Saturday, July 31, 2010

No longer a priv-Lidge

I had just had my mind warped by the dream maze of Christopher Nolan's "Inception" but my mind has never been clearer about the Phillies' missed opportunities before the elapsed Trade Deadline.

True, Philadelphia pulled off the biggest trade of the week by adding Roy Oswalt, but the problem it didn't solve laughed with glee tonight as Brad Lidge was given the ball in the bottom of the ninth to protect a one-run lead against the Washington Nationals. He recorded just one out before Ryan Zimmerman ended it with a monster three-run shot to center field. It was Lidge's fourth blown save of the season, which isn't that many at this point in the season, but he's only appeared in half the games of most closers. That places his effectiveness right around the level of his 2009 season.

As the Phillies dropped yet another game on the road to a last-place team, other teams had just completed deals to help prevent such deflating results. Back-end relievers Matt Capps, Kerry Wood, Will Ohman, Octavio Dotel and Javier Lopez all recently found themselves in new homes. Even before Philly added Oswalt, it's largest weakness was undoubtedly the bullpen. I can't say for certain how hard Amaro tried to get a reliever, my guess is whenever it was brought up, he would start start babbling in unfamiliar tongues, except for a few select words - "Oswalt....Oswalt....must make them forget about Lee...."

We'll spend the rest of the season cringing when we don't have a big lead late in the game. That's actually not different from the norm, and I see now that I was being too optimistic. I suppose I forgot for a moment that I was Philadelphia fan. The Phillies are on the verge of getting swept by the Nationals, so we have to hope the bats sizzle early and Cole Hamels goes deep into the game. It'll do me good not to see Lidge or Ryan Madson warming up for a few days.

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