Charlie Manuel Likens Halladay Patience to Lidge Patience

GM Ruben Amaro told the media today that Roy Halladay will be given all the time he needs to get back on track, which isn’t all that surprising considering the source. Manager Charlie Manuel likened his patience with Halladay to his devotion to closer Brad Lidge back in 2009. Via Todd Zolecki:

“You guys used to get on me about Brad Lidge,” he said, referring to Lidge’s 2009 season when he went 0-8 with a 7.21 ERA and 11 blown saves. “I used to look down there, and to me Brad Lidge was probably the best I had. If I was going to lose the game it was going to be Brad Lidge. I was committed to Brad Lidge. If I commit to you then I commit to you. And whatever happens is going to happen. That’s kind of how I look at it.”

They say that those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it. Lidge cost the Phillies Game Four of the 2009 World Series, allowing three runs in the ninth inning as the Yankees took a 3-1 series lead. Lidge was awful throughout the regular season as well, finishing with a 7.21 ERA backed by a career-low strikeout rate and a career-high walk rate. Lidge pitched in the ninth or otherwise finished the game in all but two of his 67 outings, blowing saves in 11 of them. The Phillies, at any point, could have handed the closer role to Ryan Madson but never did, instead choosing to watch Lidge fail time after time in high-leverage situation after high-leverage situation.

The 2013 Phillies don’t have anywhere near the wiggle room that the 2009 team enjoyed. There is a time and a place for player loyalty, such as when you are the class of the National League with an eight-game division lead entering September as in 2009. This — arguably fourth-best in the NL East with high injury probability and a relative lack of talent — is not one of those times. Halladay can still work on finding himself without costing his team games.

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32 comments

  1. hk

    April 10, 2013 05:31 AM

    It seems as though Charlie is talking about his 2009 usage of Lidge as if it’s a badge of honor, not the badge of the village idiot.

    Speaking of history repeating, it’s obvious that Charlie hasn’t learned from his past indiscretions of leaving his SP in the game too long with a practically insurmountable lead. Obviously, we don’t know the impact on 2013 Doc of Charlie doing this with 2010 and 2011 Doc, but fewer innings, especially when the team had > 98% chance of winning, could not have hurt.

    After 7, Lee was at 87 or 88 pitches and the Phils were up by 5. I thought to myself how nice it would be for the team could coast to victory with Lee having a relatively easy night. 18 or 19 pitches plus 2 innings of warm-up tosses later…at least they coasted to victory…does Charlie think a complete game from his SP counts more in the standings?

  2. Richard

    April 10, 2013 07:31 AM

    Manuel’s remarks about Brad Lidge are remarkably stupid.

    But I won’t get on him for leaving Lee in the game, not at all.

  3. TomG

    April 10, 2013 07:49 AM

    It should go without saying that when you invoke, as justification for taking a particular course of action, a strategy you employed in the past, you usually pick a strategy that resulted in a positive outcome. Which isn’t exactly what happened here. “The last time I ate a pile of ground up glass, people criticized me and I wound up spending three months in the hospital and had to have most of my viscera removed and now the doc sez I can only eat a thin, tasteless gruel made from mashed turnips, but you see that pile of ground up glass over there? I’m-a gonna eat it, cuz that’s just the kinda guy I am.” [Looks up to take in the admiring stares.]

    It’s a compelling argument.

    Well, you know what they say: One definition of insanity is posting a comment on a blog alluding approvingly, albeit cryptically & incompletely, to a cliche that one of the blog proprietors previously inveighed prolixly against … and expecting an outcome.

    They say that, don’t they?

    That said, I do think Doc needs more time. Just wish Charlie had come up with a better argument for giving it to him.

    As for Lee last night, I was glad Charlie had the stones to take him out after 8.2. That was probably a tougher sell than taking him out after 7 or 8.

  4. hk

    April 10, 2013 08:05 AM

    Bill,

    What are the percentages of teams winning when they lead by 5 runs after 7 innings and lead by 5 runs after 8 innings?

  5. Richard

    April 10, 2013 08:22 AM

    I know the percentages are very high indeed, hk. Doesn’t change my opinion. Low-stress innings take much of a toll on pitchers.

