Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Is Brad Lidge Really Mitch Williams in Disguise?

Unfortunately, the Phillies' winning streak ended at 10 games today, as they lost to Carlos Zambrano and the Cubbies, 10-5. Jamie Moyer continued his Jekyll & Hyde ways and got hit hard again today. Oh, yeah--Eric Bruntlett went 0-1, dropping his "batting average"--if it can be called that--to a robust .128. Most pitchers do better than that.

More importantly, Brad Lidge was trotted out today in a losing effort to get him some work, and his performance was very reminiscent of Mitch "Wild Thing" Williams. Williams' close friend Mark Grace once said, "Mitch pitches like his hair's on fire," and that description seems to fit Brad Lidge, too. Williams was, fittingly, called "Wild Thing". A typical Williams save involved at least one walk, a couple of base runners, and fingernails chewed to a nub.

Brad Lidge seems to be the righthanded version of Mitch Williams. Today, in a game that was already lost, Lidge gave up two walks, hit a batter, gave up two hits, and two earned runs in 2/3 of an inning. Ryan Madson had to come in and get the third out, or Lidge's line would have been even uglier. His ERA, which had finally dropped below 7.00, fluffed back up to 7.20. It was a performance that the Wild Thing would have appreciated, and it surely reminded me of a Mitch Williams appearance.

The bottom line is that, even with last year's heroics, the 2009 version is definitely NOT "Lights Out Lidge". He's far from it. He is too inconsistent and too unreliable to be the closer of a team in the hunt to repeat as world champions. The Phils need to do something, and soon, before Wild Thing II costs them too many more games.

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