Results tagged ‘ Ryan Madson ’
Ruben Amaro Jr. echoed those sentiments today.
Their words proved true a couple hours later when Lidge trotted to the mound in the bottom of the seventh inning with the Brewers beating the Phillies, 7-2.
“Our best club is to have Lidge pitch the ninth,” Amaro said. “Right now, he hasn’t been doing it effectively, and we’ll have to make an adjustment off that. … No decision has been made officially. Charlie is going to bring people in to pitch in the seventh, eighth and ninth inning that he feels will be most effective. That doesn’t necessarily mean that Lidge isn’t one of those guys. He still could be one of those guys. It could be (Ryan) Madson. It could be Lidge. It could be a host of guys. Obviously it will be different if we get some of the other guys back.”
Amaro said if J.C. Romero throws well tomorrow in Clearwater that he could be activated early next week. He said Chan Ho Park is throwing off the mound tomorrow. Park is “progressing pretty well.” Brett Myers could be back late next week.
“Hopefully we’ll have some choices for Charlie,” Amaro said.
Pedro Martinez does not appear to be one of those choices.
“Right now I don’t see that happening,” Amaro said. “Could it change? Maybe. Right now I think we view him as a starter for us. He’s been effective in that role.”
But while Martinez likely is not an option — Martinez takes a while to get loose, which would not be ideal for a late-inning reliever who needs to warm up quickly – J.A. Happ could be.
“I think he’s durable and right now he’s healthy,” Amaro said. “He’s got a durable arm. We had him in the bullpen last year so it won’t be anything new to him. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that he is a guy we use in the bullpen. That would be up to Charlie and (pitching coach Rich) Dubee if they think he can do it. He hasn’t done anything to say he can’t. You don’t know until he gets in that situation.
“As I said before, it may take some guys to step up and pitch in different roles they’re not typically accustomed to. And Brad may be asked to do something different than he’s been doing for us. Again, at the end of the day it’s about how we can get the last six or nine outs. … We’d rather have the seventh, eighth and ninth locked up like we have in the past, but this isn’t a perfect world unfortunately.”
Asked about his confidence in Lidge, Amaro said, “I’m confident that he’s had the experience of doing it. He has not performed the way I think he knows he can perform and the way we know he can perform. He’ll show us how confident we are in him.”
Unless he’s not.
“We’ll do what we have to do,” Manuel said before tonight’s series opener against the Brewers at Miller Park. “We’ll see. Whatever we think, whatever we want to do, I’ll do it. I’m open to what I’m going to do, yeah.”
The never-ending ninth-inning saga for the Phillies continued after Lidge blew his Major League-leading 11th save of the season last night in a 7-6 loss to the Marlins at Land Shark Stadium. Lidge is 0-8 with a 7.48 ERA with 31 saves in 42 opportunities. In four appearances since Manuel returned Lidge to the closer’s role, he is 0-1 with a 14.73 ERA and three saves in four opportunities. Opponents have hit .421 against him. Lidge is on track to become one of just five pitchers in baseball history to finish a season with no wins, eight or more losses and a 7.00 ERA or higher:
- Ed O’Neil went 0-8 with a 9.26 ERA in eight games in 1890 with Toledo and Philadelphia of the American Association.
- Charlie Stecher went 0-10 with a 10.32 ERA in 10 games in 1890 with Philadelphia of the American Association.
- Edgar Gonzalez went 0-9 with a 9.32 ERA in 10 games in 2004 with Arizona.
- Russ Ortiz went 0-8 with an 8.14 ERA in 26 games in 2006 with Arizona and Baltimore.
Who would the alternatives be?
Brett Myers would make sense, but he is hurt. He will throw bullpen sessions next Tuesday and Thursday, which would leave him no more than three games to show Manuel he could handle the job in the postseason.
Fans have asked about Pedro Martinez or J.A. Happ, but they seem unlikely. Martinez is 37 and has never closed before. Happ also has no experience in the role. One of them obviously will be in the postseason rotation. The other could be valuable as a multi-innings guy in the pen, especially if Chan Ho Park is hurt.
Tyler Walker? He is 2-0 with a 2.30 ERA in 27 appearances. He has closed before.
“He’s done a good job for us in the role he’s in,” Manuel said of Walker. “We’ll do whatever it takes that we think will win a game. I might give you guys something really good to write about.
“If you look and see what our pitching situation is right now, who we have there … both of those guys (Lidge and Madson), they are our talented guys. As far as stuff-wise and experience-wise and things like that. It kind of made it tough. But at the same time we’ve got to try to do something to win games, too.”
Charlie Manuel sees it, too.
