Thursday, August 27, 2009

Ball Go Far

Ball go far!

Wow. Just when you thought the Phillies closer spot was set to screw the team over again — against the god-awful Pirates, again — Ryan Howard goes and totally picks up the man who shares the same first name. Moments like that are why I'll take Howard over Teixeira any day of the week. Strikeouts or no strikeouts, Ryan Howard is simply a man no one wants to pitch to right now. He is, in the infamous words of the one and only meech, a cot-damn beast.

Essentially, the opposite of Cole Hamels circa 2009. Except for last night. Finally, Colbert Hamels looked like the starter we've all come to know and complain about for being a pussy but still love because he's awesome and pitched the greatest stretch of pitching in the history of playoff baseball last season. Or something like that.

Last night, it was vintage Cole: 8 innings pitched, 0 runs, 7 strikeouts. Just the way we like it. And what the Phillies need out of last year's playoff hero. Now, he still gave up too many hits for my liking (7 over 8 innings), especially early on, but the guy bore down and pitched out of early jams, going 8 brilliant innings. Finally, he seemed to be able to put batters away, and he avoided what has become the norm for him this season — the huge blow-up inning. Encouraging to say the least. Though it did come against the Pirates. But hey, beggars can't be choosers, right? Right.

Ryan Madson, on the other hand. Well, as awful as Brad Lidge has been as the closer (and he has been plenty awful), even he can't approach the atrociousness of Ryan Madson as a spot closer, despite what idiots like Adam EatShit tell you. The numbers don't lie.

In 9 save opportunities this season, Madson has blown five of them. Five. Out of nine chances. Ladies and gentlemen, Ryan Madson is no closer, as he showed again last night.

Everyone around here, myself included, is (rightfully) complaining about Brad Lidge, who has converted just under 74 percent of his save opportunities this season, leading the league with 9 blown saves. Well, Madson has converted a ridiculously horrific 44 percent of his save opportunities this season, meaning he'll blow more than he'll save for you. In fact, in just 9 opportunities, he's blown just four less saves than Lidge has the entire year … in 34 chances.

You know how Charlie keeps saying he has no better option than Lidge? Well, if Madson is the best alternative (and the general public seems to think he is … at least before last night), then Manuel is 100 percent correct. Lidge is just plain terrible this season … but not nearly as terrible as Madson in the closer spot. Let's put that business to rest. Madson has been phenomenal as the set-up guy, so let's not mess with him anymore.

Simply put, we have to hope Lidge gets his shit together and/or Brett Myers comes back and pitches lights out — no pun intended (OK, maybe it was intended. Fuck off). Because Ryan Madson simply is not a closer. End of story.

Thankfully, we have the big man to bail out the atrocious ninth-inning pitchers. Nothing's finer than seeing Ryan Howard make the ball go far.

And fuck PIttsburgh. Because fuck them. That's why.

BallHype: hype it up!

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