Well, we can all pretty much agree that pitching Brad Lidge on four consecutive days is officially a bad idea. It is safe to assume that, after Tuesday night's conflagration in Pittsburgh, that Phils manager Charlie Manuel won't be running Lidge out there back to back to back to back anymore.
But, well, what is the proper way to use a closer who was perfect last year, who is signed for two more years of big money after this one, but who has now blown nine saves this year?
I think there are enough numbers that suggest a pretty clear course of action, and it is this: the Phils should not pitch Lidge on back to back days anymore (no less back to back to back to back). That's it. They need two closers if they are going to win another World Series.
Now for the numbers. You can argue with my assumptions, but here goes. First, I'm limiting myself to the games since Lidge returned from the disabled list in late June. To me, that just makes sense. It's a decent-sized sample and it has the benefit of being the most recent experience. Second, I'm removing the four games when Lidge was brought in with the Phillies trailing. He was terrible in three of those four games (two with rest, one without rest). This suggests it isn't a rest issue but a closer-lacking-adrenalin issue, which is common and which will not happen in the post-season.