As I watched Lidge pund Damon with fastballs, I was wondering why Lidge didn’t throw his filthy slider in the dirt on the 2-2 count. Yes the pitcher calls the pitches, but ultimatly its up to the pitcher to decide. What reasoning did Lidge have behind pounding damon with heaters after he just struck jeter - one of the best contact hitters in the game- out on a slider in the dirt.
His pitch selection was horrible to Damon and Arod, end of story.
I agree. When Lidge kept throwing those sliders that Damon kept fouling off, he kept bringing the slider farther and farther down into the zone. If he would have just brought it down a little more, almost in the dirt, Damon would have most likely swung and missed. He even swung at that one in the dirt and Ruiz couldn’t come up with.
OM horrible pitch selection, over the years I have watched damon hit and he cant hit offspeed stuff! He practically falls on his face when a good offspeed pitch comes… Brad Lidge might have cost the Phillies the game because of that horrible pitch selection
Remember the fourth game of the 1996 World Series? It was the top of the eighth inning, Mark Wohlers was pitching for the Braves, the Yanks who were down 8-3 had runners on first and third with one out…and Jim Leyritz was at bat. Wohlers came in there with a 98MPH fast ball, and Leyritz swung and fouled it off. And suddenly a peculiar expression crossed the pitcher’s face; he looked confused—“My best fast ball and he fouls it off.” He tried a curve ball—and Leyritz wasn’t biting. Same with another curve. Now Wohlers threw a 99MPH fast ball—and another foul. So he decided the heck with it, and he fed Leyritz a slider. Another foul. Count still 2-2. And now…
Ed Lopat said a long time ago, “Never the same pitch, never the same place, never the same speed.” You have to mix up your pitches, especially if you’re facing a dangerous hitter who can change the course of a game with one swing, and you need to change the batter’s eye level, climb the stairs as it were. Wohlers, now thoroughly discombooberated, threw another slider—and, as so often happens when a pitcher tries to repeat a pitch, this one hung. Leyritz, who later would say in an interview “When in doubt, don’t throw me a fast ball”, swung at that pitch, and I will never forget the almost hysterical shout of the announcer: “Back at the track—at the wall—WE ARE TIED!” Leyritz had drilled it over the left field wall, and the game was now tied 6-6. The Yanks went on to win it in extra innings.
Brad Lidge made the same mistake. He kept pounding the strike zone with fast ball after fast ball, and the patient Mr. Damon kept spoiling those pitches. He was waiting for something he could hit, and he got it, and he got on base…We all know the rest. 8)