“It’s getting tough,” he said following a 7-6 loss to the Marlins last night at Land Shark Stadium. “We’ve got to close the games out. When you’re winning a game in the ninth inning, the winning teams win those games. We’re not closing the games out. Everybody out there knows it.
“When you get right down to it you’re supposed to win those games. You’re supposed to win a majority of those games. I mean a high percentage of those games. Exactly what percent I don’t know, but it’s goddamn high.”
Brad Lidge blew his Major League-leading 11th game of the season. He is 0-8 with a 7.48 ERA and 31 saves in 42 opportunities. Opponents have hit .305 against him. Since Manuel pulled him from a Sept. 8 game in Washington, he is 0-1 with an 11.57 ERA in five appearances. Opponents have hit .391 against him. In four appearances since Manuel returned him to the closer’s role, he is 0-1 with a 14.73 ERA and three saves in four opportunities. Opponents have hit .421 against him.
The Phillies were 79-0 when leading after eight innings last season. They are 75-10 this season.
“He was our closer last year and we signed him to be our closer now,” Manuel said of Lidge. “He’s struggling. But at the same time, it’s hard for us to close the game out. It’s tough. It’s kind of what we’ve got. I’ve got confidence in him. I keep sending him back out there and hopefully he does the job. That’s about all I can say. I pull like hell for him every time he goes out there, believe me. I guarantee you that.”
Manuel sees no clear alternative (apparently Tyler Walker is not a candidate), although I believe if Brett Myers were healthy he would be closing the next time the Phillies had a save situation. Myers is going to throw a bullpen next Tuesday, and he said he will be back before the end of the regular season. Right-hander Ryan Madson is 5-5 with a 3.33 ERA this season, but is 1-3 with a 7.24 ERA and 8-for-14 in save opportunities.
“We’re waiting to see how long Brett is going to be,” Manuel said. “I mean, right now Brett’s not even in the picture.”
Lidge continues to maintain he can turn this around before the playoffs, but with each shaky appearance it seems less and less likely.
“It’s incredibly frustrating,” Lidge said. “I’m disappointed, but they hit the ball tonight. They did a good job. Hopefully tomorrow I’ll get another chance to get something started again, but, yeah, I’m definitely frustrated a little bit at a loss, but I’m sure there are some things I can do better.”
The Phillies went 79-0 when leading after eight innings last season, an incredible run highlighted by an incredible season from closer Brad Lidge. But they are 67-9 when leading after eight innings this season, which could cost them home-field advantage in the playoffs.
Their latest ninth-inning collapse came tonight when Ryan Madson blew his sixth save of the season – fourth as a closer — in a 10-9 loss to the Mets at Citizens Bank Park.
Lidge leads the Majors with 10 blown saves.
Madson, who is 1-3 with a 7.82 ERA and seven saves in 13 save opportunities this season, is tied for third with six.
The Phillies blew 15 saves last season, which ranked 28th in baseball. They have 21 this season. Their 64.4 save percentage is their worst mark since 2005, when they had a 63.6 save percentage.
How many is too many? Twenty-one blown saves are a lot, but the 2007 Colorado Rockies hold the Major League record for a playoff team with 29 blown saves.
But since Manuel pulled Lidge in the ninth inning Tuesday in Washington, he has used Madson three times in save situations. Madson is three-for-three, including tonight’s 4-2 victory over the Mets.
Myers needed just six pitches to get out of the eighth, but Manuel said after the game he wanted Madson in the ninth.
“We’re trying to establish something where we can get going and set up,” he said. “We can have Myers tomorrow if we wanted. We want to make sure we can line our bullpen up. I figure right now that we’ve got two big arms there.
“(Pitching coach Rich) Dubee and I talked. We’re definitely going to get Lidge back out there when we think that he’s ready and he’s throwing the ball real good. I’d like to give him a little bit of time just to kind of settle down from a mental state and for his command. Yeah, eventually we’re going to eventually get him back out there, but right now we’re just going to go day-to-day.”
Raul Ibanez is hitting .379 (11-for-29) with three doubles and three doubles in the past seven games. Ibanez hit his 30th double of the season in the fifth inning, giving him 30 or more doubles eight consecutive seasons. … Shane Victorino tied a career-high with three doubles. … Cole Hamels improved to 2-1 with a 1.52 ERA (five earned runs in 29 2/3 innings) in his last four starts. … Jayson Werth has reached base safely (via hit or walk) in 14 consecutive games (13 hits, 12 walks).
Brad Lidge‘s role in the Phillies bullpen has changed, but how that role works remains to be seen.
Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said before tonight’s game against the Nationals that to get Lidge right he plans to pitch him in low stress situations – the Phillies leading or trailing by a few runs – with the possibility to close on occasion. But he also wondered how often those situations will present themselves. Only four of the Phillies’ previous 25 games have been decided by five runs or more.
“I don’t see us using him in the seventh or eighth inning,” Manuel said. “I look at him as a closer. That’s kind of where he fits. I see him pitching once he needs work. If we’re behind in the game or we’re ahead or something by a good margin we’ll get him to make sure he pitches live in the game. He needs to get work where he can command his pitches and he feels good about himself. I agree that he needs work like that. That’s kind of what he wants. I don’t know how much work like that from here to the end of the season we can get him.”
Could he still close this season?
“He could close,” Manuel said. “He hasn’t lost nothing. I’m telling you right now, he definitely can still close. I see where he could be our everyday closer again. Yeah, of course.”
Manuel and pitching coach Rich Dubee met with Lidge after last night’s 6-5 victory, when Ryan Madson picked up his second save in as many nights. Manuel pulled Lidge from a save situation Tuesday after he loaded the bases with one out, allowing a single, walking a batter, hitting a batter and throwing a wild pitch.
It sounds like Madson and possibly Brett Myers will be pitching in most save situations until the Phillies deem Lidge fit to return, but Manuel is not going to name Madson or Myers the team’s closer for the foreseeable future, perhaps because he wants to make it clear to Lidge that he can get back his job.
Lidge said he is OK with Manuel’s plans.
“It’s real simple,” Lidge said. “Just get me work to get me where I need to be. That’s about it. I told him, ‘Listen, whatever you need to do, I’ll be ready to take the ball at any time.’ I told him it doesn’t need to be a save situation.’ Obviously, I’m ready to throw in those. But if we’re up by six runs, down by six runs, I feel like I’m very close to where I need to be, but it wouldn’t hurt to get a couple more outings. We’re on the same page with everything and we had a good talk.”
Left-hander Scott Eyre received a MRI exam today in Philadelphia. It revelaed a “loose body” in his left elbow, which has been causing his “quick and sharp” pain when he throws. Because Eyre had dye injected into his arm, the Phillies said he will not be able to pitch for a few days. “Obviously, we’re considering different courses of treatment at this point,” Phillies assistant general manager Scott Proefrock said. “He will be unavailable for the next few days.” Proefrock said the Phillies there is a remedy that would allow Eyre to pitch again this season. “We have not made a decision on how to proceed at this point,” Proefrock said. Eyre is 2-1 with a 1.61 ERA in 39 appearances this season. … Left-hander J.C. Romero (strained left forearm) and right-hander Clay Condrey (strained right oblique) continue to workout in Philadelphia, but there are no updates on their timetables to return.
- Brad Lidge.
- Ryan Madson.
Brett Myers could have been an option, except he had pitched Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday and had warmed up Monday. He was unavailable. So with a 6-5 lead in the ninth inning against the Nationals, Manuel chose … Madson to get the save.
“I wanted to leave Lidge alone,” Manuel said. “Lidge will get the chance to save some games for us, but tonight I wanted Madson.”
And tomorrow night?
“I don’t know,” he said. “We’ll just wait and see. I don’t want that to be a big thing. He was a great closer last year and he’s still got that kind of stuff. He’s got the talent. I don’t think there’s no reason in the world he can’t eventually get right, whether it’s this week or tomorrow or two weeks from now or a month or whatever, or next year or two years from now or three or whatever. I think he’s still a good pitcher. I’m not down on Lidge at all. Not at all. I’ve still got confidence in him.”
But clearly that confidence has waned. Lidge is 0-7 with a 7.11 ERA and a Major League-leading 10 blown saves. Manuel said before the game that he hung with Lidge for a long time, but with less than a month to play before the postseason this teams needs to win. Maybe getting out of the closer’s role will help Lidge. Maybe not. But Manuel is focused on getting to the postseason, and winning in the postseason once the Phillies get there. Lidge simply has been too erratic to make Manuel feel comfortable about his chances.
How will this work? Manuel sounds like he is going with a closer by committee approach, although he never used those words. Madson got the nod last night. Manuel said Lidge will get opportunities. I assume Myers will, once he gets a little more comfortable.
Can this work? It can. Madson is getting more comfortable in the ninth inning. Myers loved the job in 2007. Few are better when Lidge is right. If Manuel and Rich Dubee pick and choose the right pitchers for the right nights, it could work.
Will it work? We’ll see. Closing ain’t easy.
