Well, That Didn’t Take Long

April 9, 2007 – 3:44 pm by Ryan Phillips

Just a week into the season, Brad Lidge has been demoted. The Houston Astros named Dan Wheeler their new closer Monday, one day after Lidge gave up five runs in just two thirds of an inning against the Cardinals.

Right now Lidge’s stats are almost comical. In 2 games he’s pitched 1 2/3 innings, has a 16.20 ERA, a blown save, and has given up 5 hits, 6 runs, 3 ER, 1 HR, 3 walks and just 1 strikeout and a .455 batting average against. Ouch.

This all comes after a year in which Lidge posted a 1-5 record with a 5.23 ERA, 32 saves and 6 blown saves.

Astros manager Phil Garner managed to keep a straight face when he said this was a tough decision. “I wrestled with this all of yesterday,” he said. “I feel that I have to make this move for the benefit of the team. In the situation that we are in right now, we can’t afford to lose and more ballgames late.”

Lidge, to his credit was diplomatic. “It was surprising, but not totally unjustified,” he said. “I understand that it’s about results. Right now, my first two outings haven’t been there.”

Lidge, who saved 42 games in 2005 while posting a 2.29 ERA, hasn’t been the same since Albert Pujols ruined his career in game 5 of the 2005 NLCS with probably the biggest home run, well, ever (see video below). If you don’t remember, the Astros were one out away from heading to their first World Series before Pujols’ mammoth blast forced a game 6.

Lidge will now move into a middle relief role and Garner said there’s a chance he could earn back the closer role. For the record, Wheeler is currently 0-1 with a 9.00 ERA in three appearances. Sweet.

As promised, video of the exact moment that Brad Lidge’s career jumped the shark:

*Update: Wheeler closed out his first save of the season in the Astros’ 5-3 win over the Cubs on Monday

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  1. 4 Responses to “Well, That Didn’t Take Long”

  2. Yea, Brad Lidge needs a scenery change. I think he can be good again, just not in an Astros jersey.

    By Mini Me on Apr 10, 2007

  3. Did you just say that was the biggest home run “ever”? I’m assuming that’s a typo of sorts or I’m just not reading it correctly.

    the Cards went on to lose the next night so Lidge shoulda really gotten over this. It is amusing to me, though, since I believe it was Jayson Stark who used to repeatedly talk about how Lidge was among the best closers ever — and he was serious.

    Also, Pujols should have a ball in his earhole for his strutting. What a chump.

    By J Money on Apr 10, 2007

  4. I don’t mean biggest as far as distance is concerned, just in the all important “POW”-factor. I can’t think of any other word when I watch that replay, and I’m not even a Cards fan. Obviously it wasn’t the biggest as far as distance goes, but I don’t think you can crush a ball any more than Pujols did there.

    By Phillips on Apr 10, 2007

  5. The best thing the Jays did with their unis was ditching both the black and fuirsiuttc font and embracing the classic Jay-with-Maple-Leaf of their World Series years. The O’s also went in a similar direction with the classic Baltimore cursive script, smiling cartoon oriole logo instead of the realistic posing oriole, and embracing the two-tone cap. Such a classic look. Plus the sleeve patch with the state flag is pure money.

    By Ismail on Apr 28, 2014

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