Tuesday night was possibly a landmark moment in the 2009 Phillies season. Charlie Manuel pulled Brad Lidge after his embattled closer loaded the bases with Nationals after getting only one batter out.
Lidge looked defeated as he left the mound. A totally different scene than one year earlier on Sept. 8, 2008 when Lidge struck out two as he pitched a scoreless inning to earn his 35th save of the season.
In 2008 Lidge lived up to his “Lights Out” moniker -- he was a perfect 41-for-41 in save situations as he posted a 2-0 record with a 1.95 ERA.
What a difference a year makes.
In 2009 the Phillies could finally have to shut the lights out on Lidge after he blew 10 saves on his way to a 0-7 record with a 7.11 ERA.
On Wednesday if the game is close don’t expect to see Lidge get the ball in the ninth -- simply because he could use a day off.
But if Manager Charlie Manuel doesn’t hand the ball to Lidge the next time around the it would be safe to say that the lights were turned off on Mr. “Lights Out” as the Phils closer.
"Only a fool would stick to his guns now considering how Lidge stacked up to Brett Myers and Ryan Madson, even having the added advantage of starting a clean ninth with a two-run lead. This is happening just in time for Manuel to make a clean break from this lost cause," said Beerleaguer.
For his part Manuel was non-committal to his plans for Lidge. But maybe he should just put everyone out of Lidge's misery.