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Coste to Partially Blame for Philadelphia Phillies' Ninth-Inning Collapse

Chris MayContributor IMay 24, 2009

DENVER - APRIL 12:  Pitcher Brad Lidge #54 of the Philadelphia Phillies pitches the ninth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on April 12, 2009 in Denver, Colorado. Lidge earned the save as the Phillies defeated the Rockies 7-5.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

OK… after reflecting on what would have been a great win for both J.A Happ and the Phillies, I’ve thought about it some more and now lay only part of the blame on Brad Lidge.

Yet again, Chris Coste shows me another reason why he doesn’t belong in the big leagues. Calling for a 3-2 fastball to Alex Rodriguez was a horrendous error in judgment to say the least. Throw another slider.

If you throw a good one and he still hits it, more power to him. If you miss in the dirt and walk him, so be it. That just means you face Robinson Cano with a possible double play in order.

You may think I’m just second guessing, but when is the last time you’ve ever seen any closer challenge Ryan Howard with a 3-2 fastball with the game on the line? Never.

You know why… because only Coste is stupid enough to think A-Rod is not going to crush the ball if it’s anywhere near the strike zone. Honestly, can anyone who was watching the game not see that home run coming?

Now back to Lidge. I don’t care how many times the Phillies management say there is nothing wrong with his health, I just don’t believe them. We’re nearly two months into the season and Lidge still can not locate his fastball.

If he’s not hurt, then something is seriously wrong with either his mechanics or psyche because he just can’t seem to throw a fastball for a strike, or throw one away when needed to get someone to chase.

I would not be surprised at all if Lidge goes on the 15-day disabled list to rest his ailing knee once J.C Romero returns. Madson is more than capable of closing in place of Lidge if he is truly scuffling due to his knee.

There were some positives in spite of the loss.

Both Ryan Madson and Chad Durbin were extremely sharp. The movement on Durbin’s pitches reminded me of the Durbin of early last season. Let’s hope he continues to pound the strike zone with movement.

J.A Happ didn’t disappoint. I truly expect this kid to win 10 games this year as a starter, and will be a primary reason why the Phillies will win the NL East, despite all of their holes.

John Mayberry Jr. homering in just his second major league at-bat would have been a great story had it not been for the ninth inning collapse. I don’t know how many at-bats this kid will see (other than inter-league games in AL parks) until September, but the 25-year old definitely has a bright future whether it’s with the Phils or someone else.

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