  6. Cheesecrop

    April 10, 2013 08:37 AM

    If Halladay is saying it isn’t physical, & RAJ is also saying that nothing is wrong physically, then perhaps the answer can be found in what was written above:

    “The 2013 Phillies don’t have anywhere near the wiggle room that the 2009 team enjoyed. There is a time and a place for player loyalty, such as when you are the class of the National League with an eight-game division lead entering September as in 2009. This — arguably fourth-best in the NL East with high injury probability and a relative lack of talent — is not one of those times. Halladay can still work on finding himself without costing his team games.”

    Is it entirely possible that the mental block he has is coming from this realization? He’s 35, going on 36. Perhaps he is somewhat regretful that he came here, despite the success he did see. He saw the playoffs, which he never would’ve in Toronto these yrs., yet we never made it back to the Series.

    On one hand, he arrived here just when the ability to make it to the Series was gone. One the other hand, we’ve never given him a reason to yell or complain. He wishes to deliver for the fans, but perhaps he fears that it will go for nought. The combo produces the bizarre results we’ve seen so far ( strikeout dominance & long ball heaven at the same time). Just a thought…

  7. Richard

    April 10, 2013 08:41 AM

    “he arrived here just when the ability to make it to the Series was gone.”

    2010 & 2011 were outstanding opportunities to make the Series; they had the ability to do so, they just didn’t… he knows that.

  8. Brian

    April 10, 2013 09:07 AM

    “On one hand, he arrived here just when the ability to make it to the Series was gone.”

    Are you crazy?

    They won 102 games in his second year with the club and were the odds-on favorite going into the playoffs.

  9. KH

    April 10, 2013 09:26 AM

    Bill, so let me get this clear how long do you think Halladay should get? Pull the plug already or even soon? If so I have to disagree even though I think it was indfensible Manuel stuck with Lidge so long. I think Halladay deserves about 10 starts to sink or swim unless he keeps getting bombed ie a run an inning or more type perfomances then I’m pulling the plug at about 5. There is some calculus outside pure stats with Halladay he is a superstar and probably held in high esteem by other players if he doesn’t get what the players consider is a “fair shot” it could cause some grumbling.

  10. Cheesecrop

    April 10, 2013 09:41 AM

    At some level, this team clearly could not win in 2010 or 2011, or it would’ve. We can all argue about the Giants series in 2010, where “we wuz robbed”, so to speak, but in 2011 we had our chances, & didn’t do it.

    Whatever was missing may not have shown on the surface, but it was clearly there.

  11. LTG

    April 10, 2013 09:45 AM

    “At some level, this team clearly could not win in 2010 or 2011, or it would’ve.”

    The determinist’s credo. I’m guessing the level at which the Phillies could not win was the sub-atomic.

  12. Phillie697

    April 10, 2013 10:04 AM

    @TomG,

    That was the best laugh I had in weeks. Thanks :)

  13. Phillie697

    April 10, 2013 10:08 AM

    @KH,

    Manuel sounds like he’s going to stick with Halladay the whole season. He’s not talking about a 10-game tryout.

    Besides, like you yourself said, what’s the point of a 10-game tryout if after 5 starts Halladay is still at 7+ ERA? Sometimes you don’t need a bunch of tryouts to realize something is seriously wrong with someone. Now, if he shows some improvement, even if it’s not enough to make him good, I’d give him more time. There is no signs of that so far. It’s all relative.

  14. Richard

    April 10, 2013 10:18 AM

    Cheesecrop, that is an awful comment. It made me laugh at first, then it made me sad that someone would see things that way.

  15. Pencilfish

    April 10, 2013 10:53 AM

    How can “Halladay can still work on finding himself without costing his team games”? It’s pointless to say something like this without offering a strategy. At least, Charlie and RAJ have stated what they plan to do, even if that’s a bad choice.

    There’s also another saying that goes something like this,”It’s Better to Try and Fail Than to Have Never Tried At All”.

  16. Jonny5

    April 10, 2013 11:55 AM

    I couldn’t agree with HK more in regards to Lee being left in too long. I can see if a perfecto or CG shout out is in order, but for a ho hummer of a night when the Phillies are comfortably in the lead? Uhh no. The Phillies cannot afford to lose another pitcher. I love Charlie as much as the next guy but I don’t think he has a clue when it comes to pitcher management. Not saying I predicted Halladay or his issues, but many times I really questioned why he was throwing so many pitches in similar situations. I thought,”Damn his arm is going to fall off.” Many times.

