Over the past week we have seen a complete about face be the once NL East leading Philadelphia Phillies.
Why the sudden slump you say? It's not Jimmy Rollins or the lack of leadership in the clubhouse. Its not that management did not make a significant move to bolster the rotation for the stretch run.
In my opinion it was the absence of Brad Lidge.
The Phills lost three late inning leads to the now surging Los Angeles Dodgers. Without the stopper to nail it down, this team has problems.
The bullpen, which has been so effective this year, can only do so much. With the starters being shaky at best lately, the pen is going to have to pick up the slack. That is where Lidge was missing.
Last night he stopped the bleeding with a save in a 1-0 win for the fightins'.
This year Lidge has blown not one save. A pick up in the off-season, that was a gamble, has paid big dividends to a management that doesn't make many smart moves.
The one weakness I see in this team, besides management, is a lack of winning one and two run games. Lidge could help turn that around. If available for the Dodger series, we would be talking about a winning streak right now.
Lidge this season has nailed down 29 saves for the team and has an era of 2.15 after last nights game. In 50 innings he has 65 strikeouts and only 26 walks.
If this team wants to make the playoffs, win the NL East, and push for an October surge- it all rests on his right arm.