The decline of Brad Lidge's pitching prowess has been well documented. We all remember the defining moment of Lidge's 2005 campaign: his gopher ball to Albert Pujols with two on in the ninth and the Astros on the verge of their first-ever trip to the World Series. (Relive it here, but don't say we didn't warn you to mute the sound.) The 'Stros, of course, bounced right back and eliminated the Cardinals two days later but proceeded to hand over the championship hardware to the Chicago White Sox.
Lidge's downhill slide continued into '06, but then he righted himself for a while.
This year, however, has been positively ulcer-inducing -- 11 blown saves! -- a development that has driven some Philadelphia fans, who haven't proven themselves to be the most sane bunch, to start video-ing the closer's meltdowns and coupling them with their own play-by-play meltdowns:
Before St. Louis fans get too deep into the shit-talk, though, we'd all do well to remember the late-career implosions of two great closers, Jason Isringhausen and Lee Smith.
The above video has been getting passed around the Internet today, and despite what the typically astute YouTube commenters have been ALL-CAPS-SHOUTING at anyone who'll listen, management of World Champion Phils has said Lidge won't be the sole closer in the playoffs.
Cardinal fans can enjoy Philly losses as they eye St. Louis' run to the World Series, but also the singular plight of Lidge, who they so fondly remember as the pitcher who was put to bed by Albert Pujols during the 2005 National League Championship Series (Houston went on to the World Series, getting swept by the Chicago White Sox.)