Tag:Ryan Madson
Posted on: April 24, 2011 9:12 pm

Phillies place Contreras on DL, Madson to close

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Jose ContrerasAnthony Bastardo picked up the one-out save for the Phillies on Sunday as Jose Contreras got another day of "rest."

After the game, the team put the 39-year-old right-hander not he disabled list with a strained flexor pronator tendon in his right elbow. He will return to Philadelphia to see the team physician to see if there's further damage to the elbow.

Contreras is already a fill-in for closer Brad Lidge, who will be out until at least the All-Star break with a partially torn rotator cuff.

Although Bastardo got the call on Sunday, the team says Ryan Madson will take over the full-time job as the Phillies' closer, with Bastardo the main set-up man. After that?

"It's thin," general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. told Matt Geib of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Contreras hasn't pitched since Thursday and the move to the DL will be retroactive to Friday. He had converted all five of his save opportunities this season and hadn't allowed a run. He'd thrown five times in the previous seven games, throwing 81 pitches in that span.

The team called up right-hander Michael Stutes, who will join the team Monday in Phoenix.

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Posted on: March 25, 2011 2:01 pm

Madson hopes save troubles are behind him

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Ryan MadsonWith Brad Lidge starting the season on the disabled list, Ryan Madson is on the Phillies' short list to fill-in as the team's closer in Lidge's absence.

Madson would seem a natural choice. Since going to the bullpen full-time in 2007, the 30-year-old right-hander has a 3.01 ERA and 17 saves in 248 games. He has more strikeouts (252) than hits allowed (242) in 269 innings, and a respectable 1.201 WHIP. Last season he had a 2.55 ERA and a 1.038 WHIP in 55 appearances, along with five saves.

The problem is he had 10 save opportunities last season and converted only five of them. In his career, he has four more blown saves than converted saves -- 24 blown to 20 saved.

This is where much of the hypotheticals of baseball fail -- the way people react to real-life situations are tough to put into numbers -- and I say that as a full-fledged subscriber to the numbers. The numbers say Madson should be able to get three outs at a time. In fact, in innings other than the ninth, he does that pretty well. Serving as the Phillies' primary set-up man, Madson (35) actually appeared in more high leverage situations than Lidge (32) in 2009. He appeared in fewer last season, but it was close (26 vs. 31). In high-leverage situations he performs even better -- he's got a better strikeout-to-walk ratio (3.15) in high-leverage situations than in other leverage situations, a better batting-average against (.238) and OPS (.667) in high-leverage situations.

In short, Madson has been one of baseball's best setup men, even when thrown into a high-pressure situation. It's just that when he's been called on for those last three outs, it's never seemed to work.

A high-leverage situation should be the same whether it's in the eighth inning or the ninth inning -- unless you make it different in your head. And that's something Madson has admitted he's done. That's how being a closer is different than being a reliever, finding your peace with that in your own head.

Madson told the Philadelphia Inquirer's Matt Gelb that he thinks a talk with his agent, Scott Boras, has helped him come to terms with closing and approach it the right way.

"He said, 'Tell me what your mentality was when you were closing,'" Madson recalled. "I was like, I thought I was going to be perfect. I really thought I was going to be perfect and not blow one save. That was my mentality going out there. That's what I was like in the minor leagues, so I stuck with it. Well it doesn't work that way. You're putting too much emphasis on every pitch. It has to be perfect. Then when you blow a save, it carries on and little things happen. It's so finicky of an inning you can't be finicky with your mooned. You just have to be solid and just know, 'This is going to happen. Tomorrow it's not.'"

Madson, a free agent after this season, may think he's got it figured out, but Lidge's injury gives him a chance to put it to a real test.

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Posted on: March 25, 2011 10:21 am
Edited on: March 25, 2011 10:23 am
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Posted on: August 5, 2010 10:30 pm
Edited on: August 6, 2010 1:48 am

Davidson's blown call costs Marlins a W

Bob Davidson After the Marlins' bullpen blew a lead, third-base umpire Bob Davidson blew the game against the Phillies.

With a runner on second and one out, Sanchez hit a hard grounder down the third-base line. The ball bounced twice -- in fair territory -- before going over the bag and as it passed Davidson near the end of the infield dirt, Davidson threw his hands into the air and called a foul ball.

Just as he started to raise his hands, the ball bounced again -- six inches or so inside the line. Davidson was looking straight ahead and not at the ball as it bounced in fair territory. Rules state it doesn't matter where it lands, only where it crosses the bag, but it's kind of hard to believe the ball bounced twice in fair territory, went foul and curved back fair.

Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez came out to argue the call, but didn't get tossed.

Ryan Madson struck out Sanchez on the next pitch and after an intentional walk to Dan Uggla, Cody Ross struck out to send the game to extra innings.

Carlos Ruiz homered in the top of the 10th to give the Phillies a lead.

UPDATE: It's final, 5-4. The Phillies sweep the series, with a little help from Balking Bob.

UPDATE: From Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post : "#Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria on the blown call -- The ball never landed in foul territory. Dreadful"

And if anyone knows "dreadful" it would be the most dreadful owner in MLB.

UPDATE: Remember how Jim Joyce turned his negative into a positive by accepting responsibility and reminding us umpires are human, too? Well, Bob Davidson has the exact opposite and reminds us of the arrogance of some umpires -- from Capooz via Twitter : "Umpire Bob Davidson -- Im very confident i got it right... i understand that's the winning run but in my opinion it was foul"

UPDATE: So, Davidson's arrogance knows no bounds. He watched the replay and is unrepentant. Here's the transcript of Davidson's meeting with a pool reporter, courtesy of Capozzi :

“I was right on top of it and it was wide of the bag, that’s all. I had it foul.”

He said he watched replays and stands by his call.

“In my opinion, where it goes over the bag, you can’t tell,” he said. “After a bounce, it came an inch or two on the fair side, but … it was very close. But I’m right there. i know what I saw.

“I’m very confident I got it right. What the ball did when it went past me is irrelevant.”

“As I’m looking at the base, it was just to the right of it.”

“I understand that’s the winning run, but in my opinion it was foul and there’s no replay that you can really see what the ball does over the bag — and that’’s what’s important. But I know what I saw.”

Rodriguez brings up replay again, telling reporters: "I think that if a play is going to decide who wins or loses the game, i think they should check the play, any play."

The problem with that is who is to say what happens after the ball goes fair -- does the runner automatically get two bases? Is it treated like a ghost runner? Sure, in that situation, the runner would have scored easily, but what if the runner's on first? Does he score or just get rewarded two bases and put at third, as he would on a ground-rule double, even if he'd likely score on the play. There are so many what-ifs that brings in more judgement calls and chances for errors.

There's room for reasonable debate, but there's little room for debate that Davidson once again comes off as a pompous ass.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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