Five Cuts: In bad week for closers, Phillies' Lidge regains confidence
1. When the Phillies attempt to close out Colorado tonight and put in place a rematch of the 2008 NLCS against Los Angeles, they might feel a little better about the last three outs than they did when the regular season ended. Well, a
Lidge did preserve the 6-5 victory, though there were signs that he still is rough around the edges. Lidge threw more balls (11) than strikes (9). He faced five batters and fell behind with a first-pitch ball on every one of them. He walked two batters, didn't get a single swinging strike and still had problems commanding his fastball. (He threw only five of his 12 fastballs for strikes.)
Of course, keep in mind that the frigid conditions made for slick baseballs. The Rockies and Phillies combined for 12 walks and 337 pitches.
The save, no matter how it was obtained, was important for the confidence of Lidge and his manager. That said, with workhorse
2. Have you noticed this postseason how hitters such as
"It's a good thing," Glaus said. "It means you've generated enough bat speed on a ball coming in fast enough to generate enough friction. You can't do it in batting practice. The bats with the natural grain, no finish on them, are the best ones [for smoke] because it's just wood on the seams."
When baseball honored
3. Yankees third baseman
Should the Angels take him out of the ALCS the way the Dodgers took
In fact, what the Dodgers did to Pujols wouldn't even work against
4. What is going on with the Division Series? With three more sweeps this year, that makes nine sweeps out of 16 series over the past four years. There has been only one Game 5 in the past 19 series. I'll leave it to others to invent some reason this is happening -- the tough week for closers contributed to three sweeps this year, but that doesn't make for a four-year trend.
The problem with these sweeps, though, is that it packs even more off days into a postseason schedule that already has too many. The Yankees and Angels, for instance, will have played three games in 11 days heading into the ALCS.
5. It's time to think about getting rid of the left-field line and right-field line umpires in postseason play. The blown call by
"I just finished telling somebody else that," Dodgers bench coach
Worse, sometimes the guys can get in the way.
"There was one game in the  World Series we lost when the right-field umpire never moved out of the way of
The idea of getting rid of the outfield umpires now makes even more sense when you consider we now have instant replay to take care of any close calls along the border of the outfield. Four umpires are plenty for six months of baseball. I would think four would be sufficient for the seventh month, too.