Manuel Has His Limits with Lidge
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.”
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.