Well, that turned out much too predictably. I had the score almost right, but I sure do wish I was wrong. We could talk about the obvious implications of the Yankees being up 3-1, or Chase Utley’s ownership of CC Sabathia, but I want to talk about Johnny Damon and Brad Lidge. Johnny Damon stole two bases on one pitch without an error, something that rarely if ever happens. I would argue that it only happens with relievers on the mound. Relievers do not practice fielding their position like the starters do. I would be willing to bet that most starting pitchers would realize that their job was to cover 3rd base on a steal with a shift on, but this just does not occur to relievers. Lidge then compounded his error by getting rocked by A-Rod and Jorge Posada. The Johnny Damon play was great and I can appreciate it as a baseball guy, but it is time to talk about Brad Lidge.
Remember when Brad Lidge was an elite closer for the Astros? He was almost unhittable and was one of the top closers in the NL. Then this happened… I would suggest putting it on mute, and skipping to 1:45.
In case you were wondering, the ball now resides in the NASA Hall of Fame for being the first baseball launched into outer space by a human. At least A-Rod’s double landed, that one is still in orbit.
For a year afterward, he could not get anyone out. He was emotionally broken and calling his confidence shaky would be an understatement. He bounced back last year and was perfect in the Phillies World Series run and all looked to be back to normal. This year he struggled mightily, but Charlie Manuel kept the faith and Lidge had been lights out in the postseason. You cannot help but to wonder what this will do to him. After the Damon steal, with 2 outs mind you, Lidge did not retire a batter. If he had gotten Teixeira to ground out or A-Rod to pop out or something, all would be ok, but the second A-Rod pounded the double into left field, Lidge had to be having flashbacks. This was the second time one of the top two players in the game had just pile-driven him into the ground, both on the field, and in his head. I have to think that Lidge is done for a while after that. He collapsed after the Pujols launch, and the A-Rod and Posada shots probably have his confidence lower than that of a Raiders fan. It is a shame that he has fallen victim to this twice, but if he in fact is broken again, then wow. Never has one man been so thoroughly demolished in clutch moments. For those of you looking at fantasy baseball already for next year, I would not touch Brad Lidge with a 10 foot pole. If your team needs a closer and you are thinking about trading for one, avoid Brad Lidge like he has leprosy, the plague and any other disease you can think of. Congrats Yankees. Do not pop the bottles yet, but you can put them on ice.