As expected, Brad Lidge is back on the disabled list. That, of course, means Ryan Madson will be getting some save opportunities. With that, expect many Phillies fans to express their disdain with Madson in the ninth inning. They’ll cite his psychology, but they’ll cite his ninth-inning failures as well. The truly dedicated will have both in their arsenal.
Madson has 24 blown saves in his career, which sounds like a lot for someone who hasn’t been asked to close many games. Think about the save statistic first. How does one earn them? One cannot earn a save in any inning except the one prior to the end of the game, which is the ninth inning the majority of the time. However, one can earn a blown save in the seventh, eighth, ninth, and extra innings.
Here’s the breakdown of Madson’s blown saves:
- Before the ninth inning: 17 of 24 (71 percent)
- Ninth inning or later: 7 of 24 (29 percent)
Only about one-third of Madson’s blown saves are “real” blown saves.
Additionally, of his 24 blown saves, only 13 (54 percent) have been earned since the start of the 2008 season, when Madson became a key cog in the Phillies’ bullpen. 13 blown saves in three seasons is an average of about four per season, which sounds pretty normal if you ask me.
Finally, here’s another interesting statistic just to leave you feeling full:
Despite pitching mostly 8th innings, Madson has faced the heart of the lineup as much as Lidge. Since 2008, the #3-6 hitters have accounted for 45.2 percent of batters Madson has faced; Lidge faced the #3-6 hitters 44.5 percent of the time. Last year, Madson held the middle of the order to a .681 OPS.
I’m fine with Madson in the ninth inning. You should be, too.