Watching the Phillies With Lidge on the Mound is Like Banging My Head Into a Needle-Covered Wall . . . Very Forcefully

Charlie Manuel:  "There will always be things that make us think of last year. Like, for instance, if you look at the pictures on the wall. There is the fact that we won. But at the same time, the celebration comes to an end. These are memories, but the game goes on."

Charlie Manuel:  "[Lidge] and Madson that’s what we’ve got in the back of our bullpen. He was our closer last year and he’ll be our closer now."

So which is it Charlie?  We have to forget about next year and move on because this year is different (as you said in April when the Phillies were scuffling)?  Or do you continue to go with a guy who is putting up a historically bad season this year solely because he was good last year (as you said yesterday after Brad Lidge blew his 11th save of the season)?

This insanity with Brad Lidge is well documented, and I gave you much of the important statistics in the linked story from Monday.  So all I'll do here is just update them to include last night's game (as well as a hold that I left off of Monday's calculations):

In 43 save-situation appearances this season, Lidge now has 31 saves, 11 blown saves, and 1 hold.  (The hold is from September 8, when Lidge entered the game to start off the 9th with a 2 run lead but was pulled after facing 4 batters: single, groundout, hit by pitch, walk (including a wild pitch).)  Luckily, the Phillies were able to win 3 of Lidge's 11 blown saves.  But, imagine if he had saved 5 of those remaining 8 -- the Phillies would now be 93-58 with a .616 winning percentage, good for second in baseball behind only the Yankees.  Had he been perfect in those 8 like he was last year (asking a lot, yes, but just for comparison), the Phillies would have the best record in baseball at 96-55 (a .637 winning percentage compared to the Yankees' .635).

In those 43 appearances, Lidge now has a 7.78 ERA and an 8.77 RA.  That last number is stultifying -- Lidge gives up just under 1 run per inning in save situations.  He has now given up at least 1 run in 21 of his 43 appearances.  In 11, he has given up more than 1 run.

As for baserunners, Lidge has a 1.97 WHIP in those 43 appearances.  When you add in his 1 batter that he hit by a pitch, he has given up exactly 2 baserunners per inning in his 43 save situations.  In 24 of his 43 appearances, he has in fact given up 2 or more baserunners.  In only 10 of his 43 appearances, has he kept the other team off the basepaths entirely.  On Monday I called this a AA performance, but I take that back.  This is short-season rookie ball performance.

And yet, because he closed last year, he's our closer this year.

Charlie, how insane are you going to be for the remaining games of the season?  And, how painful are you going to make watching baseball for Phillies fans from here on out?

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