The Phillies entered last night’s ninth inning against Washington with a 5-3 lead, and Manuel went to Lidge as expected. Manuel told reporters before the game that he had confidence in him, but that his patience had a limit. Lidge needed to start producing consistently with the postseason less than a month away.
“There comes a time when, I don’t know …” Manuel said. “We’re trying to win a championship.”
That time finally came. Lidge allowed a single to Wil Nieves to start the inning. A hit batter, wild pitch and walk later, Manuel pulled Lidge, who had loaded the bases with one out, for Ryan Madson, who retired the next two batters on six pitches to end the game.
“That’s a tough call,” Manuel said. “I have all the respect in the world for Brad. I know how good a closer he is, and I know how great he can be. I’ve still got all the confidence in the world in him. But I’m sitting there and I didn’t have a very good feel about the game. And I made up my mind that I wanted to try Madson. Things will work out and be OK, but at the same it’s real tough.”
Manuel said he continues to have confidence in Lidge, but his actions spoke differently.
“Let me tell you something,” Manuel said. “When I tell you he’s my closer, I don’t tell lies. I don’t like to go back on nothing. But the team and the game is bigger than my heart and it’s bigger than anything else, if you want to know the truth. Winning a game is what it’s all about. It’s baseball and why I manage and it’s what comes first.”
Asked who will close tonight if there is a save situation, Manuel said Lidge could be the guy. But Lidge said Manuel told him in his office that he would get the shot.
“If there is a save situation tomorrow he said he was going to bring me in,” Lidge said.
Why? I believe Manuel has a couple reasons: 1) He realizes this team has its best chance to win if Lidge is right. And because the Phillies have a six-game lead in the National League East they still have time to get him right. 2) Manuel knows he has Lidge as his closer the next two seasons. If he crushes Lidge’s confidence today it could have long lasting effects.
I think Manuel’s first reason far outweighs his second reason. Manuel is focused on this year. He wants to win consecutive World Series. (That’s why he vented Monday in Houston.) But clearly the first domino has fallen for Lidge. I could see Manuel running Lidge out there a couple more weeks before settling on Myers or Madson with a week or two to go in the regular season. I’m sure Manuel would like to feel settled — and have the closer feel settled — entering the postseason.
Lidge still has time, but time is running out. The clock started ticking last night.
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.
But he certainly looked good tonight at PNC Park.
He threw eight shutout innings. His fastball had a lot of life on it. He dominated, which is what people have come to expect from him.
“I’m not really trying to force it,” he said. “The stuff that I’ve had, it’s gotten me to the big leagues. It’s gotten me to have success. Why do I have to try to be better or expect more out of myself when I was able to get the job done pretty well with the stuff that I normally have?
“I have the stuff to be here,” Hamels said. “I have the stuff to succeed. I have the stuff to succeed in the postseason. Why was I getting carried away trying to be somebody else I’m not? Even with the stuff I have, it’s pretty good. I don’t think Mark Buehrle went out and tried to be even better when he threw a perfect game. He just threw a game and it became a perfect game.”
It goes without saying how much better this team looks with Hamels throwing well alongside Cliff Lee, Joe Blanton and J.A. Happ.
Of course, there is the matter of the ninth inning. Brad Lidge has blown a Major League-leading nine saves this season. Madson has blown five, including one last night. He was pitching for Lidge, who had pitched in four consecutive games.
Madson officially served as the team’s closer June 7-25, when Lidge spent time on the disabled list with an injured right knee. (Madson also picked up saves in Lidge’s absence April 27 and June 2.) He went 0-2 with a 5.00 ERA and two saves in four opportunities in nine appearances. In nine innings, he allowed 11 hits, five runs, five earned runs, four walks and three home runs and struck out 10. In his other 54 appearances before Wednesday, he went 4-2 with a 2.60 ERA. In 52 innings, he had allowed 42 hits, 16 runs, 15 earned runs, 15 walks and two home runs and had struck out 52.
“I think Madson can close,” Manuel said. “I know he can close. It’s kind of Lidge. Get in a groove and get going.”
But it certainly is worth noting that Brett Myers struck out five in two innings tonight for Double A Reading. It looks like Myers is motivated. Like I said yesterday, I think Myers will have to pitch really well to convince the Phillies to make a move in the closer’s role, if Lidge continues to struggle. We’ll see.
Ryan Howard hit a three-run homer in the 10th to win it. Howard is hitting .333 (23-for-69) with nine home runs and 28 RBIs in last 17 games.
“The Big Piece was right on time,” Manuel said, referring to Howard. “He was running from behind, but caught up at the end. The Big Piece is all right, especially when he hits three-run bombs.”