With his Major League leading eighth blown save, Philadelphia Phillies closer Brad Lidge is ever closer to fulfilling his boyhood dream of being in the record books for most blown saves in a single season.
“When I was a youngster, I always dreamed of breaking records in baseball,” said Lidge, after literally throwing away a game with the Atlanta Braves. “But there was always one that was near to my heart, the holy grail; the single season blown saves record.”
The current record for blown saves in a single season is 14, held by four different players. The last pitcher to achieve the feat was the Minnesota Twins’ Ron Davis in 1984.
Lidge was visibly choked up when talking about the record.
“That was a magical year, 1984,” said Lidge wistfully. ”It takes a special kind of situation. You can’t just suck. You have to suck in a special way.
“Kind of like I do this year.”
Lidge was in danger of saving the Braves game Saturday.
With his Phillies leading 3-2 in the bottom of the ninth, it started off well enough for Lidge, with Braves OF Garret Anderson singling to right, just under the glove of Gold Glove second baseman Chase Utley.
“That was a break right there,” said Lidge.
Then, Matt Diaz laid down a bunt just to the right of Lidge. He had time to throw to second and start the double play.
“That went through my mind as I reached for the ball,” said Lidge. “But then I thought, the record!
“So, I bobbled the ball and threw it into right field. I had no choice, really.”
Anderson scored on the errant throw. Lidge, charged with two errors on the same play, knew his work was not done yet. He then walked the next two batters, one intentionally, then struck out Ryan Church.
“It was more dramatic that way,” he said.
Then, to the surprise of no one, Lidge left a slider over the plate that Omar Infante drove into left field for the win.
More importantly, for Lidge, he preserved the blown save.
“I really think I can do it if I get the opportunities,” said Lidge. “I’m glad Kim (Myers) hit (her husband and injured Phillies pitcher) Brett (Myers) in the eye like I asked her to. That should buy me a couple extra chances.”
When told that Kim denied that and that the Myers' claimed that Brett fell out of his car, Lidge chuckled and said, “Sure, ok, whatever.”
“Six more to go. Wow, I can’t believe I am actually this close to history.”