Brad Lidge's Struggles Continue with Philadelphia Phillies

Adam BernacchioAnalyst IIIJuly 27, 2010

ST. LOUIS - JULY 22: Relief pitcher Brad Lidge #54 of the Philadelphia Phillies throws against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium on July 22, 2010 in St. Louis, Missouri. The Phillies defeated the Cardinals 2-0.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

Brad Lidge can turn the safest of leads these days into a full-blown nail-biter. Going for their first ever four-game sweep of the Colorado Rockies, the Philadelphia Phillies built a 5-2 lead headed to the ninth.

Then they brought in Brad Lidge, and, as usual, things got interesting.

The first batter Lidge faced was Miguel Olivo, and he smacked a double to right. After retiring Melvin Mora and Brad Hawpe, things seemed to unravel for Lidge.

And what is a concerning about Lidge’s unraveling on Monday was that this was very similar to his meltdown in Cincinnati on June 29. After getting two quick outs that night, Lidge couldn’t get anyone out and served up a bomb to Joey Votto.

On Thursday, Lidge got two quick outs and then served up a 402-foot bomb to Seth Smith making the score 5-4 Phillies. While Philly fans thought the worst was over, things were just getting started.

Lidge walked Jonathan Herrera and then served up a single to Carlos Gonzalez. Then, for extra measure, Lidge uncorked a wild pitch that put runners on second and third with two outs. I couldn’t imagine what the average Philly fan was thinking at this point.

If the average Philly fan was losing his or her mind, the insane Philly fan was probably acting like Patton Oswalt in Big Fan. Lidge then intentionally walked Jason Giambi to load the bases.

Lidge somehow got of the inning when he got Ryan Spilborghs to ground back to the pitcher’s mound. So just to recap: That was one inning, three hits, two runs, two walks (one intentional), and 34 pitches.

Philly fans should be used to this by now, as Lidge has a 1.68 WHIP in 19.2 IP this season.

Having 19 hits and 13 walks is a lot of base runners for just 19 innings of work. It’s almost like the Phillies have to have a three-run lead these days in order for Lidge to be able to close things out.

It’s pretty clear that Lidge will never be the same pitcher that he was in 2008, when he went 41-for-41 in save opportunities.

But in order for the Phillies to overtake the Atlanta Braves and make a run at the Wild Card, they are going to need Lidge to be somewhat serviceable as a closer.

Any blown save could cost the Phillies a playoff spot.

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