Saturday, April 18, 2009

Lights out Lidge's streak is over

(AP Photo/Tom Mihalek)
Someone broke Brad Lidge. After 47 straight saves, including a perfect 2008 season, Lidge has blown his first save as a Phillie. More importantly, the blown save led to the Phillies losing their third straight game, 8-5 to the Padres.

We all knew the streak had to end sometime but it was still shocking to watch it happen. Lidge came into the game with a 5-4 lead and gave up 4 runs, 3 of them coming on a Kevin Kouzmanoff homer. Lidge looked shaky throughout the inning and had a couple of close pitches that were called balls that seemed to rattle him a bit. Much credit has to be given to Lidge for his tremendous streak but it will be interesting to see how he responds next time he is given the ball in a save situation. He was known to have a fragile psyche in the the past, especially after Albert Pujols crushed one of his pitches in the playoffs, but I bet Lidge bounces back like nothing ever happened.

Looking at the bigger picture, this is two games in a row where the Phillies gave up leads. The reason the 2008 Phillies were so good was they had a bullpen that was lights out; the moment the starting pitcher was taken out of the game it was nearly automatic that the bullpen would close things out. This season the pitching has looked awful from the starters down to every last bullpen pitcher as the team has given up 70 runs in 10 games. That's 7 runs a game! I don't care how good the Phillies offense is, no team can win if they give up 7 runs a game.

The honeymoon of the 2008 World Series has clearly worn off. This season is only 10 games old but so much has already happened with this Phillies team. Let's hope they have what it takes to fight through the adversity and be a better baseball team. Lord knows we can't take many more losses to the crappy Padres.

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