Sunday, October 23, 2005

Houston, We DO Have A Problem ...

Boy, do I hate to drag out that cliché, especially after ranting the other day about its overuse ... oh, but deal with it.

The Astros are in trouble. BIG trouble.

All season long, our closer Brad Lidge has been one of the most feared pitchers in baseball. But he has given up game-winning home runs to two of the last three batters he has faced -- after giving up only five homers in 70 appearances during the regular season. Let's put an even finer point on that stat: since June 1, Lidge had given up only two home runs in his last 47 regular-season appearances. And now in the past week, he's two-for-two.

After Lidge gave up the home run to Albert Pujols, Jayson Stark of ESPN wrote: "This year, in the regular season, [Lidge] blew just four saves. In his next save opportunity after those four, his numbers looked like this: 4 IP, 1 hit, 0 runs, 7 whiffs."

Well, Lidge's line after his NLCS blown save now reads: 1/3 IP, 1 hit, 1 run.

So the big question has become: Does Houston even have a closer anymore? Or, like former Yankees second baseman Chuck Knobloch (who after years of major-league baseball experience, suddenly forgot how to throw the ball to first base), has Lidge become a baseball-phobic head case that is now a much bigger liability to his team than an asset?

The Astros have Monday off. They're going to need it.

posted by Gary @ 11:24 PM


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Location: Houston, Texas

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