  17. Jonny5

    April 10, 2013 11:57 AM

    Pencilfish, I’d Dl him and send him to AAA until he is ready. What’s wrong with that?

  18. Richard

    April 10, 2013 12:26 PM

    ‘I thought,”Damn his arm is going to fall off.” Many times.’

    Yeah, lots of people thought this. I did not, and still do not. I maintain, still, that it was usually unfounded.

    It makes very little sense to me to suggest that, after arguably the best season of his career, Roy Halladay was all of a sudden damaged goods because of too many pitches. I’d be more inclined to look at his off-season activities. He obviously came to ST last year injured, and it wasn’t an injury to his arm, and he knew it.

  19. Heather

    April 10, 2013 12:48 PM

    Pull the plug on Halladay…for whom?

    This very site has told us Morgan isn’t ready and Cloyd sucks.

    Nobody to trade for that represents much of an upgrade. Mostly Harang types.

    Is upgrading from a sucky Halladay to a marginally less sucky Cloyd the key to our playoff aspirations? Or is getting Halladay somehow turned around the key to our playoff aspirations?

    Bottom line, Halladay sucks, we are not going to the playoffs. Might as well let him out there on the off chance he figures it out.

    UC’s reasoning may be faulty, but I think there is an argument that this is actually the best course of action.

  20. LTG

    April 10, 2013 01:03 PM

    Sign Oswalt.

    Anyway, I’m not convinced that, in order to avoid the injury, Manuel should have done anything differently with Halladay nor that Halladay could have known to do anything differently than he did. As long as Halladay is making his regular starts and doing his offseason workouts, he is putting wear on his body. That wear might cause injury even if precautions are made not to overpitch or overworkout. As bodies age they don’t recover as well and become more vulnerable to breakdowns with the same stress, and bodies age differently. We just don’t know much about the causal chains of injuries.

    That said, unless Lee would get upset about not having a chance to finish a game, Manuel should pull him and use the mediocre relievers when they ought to be used.

    Why Adams last night? Why? Does Charlie believe that there is a deep ontological connection between pitchers and the ordinal innings in which they pitch?

  21. LTG

    April 10, 2013 01:23 PM

    *different bodies age differently

    That was just a terrible sentence anyway.

  22. Pencilfish

    April 10, 2013 01:49 PM

    Jonny5,

    If you mean DL (not DI) Halladay even though he is not injured?!
    Follow Ryan Summer’s recent article on this very same topic…

    There are rules against blatantly “gaming the system” in the collective bargaining agreement between the players’ union and MLB, though I don’t know the details.

  23. LTG

    April 10, 2013 06:35 PM

    May the gods of .gif bless us with a reproduction of Utley staring fiercely out at the field during Kratz’s at-bat in the first inning.

  24. Marty

    April 10, 2013 08:01 PM

    I think Pencilfish hits the nail on the head with “Better to have tried and failed…” Without Halladay, the Phillies aren’t anywhere close to an elite team. With him–and good luck, injury-wise–the Phillies are in the playoff hunt, at least.* Some points:
    - Even last year’s Halladay had ERA indicators around 3.65.
    - There’s a very real chance that he’s physically healthier this year than last.
    - He was an elite pitcher for a decade before his one bad year.
    - It’s not as if there is no sign whatsoever of him being able to pitch effectively again; he struck out 9 of 19 batters in his first start.
    - Batters have hit a grand total of 23 Halladay pitches into fair territory this season. He’s been shelled, but are you really going to extrapolate from 23 batted balls? Even if this is the new Halladay, it’s almost impossible he’s as bad as his results.
    - I can think of at least six prevalent human biases off the top of my head that would incline us to panic (and, to be fair, two that would incline us to be optimistic). Frankly, we should be less confident in our analyses right now, and we’re not that good at predicting individuals’ baseball results to begin with.

    I don’t believe every word he’s said, and clearly something is wrong right now, but that doesn’t change the fact that he most likely will resume being a very good pitcher.

    Find your towel, Don’t panic.

