A New Closer?
Don’t get too excited Phillies fans; although Ryan Madson did close out the 6-5 win over the Nationals last night, it remains to be seen whether this is a permanent move or not. The unexpected, season-long decline of Brad Lidge has forced manager Charlie Manuel to sit him down. Is Lidge out for the season? Unlikely. Manuel is famous for his loyalty and will not give up on Lidge unless he has no other choice. But with 10 blown saves, the worst closer in baseball may be teetering on the brink of losing his job for the rest of 2009.
What is more likely to happen is Madson or Brett Myers will close when the game is close and Lidge will be given a few more shots if there is a 3-run lead to play with. But in a close game last night, it was a no-brainer to bring in Madson. He has pitched well lately and saved Lidge from sure disaster the night before, escaping a 1-out bases loaded situation in the 9th. Last night, Madson saved the game giving up one hit and striking out one batter.
Cliff Lee got the win, although for the 3rd start in a row, he did not look too solid. Lee gave up 10 hits and 4 earned runs over 7 innings, although he did not issue any walks. Still, Lee kept the Phillies in the game and allowed the offense to battle for him.
For the second night in a row and 10th time this year, the Phillies hit back-to-back home runs. This time it was Jayson Werth and Pedro Feliz doing the honors in the 8th inning to solidify a lead for the Phils. Four players had at least 2 hits in the game, including Werth, Feliz, Shane Victorino and Raul Ibanez. Even Lee helped out with the bat getting his 7th hit as a Phillie and his first career RBI. That RBI may have been the difference maker in the game.
The Phillies will try to sweep the Nationals tonight at 7:05pm. Joe Blanton will face former Met, Livan Hernandez. Best of luck to them!
Photos by Jenn