Saturday, May 28, 2011
Madson or Lidge- The Debate & Other Stuff
If you polled Phillies fans prior to the start of the 2011 season who the closer should be, Ryan Madson might have ranked below Mike Zagurski. Seriously though, when given opportunities in past seasons he blew them, but this year the story is different. Ryan Madson looks different. I know quantifying a player's demeanor/swagger/confidence is impossible, but it's hard to argue that Madson has stepped it up a notch in the crucial high-pressure save situations. No more deer-in-headlights look, now he has the look of determination.
Madson has already passed the first test- the return of Jose Contreras from the DL. Contreras was perfect in save situations, but then got hurt. That's when Madson stepped in, and now has earned the trust of Manuel and remains the closer for the time being. Next test- the return of Brad Lidge, the incumbent closer. Lidge is scheduled to pitch 1 inning in extended spring training today. He's not close to being ready, but in 3 weeks or so, he might be. Does Madson remain the closer at that time? If he continues shutting the door on opponents in the 9th then the answer should be a resounding YES.
Valdez in the Hall:
Cooperstown has come calling, and they're calling for Wilson Valdez. The Hall-of-Fame wants Valdez's cap from his pitching appearance in the 19th inning where he was credited for the win. He now joins such illustrious Phils in the Hall such as Michael Jack Schmidt, Whitey Ashburn, Harry Kalas, Steve Carlton, and don't forget Eric Bruntlett.
I've Got this Under Control:
JC Romero has control problems. After his 3 walk outing the other day I posted these scary stats- since the beginning of 2009, JC Romero has walked more batters than he has struck out in each season, totaling 50 walks to only 47 K's in 65.1 IP.
When asked about his control issues, JC responded- "Control problems? That was one time. One time I had a bad day at the office. I was a little hyper or something like that. There's nothing to it. Before that, everything was fine. It was just one of those days where you go there and it's not there."
What?!?!?! Are you f'n kidding me?!?!?! JC, you suck. Get a clue.
Luckily, Charlie Manuel sees things differently- "I can't explain it," he said of Romero's control issues. "Probably two or three years. He can get two strikes on a hitter and end up walking or gets into a lot of deep counts."
Magic # Watch: