First of all, thank god.
Secondly, when it rains, it pours.
Thankfully, the weather was fine and everybody hit home runs. Yes, with the Phillies’ offensive giants awake (but not fully awake), we pulled one out tonight, despite the Nationals and Brad Lidge’s best efforts.
It was soothing to see balls flying out of Nationals Park like a flock of terrified, spherical birds, but what do you know?Either everybody’s hitting, or nobody is. It’s like our lineup goes up to bat tethered to each other, while Milt Thompson stands in the dugout with that “bored moose” expression on his face.
Let me just say right now before I continue that we won tonight, the offense showed some life, and I am ecstatic. But Brad Lidge got pulled tonight and, being a staunch critic of him this season, as he’s got all the consistency and timeliness of a car on fire, I’m going to address some postgame utterings.
“When I say he’s my closer, I don’t tell lies, and I don’t like to go back on nothing. But the team and the game is bigger than my heart and is bigger than anything else, if you want to know the truth. Winning a game, that’s why I manage and that’s what comes first, and it was real tough for me to do.”
So let me see if I understand this remark.
We watched in horror as Brad Lidge took the mound with a sliver of a lead in the ninth inning 10 times.
We dug our fingernails into the arms of the couch and grinded our teeth together until only capable of subsisting on a diet of leaves.
We screamed in pain as another number was added to the loss column thanks to faulty closing.
Because Charlie Manuel didn’t want to go back on his word?
How much does it take, Chuck? How much evidence do you need to know that going back on your word is A-OK? So, Brad Lidge’s feelings were the main component that kept you from pulling him?
Brad Lidge walks into Charlie Manuel’s office.
Brad: Hey, Skip. Thanks for standing up for me with the press out there. It really means a lot to know you still back me.
Charlie: No problem, Brad. You know, you’re our closer. I don’t know if I mentioned that.
Brad: Uh…yeah. You did. Thanks.
Brad walks back into the Phillies locker room, slips on a wet towel, and accidentally gives up four runs in the bottom of the ninth.
This goes against every theory out there. I assumed Brad saved Charlie from a fire when they were kids (or, when Brad was a kid and Charlie was 47). But no! Charlie Manuel’s word and Brad Lidge’s feelings were at stake. God knows both of those things are worth a playoff race.
If winning games is important, why would you keep putting the guy out there who is literally losing them for you?!
“We won the game, and that’s the bottom line. When I got into the stretch, my control wasn’t there.”
TIMES WHEN BRAD LIDGE’S CONTROL ISN’T THERE:
When it is a save situation.
When it is the bottom of the ninth.
When he comes in with the lead.
When he is on the pitcher’s mound.
When he is awake.
When he is inside a baseball stadium.
A series of jokes, escalating in their ridiculousness? Yes. And I don’t want to be the guy who celebrated Brad all last year only to abandon him now. But every Phillies fan has the right to see the patience gauge on “E.”
Next post won’t have a smidge on Lidge, because I’m sick of talking about him.
Image courtesy of deadspin.com