Ryan Madson was perfect in his first 14 save opportunities for the Phillies this year. There was justified talk that Madson had finally adapted to pitching the ninth inning and had proved that he can close.
But even as he was doing it, some people in the Phillies organization were asking how Madson would react when he inevitably did have a blown save. How would he bounce back?
We'll find out now. Madson's first blown save of the year came Thursday night, on a Geovany Soto home run.
How will he bounce back? Chad Durbin, who spent the last three years with Madson in the Phillies bullpen, thinks he'll do just fine.
"Absolutely," said Durbin, who is now with the Indians but follows the Phillies as closely as he can. "He can close in any division. I think that comes with throwing the eighth inning in the playoffs. The eighth inning in the playoffs is like closing in the regular season.
"He's at the point now that he wants the ball in that situation. He'll be fine."
The Phillies had a ninth-inning save situation Friday night, but Madson didn't pitch, presumably because he had worked four times in the last five days. Manager Charlie Manuel split the ninth inning between Michael Stutes and Antonio Bastardo instead, and the Phillies beat the Cubs, 7-5.