is ready to put his troubles behind him. Everybody is.

“We’re in first place,” Lidge said. “Unless catastrophe strikes we’re heading to the playoffs. My mission is to get myself as good as I can be for the playoffs and to do the things that I can do in the postseason. That’s what September is going to be for me: getting locked in. I’ve been having three good outings, one bad outing. Three good outings, one bad outing. I’d like to get to the point where they’re going to be all good. At some point I’ll look back and say, ‘Man, that was a crap year.’ If September goes well and I throw well in the postseason then I’ll be happy with the year. I really will. Because that’s the goal right now.”

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J.A. Happ has a strained right intercostal muscle and will miss Saturday’s start against the Mets. The Phillies hope he can rejoin the rotation next week. … Left-hander Scott Eyre felt a “quick and sharp” pain in his left elbow Monday in Houston. Doctors examined him today, and said he is day to day with elbow soreness. … J.C. Romero had a cortisone shot in his left elbow today. He will be shut down for a couple days. They will see how he responds and go from there. … Ryan Madson had tendinitis in his right biceps, but he said he is ready to pitch. … Greg Dobbs is running in Floriday and could begin a rehab assingment soon. … Clay Condrey will start throwing simulated games soon and could begin a rehab assignment after.

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9 Comments

So, Romero finally took the shot. He should have done it weeks ago. It’s his only chance. They are going to need him as it looks like the only healthy lefty they have left is Taschner. Scary.

Speak of the Devil, Lidge is about to TRY to close tonight’s game…..

Lidge can’t be this bad….. Here we go…..

Wow, prescient post Todd!

This random game I almost didn’t watch could turn out to have HUGE implications… Rauuuuul finds his stroke again and Lidge gets relieved in the 9th… this could change the course of the season. Of course Charlie always has Lidge’s blister as an excuse if he wants to go back to him again…

Bizarre ending to the game. Have you ever seen someone warming in the ‘pen before the closer even throws a pitch? Hey, at least Lidge got a ‘hold’.
8 runs on 8 HR’s the last two games. Weird.

Lidge needs to be shut down. It’s the humane thing to do for everyone. If he costs the Phils their season (either by causing them to miss the postseason or by melting down in it), then just about all of the goodwill he earned last year will have been negated. He’s just not right this year, and he’s not going to magically find himself all of the sudden. If Charlie doesn’t have the heart to yank him from the closer’s role, then Amaro needs to step in. Lidge must be stopped now!!! This isn’t doing anyone any good. The guy is a trainwreck right now, and the only answer is to not let him pitch. We can’t take another Mitch Williams/Joe Carter incident.

finkbomb, your analysis is spot on. I made some comments about how this situation has a chance to be comparable to 1993 after Lidge’s last blown save. I was basically torn apart by other posters saying that I had no idea what I was talking about. Not sure what games they were watching but I am glad that you, at least, get it. I don’t want to see Lidge’s house vandalized like Mitch’s was. I don’t want to see this season end in heartbreak like 1993. Get him out. Is there any possibility that that was his last appearance as a Phillie? I’m just asking.

Wow, bolenbak has a friend. Congrats, Dude!

Knowing Charlie, Lidge will definitely get another shot if the Phils are leading by 2-3 in the nineth, but he’ll be on a short leash.

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