With Brett Myers Returning Soon, a Dear Brad Conversation with Lidge
It’s over. Brett Myers is coming back.
No, it’s cool, we know you’re a great guy and everything. It’s just that, well, you know, you really have been a terrible pitcher this year.
We can live with the major league leading seven blown saves. The law of averages says that’s probably about right with the perfect season last year. It really isn’t about the ERA either, really, although an ERA above seven is ridiculous.
No, it is the way you are blowing saves that concerns us, to the point where we need to end this now.
Your success is dependent on people chasing that nasty slider, because you can’t throw it for a strike. (Well, you can, but when you do, it gets hit hard.) People are on to this. They know that they can just wait out the sliders until you have to throw a fastball for a strike to hit, or a slider for a strike to hit, or continuous sliders off the plate or in the dirt until you walk them.
Let’s take Tuesday night in Chicago. You walked Kosuke Fukudome, who was then sacrificed to second. Behind in the count to Milton Bradley, you threw your slider over the plate, which, predictably, got smacked into center for a game-tying RBI single.
After the game, you wanted to focus on the walk. Regarding the pitches to Fukudome you said, “I guess I could have made them a little closer so they could be called strikes.”
Yes, Brad, you could have thrown them over the plate instead of trying to nibble. A pitcher working a perfect closing season gets those calls. A guy with six blown saves and an ERA north of a touchdown does not.
Look, you don’t have to explain. It’s not that we don’t love you, we do. You’re a great guy. It’s not you, it’s us. We just need more consistency, like Phillies’ pitching coach Rich Dubee says. You aren’t giving us what we need.
Look, Brad, don’t make this harder than it already is. It was fun, right? You can keep the ring. No, we insist. You can—wait, that’s our cell phone, hold on, we need to take this—hello? Hey, Brett, how’s it going?
You threw two simulated innings yesterday? No pain? You think you might be pitching in a rehab start within a week? Great! Hold on, what? Yes, he’s still here. We’re telling him now, hold on a second.
Look, Brad, we gotta go. Actually, you gotta go. Thanks again for last year. No, now. Goodbye, Brad.
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