Lee and Lidge Struggling
The Brewers beat the Phillies last night, 8-4.
A couple things about the loss:
– Cliff Lee allowed nine hits and seven runs in six innings. Lee went 5-0 with a 0.68 ERA in his first five starts with the Phillies. He is 2-3 with a 6.35 ERA in his last six, which includes a shutout Sept. 15 against Washington. Lee has allowed 49 hits, 24 earned runs and three walks and struck out 29 in his last 34 innings. Opponents have hit .336 against him.
“His first (few) games here were really, really good,” Charlie Manuel said. “That was because he had command to both sides of the plate. He’s had some trouble doing that. Anytime somebody (struggles) it’s a concern. If you have a not-so-good outing or whatever, that doesn’t concern me. If you go three or four, yeah, I’d like to see him pitch like he did the first three or four times. But unfortunately that doesn’t happen.”
Reason to be concerned? Sure. Alarmed? No, I’m not alarmed. But you certainly don’t want one of your top starting pitchers — arguably the biggest acquisition at the trade deadline — struggling with just one more start before the postseason. The hope for the Phillies is that this is just a rough patch at a bad time and he will right the ship in time.
– Brad Lidge pitched the seventh inning in mop up duty, but he pitched with a purpose: throw fastballs. He threw 16 pitches, 12 of which were fastballs. On Wednesday in Florida, where Lidge blew his Major League-leading 11th save, Lidge threw 22 pitches. Just four were fastballs.
“When you start falling into very obvious patterns the hitters start getting more confidence because they know what’s going to come,” Lidge said. “Today was a big day for me to go out and throw a lot of fastballs and that’s what I did.”
Lidge allowed a leadoff single to Corey Hart, who stole second. He scored on a two-out single from Casey McGehee.
“I made a mistake on a 1-2 pitch to McGehee,” Lidge said. “Aside from that it actually felt really good. For me it was a much more important outing than if I go out there and, yeah, nobody scores, but I threw a ton of sliders and didn’t really accomplish a whole lot. An outing like that I need as much as anything right now. What I need to establish right now is a fastball. Charlie said, ‘I thought you got some good work.’ I said, ‘Keep giving me the ball. It doesn’t matter the situation. I need to get myself ready to pitch this postseason.’ It doesn’t matter to me if it’s a one-run game or we’re down by seven or whatever. Work like that is very productive for me.”
If I had to guess, I’d expect Lidge to pitch in more of these situations this weekend and next week before the postseason.