Can Madson Close, Please?

Ryan MadsonBrad Lidge blew his second straight opportunity in a row and sixth of the season in 19 opportunities. After saving five in a row, including three against the 14-39 Nationals and one against the Padres’ 29th-best offense in the Majors, everyone thought he was healed, but he’s continued to pitch terribly as the season has progressed. His 7.20 ERA heading into the game was scary, and his 5.90 FIP doesn’t make you feel any better.

Nearly a month ago, I suggested putting Lidge on the 15-day disabled list and transitioning Madson into the closer’s role. Two weeks ago, I made the same suggestion. Today, I’m stating it again: Let Madson close. There’s no reason not to make the move.

The Phillies were lucky to be 11 games above .500 going into today’s game with the Dodgers, considering that 10 of their 32 wins are against the absolutely terrible Nationals team. Without the Nats, the Phils would be 22-19. The schedule doesn’t get any easier as the Phillies are scheduled to play the Mets, Red Sox, and Blue Jays in the next two weeks.

They can’t afford to give away games to good teams the way they did last night to the Dodgers. Even if they’re supposedly playing with house money, they can’t afford it. It’s time to take this season seriously and demote Lidge out of the closer’s role and promote Madson.

Update: The Phillies lose in twelve innings on an Andre Ethier walk-off hit for the second-straight night. This time it was a home run off of Chad Durbin. That’s three more innings the bullpen shouldn’t have had to pitch thanks to Lidge.