Some Weekend Ryan Madson Love For You


Sean Hagan, or The Red Suit, as he’s known on the masked vigilante circuit, finally got his punishment: Helping the city of Philadelphia for 80 hours.  With some simple calculations (EDITOR’S NOTE: “Addition.”), consider yourself supplied with the amount of service hours the city of Philadelphia is getting, thanks only to Phillies fans.

Hagan:  80 hours

Pukemon:  50 hours (+jail time)

Taser kid:  80 hours

Sex-for-tickets lady: 100 hours

Aspiring DJ (2nd field-jumper):  ???

I don’t know how to construct an animal shelter with a bunch of idiots and an erotic novelist, but I’m positive it can’t take more than 310 hours.

So I’m just gonna gush over Ryan Madson for a while here.

On the sadly long list of Phildelphian missteps this past year, there is always a spot for Ryan Madson.  Ryan the fireballing set-up man has watched Brad Lidge from the 8th inning for the past few years, which obviously means his mindset for a Lidge-ppearance has swung from “elated” to “concerned” to “furious;” and then back to “fine, whatever,” before settling on “okay, that’s good, do that.”

In 2010, he’s been a bit of a background player.  But that’s all thanks to some poor decision-making skills.  Namely, his decision to call out a metal folding chair back in late April.  The attack on the furniture left him with a broken toe and an eight-week absence.  Or, as John Finger put it:

"“Chairs, like walls, rarely lose.”"

The Rangers are playing like a bunch of chairs out there.

Anyways, Ryan got back and climbed along with everybody up past the Braves and the Reds and into the playoff atmosphere.  His career postseason ERA is 2.20 in 28.2 innings and 34 K’s.  Dude is money. Dude is lots and lots of money.

The awesome things done by the Phillies weren’t quite the same without a raucous CBP playoff crowd behind them, so if you can close your eyes and imagine Ryan Madson surrounded by 45,000 screaming lunatics in the bottom of the 8th inning of Game 5, you’d do the imagery here a lot of favors.

There’s not really a respite from the terror during a close playoff game, especially when the series is showering your opponent with wins.  Its like one of those nightmares you can’t wake up from, only then you realize you are awake, and this is your life, and these are the choices you’ve made.  Opening the bullpen can be a rough task, but then again, with the amount of groins being pulled out there (1) so can the starting rotation.

One run is not anything in this series.  Its the tooth and nail clawing that makes this series so fucking unbearable spectacularly bad for my “weird liver thing.”

Getting insurance runs is tough, but at least we’re fairly certain that it’s impossible to lose the lead while still batting.  On the other side of the inning, watching the Phillies get three outs this NLCS has been grating.  There have been errors everywhere, for everyone, during every play from a routine pop-up to a routine ground ball.

Ryan Madson came into a game late and with a one-run lead to protect.  Any other day, that job is shit-tough.  Last night, it was tougher and shittier than ever before.  The beating heart of the Giants offense (If I would have told you in 2006 that I could one day refer to Pat Burrell, Cody Ross, and a 14-year-old in that way you’d have told me to shut up and stop breaking into your house) was on its way up, and with the way Buster Posey had played in Game 4, a lead slimmer than daylight was no consolation.

Ryan, however, was just not interested in Posey’s likable young attitude or Ross’ from-nowhere offensive swagger, and K’d everybody on 13 pitches.

"“We all have our jobs here.  I got my job done, and I knew Lidge was going to come in and get his job done.”"

As somebody whose regular season doubts come roaring back with every instance of Phillies detriment, I can say that 8th inning was the only inning of Game 5 where I was merely teetering on the edge of a meltdown, rather than just full blown having one in front of the entire TGIFriday’s.  The confidence and stability Madson had were exactly what was needed to fill the steamin’ mad Halladay-hole that had been left simmering on the mound from Doc’s exit after the 6th.  He and Lidge stormed through the Giants 1-2-3-4-5-6; and actually, if I’m going to bother to mention Lidge, I might as well recognize the entire bullpen’s performance via Jose Contreras and J.C. Romero as well, as they were pitching in somewhat foreign territory–before the 7th inning and in relief of Roy Halladay.  They combined for 1 hit, no runs, and five strikeouts.

The bullpen has given me and alcohol a run for our money this season.  I always invoked it as our weak point, but then this post season revealed that offensively, we weren’t feeling too potent either.  But at a time of year when my nerves are most easily rattled, the facet of the team I was most scared of for 2010 came through in a huge ridiculous way.  Not that anyone else in the bar wanted to hear me explain that.  You’d be amazed at how unenthusiastic Giants fans are to hear Ryan Madson’s post season statistics.

When he struck out Cody Ross to end the inning, I punched my sister in the shoulder so hard in celebration I was almost arrested.  But they were kind of itching to get me out of there ever since I had asked the bartender (who was in a completely realistic Giants uniform including the pants) “Cute outfit.  You got tryouts after this?” This was followed by a chunk of silence that everyone assumed would end with me swallowing a cleat.