Shut the Door, Brad; the Cubs’ Runs Are Getting In


We pulled one out last night, which is a delightful surprise, given the current HOTSTREAK* we’ve been riding.  Putting Brad Lidge in to preserve a one run lead at this point is like watching one of your sled dogs die and replacing it with a mouse.

Not gonna cut it, Chuck.

Thanks to the heroics of Ben Francisco, we can rest a bit easier knowing we can’t get swept again, but hey!  It’s still a cold chill that jogs up my spine every time Lidge starts out to the mound, even if we’re up by a baker’s dozen.

With a playoff appearance imminent (yes, I am still saying that) we are going to require a closer.  We’ve seen, with the moving of Moyer to the bullpen, that the Phils are not incapable of radical changes.  Jamie was clearly the weak link (no offense, guy, but it just wasn’t happening) and they took care of the issue in a direct, respectful manner.

Now, it is time to address a new issue, which is to say, the SAME issue, that has been plaguing us late in games all year:  Last year’s poster boy for the WS team, the 48/48, narrator-of-the-video-yearbook, Brad “Lights Out” Lidge.

Unfortunately, the lights are out this year because somebody bashed the fuse box with a hammer.  Without any power going to his arm, “Lights Out” Lidge has been “No Outs” Lidge, and the time has come, with the post season approaching ever so rapidly, to address this problem, just as we did the Jamie Moyer scenario.

The problem is, there is no massive media tickle fight starting like the one that sparked Moyer’s move.  We had six starters and five spots, so somebody had to go.  Lidge, on the other hand, is our All-Star closer, and there’s not really a current newsworthy predicament (other than him blowing saves like their deflated balloons) to start an effort of some kind to fix this.

Who would be our closer if Lidge is gently pushed aside?

Ryan Madson?

I don’t know, guys tend to jump into our closer role with massive success (Tom Gordon, Brett Myers, Lidge), only to come back the following year and shit all over the pitcher’s mound.  Madson is a guy who had consistently good experiences late in the game, then he didn’t, now he’s pretty good as a setup man…

Its tough.  I mean, our bullpen might as well be a hospital ward this season.

Jamie Moyer?

Ha ha ha ha ha ha.

Brad Lidge?

Yeah, I feel more than likely that Lidge will come back and have a great year next season.  The guy was perfect last year, something that is MUCH harder to accomplish than he made it look.  That’s a lot of pressure to put on a guy, and you can see in that jock-ish, frustrated way in which he curses himself out after giving up 19 runs in the bottom of the 9th that he’s putting a lot of pressure on himself.

Theorizing that he’ll be back to form next year, there may not be a real reason to move him now just to make him uncomfortable.

We’ve got some important games and the playoffs swinging at us with the intensity and speed of a troop of knife-wielding monkeys, so it’s clear that something has to be done outside of putting Lidge out there and hoping for clear skies.

It is far too late in the season to be watching yet another opponent celebrate a walkoff victory while Lidge meanders off the field, pissed at himself.

Something needs to be done.

*of shit