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[CHRON] Lidge removed from closer's role indefinitely

Discussion in 'Houston Astros' started by codell, May 12, 2006.

  1. codell

    codell Contributing Member

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    Castor: Thought about posting this in the "Lidge" thread, but figured it was big news so I started a thread. Feel free to merge per your discretion. :)

    http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/front/3860159.html

    Lidge removed as Astros closer for now

    By BRIAN MCTAGGART
    Copyright 2006 Houston Chronicle
    Astros pitcher Brad Lidge has been temporarily removed as the team's closer in an effort to allow him to work through his struggles in non-pressure situations, manager Phil Garner said prior to tonigiht's game against the Colorado Rockies.

    Although Lidge entered the weekend tied for the National League with 11 saves, he's struggled with his command much of the season. Lidge, who saved 42 games last year, has blown three saves and has a 6.48 ERA in 18 games pitched this year.

    Lidge was pulled from Thursday's win over the Los Angeles Dodgers after giving up a run in the ninth inning, leaving Dan Wheeler to close the game. Garner said Wheeler and Chad Qualls would share closing duties until Lidge can get back on track.

    "If I have a situation where I can get him in prior to the ninth inning, I will do that," Garner said. "The reason I'm doing this is if I can get him in a situation where he has a little bit of wiggle room to continue working on some of the things he's been working on that's what I'd like to do so that every pitch is so critical.

    "Even though I say that, if need to go to Qualls or Wheeler in the early part of the ballgame and go down there (to the bullpen), you still may see him in a save sitatuion. If I can get him in in an earlier portion of the ballgame from the sixth inning on, I'm going to try to do that, too."

    The Astros said the timetable on returning Lidge to the closing duties he's handled since June of 2004 will depend upon how he performs in his new role.

    "I think it's a good move right now to get a couple of innings in and hopefully straighten things out and get back to what I do," Lidge said. "I'm not terribly surprised."

    Lidge, who has had trouble getting his fastball over the plate this year with 16 walks in 16 2/3 innings, has been flying open during his windup, forcing his throwing arm to catch up with the rest of his body.

    Lidge said he'll also quit working exclusively from the stretch position, a move he made earlier this season to simplify his delivery.

    "If it's a game where I can get some work in and with a score that's spread out one way or the other, I probably will know I'll get some work in early on," Lidge said. "We don't know when I'm going to throw. If it's a one-run game I still might be closing it if we've already used Dan and Chad Qualls."
     
  2. DaDakota

    DaDakota If you want to know, just ask!
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    No, there is nothing wrong with Lidge.

    :rolleyes:

    I am glad that Garner is doing this, and hopefully Lidge will come back strong.

    I wish he was more of a bullldog like Wagner and Oswalt though.

    DD
     
  3. Roxfan73

    Roxfan73 Rookie

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    Let us all be thankful that it's only May. He has plenty of time to figure this out.
     
  4. A_3PO

    A_3PO Member

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    Lidge was on AM790 today with CP. He seemed to be taking it OK and he admitted some things needed to be worked out.

    One of Garner's best qualities is he is not intimidated by any players. I don't agree with all of his moves but I give him credit for being gutsy enough to do what he thinks is right no matter how a player feels about it. Ego management of players is important in baseball but some managers are too chicken to make tough decisions.
     
  5. francis 4 prez

    francis 4 prez Contributing Member

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    i think they spelled his last name wrong. i believe it's D-O-N-E.








    at least as far as the old lidge is concerned.
     
    #5 francis 4 prez, May 13, 2006
    Last edited: May 13, 2006
  6. tigermission1

    tigermission1 Contributing Member

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    Shoulda gotten Tejada when we could...Oh well.

    Lidge for Lima is about the best thing we can get at this point...
     
  7. ROXRAN

    ROXRAN Contributing Member

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    The sad thing is Lidge has been put in a position this year by the team to shine with a possibility of more save opportunities than ever. With his stuff of two years ago he could have had that kind of year...

    he should be having 14 or 15 saves already with a sub 2.00 era and impressive strikeout ratio...A cinch for the rolaids relief award...as it is, he is bantha fodder.
     
  8. KingCheetah

    KingCheetah Contributing Member

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    Lidge hasn't been the same since Pujols went yard for the win in the NLCS.
     
