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Friday, May 12, 2006

Lights Out for Lidge?

With four million pitching coaches crawling the streets of metro Houston these days, Brad Lidge only has to read the paper, surf the web or click on talk radio to discover one thousand quick fixes that would enable him to return to his old "Lights Out" form. I will not play amateur pitching coach, but I will simply post a few numbers that explain why he is not being successful, since I think that can be clearly and quickly explained.

From Yahoo:

Lidge's situational WHIP so far this season:

if Lidge gets ahead 0-1 in the count, then his WHIP is 1.29 (4 BB, 15 K)
if Lidge gets behind in the count 1-0, then his WHIP is 2.82 (12 BB, 9 K)
if Lidge gets behind in the count 2-0, then his WHIP is 7.80 (10 BB, 3 K)
If Lidge gets behind in the count 3-0, then his WHIP is 18.00 (5 BB, 1 K)
If Lidge gets ahead in the count 1-2, then his WHIP is 1.00 (4 BB, 14 K)
If Lidge has a count of 2-2, then his WHIP is 1.11 (6 BB, 11 K)

I'm no pitching coach, but it seems pretty simple to me. Lidge can't locate either pitch for strikes right now. That means he's falling behind, and while hitters may still not be able to hit Lidge's slider, they can just lay off of it a time or two each at-bat because as long as they've got less than 2 strikes. That enables hitters to sit and wait for a fastball, which he's also missing with (often belt high and over the heart of the plate).

By the way, in 2005, the situation was not much different:
0-1 count: 0.64 WHIP (5 BB, 78 K)
0-2 count: 0.38 WHIP (1 BB, 60 K)
1-0 count: 1.79 WHIP (18 BB, 25 K)
2-0 count: 8.25 WHIP (15 BB, 4 K)

Lidge needs to throw strikes, period. Then he'll be back to "Lights Out" status.


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