Will Lidge throw meaningful pitches?

Well, you could knock me over with a feather: It seems that Brid Lidge will not only be on the Phillies' roster, he might actually pitch when it matters. Paul Sokoloski:

    Despite Lidge's 0-8 record and 7.21 ERA - horrible numbers for a pitcher entrusted with his team's fate – the Phillies insist they'll place their faith in Lidge when their National League Division Series against Colorado opens Wednesday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park.
    "I feel a little bit better about Lidge,” said Phillies manager Charlie Manuel. "I think he can get people out. I still have confidence in him.”

    That confidence was only somewhat rewarded when Lidge converted 18 of his final 23 save opportunities after returning from a stint on the disabled list to help him stabilize a shaky knee.


    Ryan Madson, who replaced Lidge as the main ninth-inning pitcher for the Phillies, will continue to get chances as the team's closer. But at some point, Lidge is going to be asked to throw late-inning playoff pitches with the game on the line.

    And the Phillies say they won't hesitate to trust him.

    "No one has a blown save,” shortstop Jimmy Rollins said, "no one has a batting average, no one has a win or a loss.

    "It's a new season.”

    It's the postseason. That's where even beleaguered guys like Lidge can find instant vindication, or find out how quickly one more bad pitch can make them vilified.

If Brad Lidge makes one more bad pitch, nobody on earth should vilify him. That therapeutic exercise should be reserved for Lidge's manager, who certainly should know better by now.
Yes, Lidge converted 18 of his last 23 save opportunities. His other statistics in that space: 32 innings, 18 walks, 33 strikeouts, four home runs, 6.68 ERA. Granted, he's not pitched quite as poorly as his ERA (but then, how could he have?). But if Brad Lidge were instead a kid pitcher named Fred Bridge, he wouldn't be anywhere near the Division Series roster right now, let alone asked to throw late-inning playoff pitches with the game on the line.

On paper, I like the Phillies in this series, mostly because they've got Cliff Lee and because they're the home team. But the Rockies are just about as good as the Phillies, so if they really do get to face Brad Lidge once or twice with the game on the line, they're going to win. Which is why I'm picking them in five games. Or maybe four.