After watching Brad Lidge blow another save last night, you have to wonder if the "knee inflammation" he was diagnosed with a few weeks ago is more serious than reported. Going into today's DH at Washington, his numbers for the season are this: 0-1, 9.19 ERA, 5 saves, 2 blown saves. He's also allowed runs in 6 straight appearances. He's gone from "Lights-out Lidge", to "Light 'em up Lidge" as one of my buddies put it last night.
Lidge did develop a rep as a closer who was "damaged" (for lack of better words) by the home run he gave up into Albert Pujols in the playoffs a few years ago, and definitely struggled for the Astros after that, becoming a prime example of a player who needed a change of scenery. He got it with the trade to the Phillies last year, and he responded great, going 38-for-38 in save opportunities.
Watching him pitch rght now, i don't think it's mental. I think that his knee is still bothering him and affecting his ability to pitch. Lidge himself said that it's most noticable when he pushes off from the rubber. If that's the case, it's gotta be affecting the speed on his fastball, and probably him being able to locate his slider.
This is the same knee that he had surgery on twice last year. An MRI he had a few weeks ago revealed no major damage, just inflammation, but maybe a couple of weeks on the DL will give him a chance to rest and let it heal. With the way he's pitching, they might as well put him on now, but if they can hold out for a couple of more weeks, they could put Lidge on the DL, have Ryan Madson close, and make J.C. Romero (back from his supension) the setup man. I think the best thing they can do right now is put Lidge on the DL, get him healthy, and bring him back at 100% for the second half of the season.