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Philadelphia Phillies: Six Starters, No Closer

Andrew GodfreyCorrespondent IAugust 16, 2009

NEW YORK - JUNE 11:  Jamie Moyer #50 of the Philadelphia Phillies pitches against the New York Mets on June 11, 2009 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

Jamie Moyer has been relegated to bullpen duty since Pedro Martinez has been added to the Phillies starting rotation.

 

The Phillies have an abundance of starters now that Pedro Martinez is in the starting rotation. Jamie Moyer is being shifted to the bullpen to make space for Martinez in the rotation. Martinez may have won his first game but he still did not pitch that well. He has a 5.40 ERA which is only slightly better than that of Moyer.

Moyer has only pitched one game in the bullpen since 1996. Hitters are hitting .300 against him as  a starter this season so it will be interesting to see if he fares any better out of the bullpen. His 5.47 ERA this season is the worst for him since 2000 when he posted a 5.49 ERA in 2000.

Brad “Lights Out” Lidge may have to change his nickname the way the season is going. Instead of turning the lights out, he is pouring gasoline on the fire when he enters the game this season.

Last season, he posted a 2-0 record with a 1.95 ERA and converted all 41 save opportunities.

This season he is 0-5 with a 7.27 ERA and has blown eight saves which is two more than any other major league closer. Lidge is ranked 531st in the majors in ERA this season.

It has reached the point where a Phillies starter with a lead is in danger of losing a win if Lidge enters the game. Last year it was the opposite when it was like money in the bank when Lidge came in from the bullpen.

It will be an interesting end to the 2009 season as the Phillies try to sort out their starting rotation with Martinez and Moyer both wanting to be the fifth starter.

How much longer can Charlie Manuel bring in Lidge from the bullpen? His 8.44 ERA for August is the highest for any month. Opposing hitters are hitting .301 against Lidge so he is not exactly striking fear into the hearts of hitters this season.

The Phillies may be in first place right now but they haven’t won anything yet and may not if they can’t get better pitching from their closer between now and the end of the season.

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