  9. htownballa23

    htownballa23 Contributing Member

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    I was thinking the same thing last night. We should have made that Tejada deal when we had the chance.

    I like the move by Garner, Lidge will eventually turn it around now.
     
  10. bobrek

    bobrek Politics belong in the D & D

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    Right, and what happens in 2007 when the Astros don't have Lidge, Everett, Lane or Tejada?
     
  11. Xenon

    Xenon Contributing Member

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    Qualls/Wheeler
    Zobrist or fa with all the money freed up from Tejada leaving
    Pence
     
  12. Nick

    Nick Contributing Member

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    I know we all like to rag on Garner from time to time for his "managerial decisions"... but his handling of the whole Brad Lidge situation has been perfect.

    He didn't do what Dusty Baker did, and continue to trot out a guy who just never was a closer (Latroy Hawkins) until they had to eventually trade him for nothing (remember, he was signed because he was an awesome set-up guy, but once he went closer, apparently they felt they couldnt make him a set-up guy again).

    Also, Phil's ability to work him into the game RIGHT AWAY last night, in a situation that wasn't close... but wasn't a blow-out (5-1, facing the heart of the order). Its also a testament to Lidge in accepting the "rehab" program (most elite players' egos would get in the way of this).

    Finally, I like the fact that he's going back to the windup, and they're just going to stop over-analyzing every single approach that he's using. He probably was flying open a little bit, but all the other stuff (throw more fastballs, throw sliders off the plate, then throw them for strikes, then throw them in the dirt) was probably doing more harm than good.
     
  13. My Lund

    My Lund Member

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    Lidge had been so good these past two seasons that our expectations of the guy had reached really high proportions. We all expect him to be absolutely perfect everytime the guy pitches. While it is unfair to hold a player to such high standards it is also sad that the guy we all Astros fans loved and admired so much is struggling. Everytime Lidge pitches we have about 4 pages worth of posts on him alone. Having said all this I hope he goes back to being his old self or at least about 90% of his old self.
    There is no point in complaining about Tejada now its done, its bridge under the water. Hopefully Lidge will find his rythm pitching in non pressure situations.
     
  14. Roxfan73

    Roxfan73 Rookie

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    I don't think the Tejada deal was all that close to being "done deal". At best, we would have had him for one year and had to deal with finding a new SS for 07 (not to mention a closer for this year).

    Our best bet would be to go for a nice midseason upgrade for the outfield (specifically RF as I am losing my patience with Lane), and/or a solid reliever.
     
  15. rrj_gamz

    rrj_gamz Contributing Member

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    This is good and bad...Good that it gives him time to work on his mechanics, but bad in the sense of his phsychology...He has to have his mind in the right shape...
     
  16. DallasThomas

    DallasThomas Contributing Member

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    I personally don't expect the guy to be absolutely perfect every time he pitches... I just want the Astros' closer to not give up at least a run nearly every time he goes out there. The 16 walks in 16 2/3 innings thing would be acceptable as long as it was just that. But of course it's not. It's compounded by the fact that his ERA is ridiculously horrible for anyone who should be relied upon, and it's now to the point where the "small sample size" argument is moot. Fueling his ERA-Skyrocket is his pitch command deeply being affected by whatever mental/emotional block he's got. The thing is, not a single ounce of the real Brad Lidge is out there. All of his previous strengths are now his most glaring weaknesses, and that glare shines in the eyes of every batter he faces.

    Basically, I just wanted to say thank you to Phil Garner.

    ;)


    P.S. - What the hell is "Bridge under the water"? Sounds like a Freudian slip of a metaphor where you misspelled "Lidge".

    :D
     
    #16 DallasThomas, May 13, 2006
    Last edited: May 13, 2006
  17. My Lund

    My Lund Member

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    Bridge Under the water = mental delusions as a result of recreational drug usage which you are well aware of.
     
  18. AMS

    AMS Contributing Member

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    i hate how in every lidge topic ever brought up, this point is repeatedly rubbed in...
     
  19. Sishir Chang

    Sishir Chang Contributing Member

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    So are the Stros still going to do the "Lights Out" graphics for Lidge when he comes out in the 7th inning? Too bad I really thought that was cool.
     
  20. Nice Rollin

    Nice Rollin Contributing Member

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    the astros were gonna do the trade....it was all up to bemore and they made a potential franchise saving decision
     

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