Sunday, September 06, 2009

Time For A Change

Any moment now we should find out if Brad Lidge still believes Charlie Manuel is "the most supportive" manager for whom he's ever played because the skipper has no choice but to replace Lidge with Brett Myers in the closer's role. What does Manuel have to lose? Another game!

Lidge blew his tenth save of the season last night ruining a good effort by Joe Blanton and Brett Myers to say nothing of a struggling offense. The walk-off loss to his former teammates was ugly but, then, all blown saves and resultant losses are ugly by definition.

No matter what the explanation for his ineffectiveness this season, Lidge has been given more chances than he probably deserved. The final month of the regular season is hardly the time to be auditioning Myers, just off the forever Disabled List following him surgery, but Lidge has left the Phillies with no other choice. Manuel isn't considered a players' manager for nothing; he is extremely loyal, especially to veterans. But he doesn't like losing, either, and every time he summons Lidge the chances of such an outcome increase. No one can be loyal to losing.

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Meanwhile, the injury bug has bitten two of the Phils key players, Chase Utley and Shane Victorino. Thus far the Phils have largely been immune from the bug with the notable exception of Myers and some of the relief corps. Utley fouled a ball off the same foot hit by a pitch earlier in the season. Victorino is favoring the same knee he landed hard on more than a month ago. Now is the time to sit these guys. Utley already has; it appears Victorino is about to.

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