WASHINGTON -- There are so many concerning stats about Brad Lidge's season.
Take his 10.6 percent swinging strikes, the lowest of his career by far. His fastball is averaging 92.5 m.p.h., continuing a precipitous drop in velocity. Factor that in with a slider that has basically maintained the same velocity and Lidge doesn't have as great a difference between his two pitches like he's used to.
His walk rate is the highest it's been since his rookie season. He is much worse pitching with runners on than with the bases empty. And recently, a lot of runners get on base against Lidge.
There are so many red flags, yet Lidge remains the closer, Charlie Manuel says. Part of that is because Manuel doesn't believe there is anyone in his bullpen that could assume Lidge's role. That remains to be seen.
When asked if Ryan Madson, who is 14 for 23 in save opportunities in the last two seasons, could take over, Manuel bristled.
"I hear you guys say that for two goddamn years now," Manuel said. "I hear this and that. What the hell? We try this guy, try that guy. Then I hear you bitch to me about the roles. I can go on all night long. Let's just drop it right there."
So who's your closer?
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