Brad Can't Put The 'Lid'ge on It

Lee TawilContributor ISeptember 24, 2009

PHOENIX - JULY 28:  Relief pitcher Brad Lidge #54 of the Philadelphia Phillies pitches against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the major league baseball game at Chase Field on July 28, 2009 in Phoenix, Arizona.  The Phillies defeated the Diamondbacks 4-3.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

When you think about successful closers in Major League Baseball right now, Brad Lidge’s name is usually in the top five of that list. Behind guys like Mariano Rivera and K-Rod, Lidge has been considered one of the better closers over the last few seasons.

When it comes to closers, though, it is hard to find one that can stay consistent over the long haul. That is why the Yankees consider Mariano Rivera as a key reason to their success in the last 15 years. To find a closer that can stick around that long, and still pitch effectively enough to trust him in the bottom of the 9th in any game, you have found yourself a true anomaly.

Here is where Lidge is facing issues lately. He has been good for a few years, but not nearly as long as Rivera has been. From his numbers this season, Lidge has seemingly lost his ’stuff ‘ just like most of the other closers that have faded into oblivion.

After converting 41 out of 41 in save opportunities last season, Lidge has blown 11 saves this season, and has a record of 0-8.

What!? How could that be?

It is possible that Lidge is going through a rough patch that he needs to figure out soon. It is also possible that Lidge is no longer effective as a closer in the Majors. And although I realize that there is such a thing as a bad season, I have seen too many closers like Lidge come and go in the blink of an eye. Like I said earlier, the Rivaras of the world are the anomalies, so I would not be surprised if Lidge is indeed done.

Even if that is the case, the Phillies are about to play in the postseason, and they need their closer to be on top of his game. Will Lidge be able to have one last run this postseason, and possibly turn his career back around, or is Lidge done and leaving the Phillies in a postseason bind?

The answer to that question can be the key element in whether the Phillies repeat as champions or have a disappointing postseason exit.