    Bonus optimism:
    * “arguably fourth-best in the NL East with high injury probability and a relative lack of talent”

    The Phillies are either 2nd/3rd best with a high injury probability OR they are, arguably, 4th best. Not both, because this team still has considerable talent, just with high variance/age. The upside of this team is STILL the upsides of five allstars in the infield + two megaprospects in the outfield corners (HAHA, I know, one) + three Cy Young candidates relieved by an above average bullpen + average-to-above-average play in CF and from the 4th/5th/6th starters.

    That won’t all happen, but it doesn’t take much imagination to see a wildcard team here. Rosily viewed, the difference between this team and 2011 is 2 years of decline phase aging, improved rivals, downgrades at 4th SP and CF, and upgrades to the bullpen (remember Baez and Romero?) and bench (Frandsen, Galvis, Kratz >>> Valdez, MiniMart, Schneider!).

    That’s a considerable difference, but we’re counting back from 102 wins.

  25. TomG

    April 11, 2013 03:59 AM

    I would love to see the as-yet-merely-hypothetical .gif alluded to above because, well, long story short, I had to watch the Mets feed for the game last night (the Philly channels must be having a dispute with DirecTV or something) and so didn’t see this image and, in fact, because I was DVRing the game and was watching on a roughly 15 minute time lag, lost 10 minutes of the game due to storms up here, during which the DVR skipped ahead 10 minutes or so and those 10 minutes? LITERALLY started from the moment after JRoll doubled in the 1st; and then the video pixilates, and the next thing I know, it has skipped ahead 10 minutes and Kratz is at bat and the score sez 5-0 Phils.

    Only found out at the commercial bump that those 5 runs came via Utley and Brown home runs. [<--O, ahem. SPOILER ALERT!]

    So I missed those home runs due to T-storms in the area, and would have missed the Utley glare due to getting the Mets feed, anyway, probably. Sure didn't see it during the Kratz at-bat I witnessed.

    So, yes, please, Utley stare .gif, please!

  26. Jonny5

    April 11, 2013 07:58 AM

    Pencilfish, If Halladay has no problem with it, the union can’t force him to file a grievance I don’t think. Correct me if i’m wrong on that, I don’t know. And if I heard Halladay correctly he seems to be very aware that he is not ready in ways to compete at the level he needs to. I don’t think it’s a bad thing, and I have full confidence that he’ll get through this and continue to contribute. Watching him pitch, his fastball is still lively (not as much but enough), it just isn’t landing where he’s used to it landing.With a lower velocity things zig instead of zag. He can improve vastly as soon as he can locate at this lower velocity. A 90+ mph fastball that moves pretty well is enough for a guy who has 5 pitches. This last game he relied very heavily on his sinker which is curious to me. I ramble. www.brooksbaseball.net/player_cards/player_card.php?player=136880#YxX

  27. Phillie697

    April 11, 2013 09:35 AM

    @Heather,

    If you think Tyler Cloyd is 7+ ERA bad, then you’re more of a pessimist than the rest of us. That is how bad Halladay has shown so far, but he’s not even replacement level pitcher at the moment.

  28. Pencilfish

    April 11, 2013 10:05 AM

    Jonny5,

    I don’t dislike the idea of sending Halladay to the minors to re-invent himself (he did it back in 2000, with great results!), but we would have to resort to a phantom injury (assuming Roy is okay with that), and then decide who takes his spot. Cloyd (see Heather’s post above)? Oswalt (needs several weeks to get ready, I think)? Morgan (with 35 innings of AA and 6 innings of AAA experience)?

    I suspect RAJ, Charlie, Dubee and everyone on this thread have already asked themselves the same question without finding a satisfactory answer, so letting Halladay pitch at the majors is the default answer. This may change in a few weeks, but for now we have to live with an erratic Halladay and hope for improvement…

  29. Cheesecrop

    April 11, 2013 11:03 AM

    By Richard | @yolacrary | on Apr 10, 2013

    Cheesecrop, that is an awful comment. It made me laugh at first, then it made me sad that someone would see things that way.
    ———————————————
    First off, which comment are you referring to, my 1st or 2nd post?

    If it’s the first, I’m sorry if I suggested this, but I am only trying to run down a few possible options here. Remember, I’m not the one playing the game here – he is. We don’t know what he’s thinking.

    I don’t necessarily want to believe it myself, but it is within Some realm of possibility.

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