I was wary of Brad Lidge entering the game yesterday in another save situation after he had blown a save against the Dodgers on Friday night.
Charlie Manuel probably felt the best way to get Lidge back on track was to give him another save opportunity less than 24 hours after his blown save the night before.
This is the same Lidge that was perfect in converting save opportunities into saves for the Phillies in 2008 with 41 saves.
His six blown saves leads all closers this season with J.P. Howell of the Rays second with four.
Francisco Rodriguez and Trevor Hoffman lead the majors in saves with 15 and no blown saves.
Lidge blew four saves each season in 2004 and 2005. Lidge had six more blown saves in the 2006 season then had a career high of eight blown saves in 2007.
A win yesterday would have extended the Phillies lead over the second place Mets to four games but with the blown save and eventual 3-2 loss to the Dodgers they are three games ahead of the Mets.
Lidge probably would like to have another save opportunity today so he can regain his confidence. A closer without confidence is worthless so Lidge needs to get these blown saves behind him by saving a game today.
Mark Teixeira continued his hitting rampage yesterday hitting his 17th homer and driving in his 50th run of the season. He had three homers and 10 RBI and was hitting .200 at the end of April.
He hit 13 homers and drove in 34 runs in May while hitting .330 and raised his average to .281. He has played in only four games in June and already has a homer and six RBI and has raised his average to .286.
The Washington Nationals played their 54th game of the season which is the third of the season mark. They are 15-39 and if they continue with that record over the last two thirds of the season they will be 45- 117 at the end of the season.
They have two seven game losing streaks and one six game losing streak. They have actually had a worse record each year that Manny Acta has managed the team.
Their winning percentages with Acta at the helm of the club:
I know they are in a rebuilding mode but how many chances is Acta going to have to turn this team around? Teams with better records in Arizona and Colorado have already fired their managers while Acta remains unscathed.
Miguel Tejada is leading the majors in hits at the one third mark of the season with 79 hits which projects to 237 hits over a full season.
Adrian Gonzalez has played one game past the first third of the season mark and has 22 homers so should have about 65 when the season ends if he can keep up this torrid pace.
Today’s Featured Matchups
Roy Halladay 9-1 of the Blue Jays will be trying for his 10th win of the season when he faces Kyle Davies 2-5 of the Royals.
Randy Wells 0-2 will try again to post his first win of the season for the Cubs despite only giving up six runs in five starts. His mound opponent will be Bronson Arroyo 7-4 of the Reds.
Twenty-two-year-old right-hander Tommy Hanson will make his major league debut today for the Braves against Manny Parra 3-7 of the Brewers.
The White Sox will send Bartolo Colon 3-5 to the hill against David Huff of the Indians who has never faced the White Sox before. The White Sox have not fared well this season against young starters they haven’t faced before.
Rich Hill 2-0 of the Orioles will face Vin Mazzaro 1-0 who won his major-league debut last week for the Athletics.
Kevin Slowey 8-1 will try for his ninth win of the season for the Twins while Erik Bedard 4-2 gets the start for the Mariners.
2008 NL Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum 5-1 will start for the Giants while his mound opponent will be Ricky Nolasco 2-5 for the Marlins.
Antonio Bastardo 1-0 who defeated the Padres in his major league debut last week will take on the Dodgers and Randy Wolf 3-1.
Manny-Less Dodgers Extending Lead In NL West
Manny Ramirez played his last game for the Dodgers on May 6. The Dodgers were six and a half games ahead of the second place team on that date.
Now a month later the Dodgers have extended that lead to nine games with Manny on the sidelines.
If the Dodgers knew they could play this well without Manny they may not have even bothered to sign him last winter. On the other hand he will make them that much better when he returns with his bat in the middle of the batting order.
The Dodgers will have more leverage at the bargaining table the next time Scott Boras tries to get the Dodgers to sign Manny. The Dodgers can say they won with Manny but did even better without him on the team.
These Dodgers hitters are on a pace to drive in more runs in 2009 than they did in 2008. The first number is their 2008 number and the second number is their 2009 number at the third of the season mark:
Matt Kemp 76-30
James Loney 90-42
Andre Ethier 77-35
Casey Blake 23-35
Russell Martin 69-20
Juan Pierre 28-21
Rafael Furcal 16-12
Even without Manny Ramirez the Dodgers have four players on a pace to drive in 90 or more runs this season.