Saturday, August 2, 2008

Shutdown Closer

Shutdown closer, that's been the words to describe Brad Lidge this season.  The Phillies closer has been nothing short of dominant this season.  He ranks fourth in saves in the National League (26).  But the more important stat is that the he has not blown a save chance for the Phillies.  He is a perfect 26 for 26.

How has he regained his old form this year?  Beside the fact that he's been healthy this season, he also has improved his already nasty slider.  Lidge's top pitches are a high 90s fastball and a mid-to-low 90s slider.  That slider has been really striking out hitters.

His road ERA, an impeccable O.82.  Lidge has really been a key to the Phillies' success this season.  It's important to have that shutdown closer in the bullpen.  Righties are batting a horrid .088.  That's a remarkable number.

Lidge has 59 strikeouts in 46 innings.  But what's more than the stats is that when he comes in the game, players and fans know he will shut the other team down.  He gives the feeling that the game is saved as soon as he enters the game.  That's certainly what he's done this year.

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