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Monday, October 20, 2014

Brad Lidge: Ryan Madson Best Closer in NL

When the injured Brad Lidge returns to the Philadelphia Phillies bullpen, he will not be fortunate enough to resume duties as the closer. While he’s been out, Ryan Madson has done so well manager Charlie Manuel says things won’t change. Even with the loss of duties, he has no problem applauding Madson for his season thus far.

“I think, honestly, that he’s the best closer in the National League right now,” Lidge told reporters recently. “And I have no problem saying that.”

Madson has been outstanding for the Phillies thus far. In nine save opportunities, he has successfully closed out ball games and posted a 0.47 ERA with 23 Ks in 19 innings pitched. One has to wonder if his success will make Phillies fans forgive his wife.

Madson has been solid, but has he been the best closer in the NL? Maybe not. Here are a few NL closers who have arguably been better this season:

-Leo Nunez, Florida Marlins: Leads MLB with 17 saves and zero blown.
-Francisco Rodriguez, New York Mets: 15 saves, one blown, 0.76 ERA and should be applauded for staying out of trouble.
-Drew Storen, Washington Nationals: The future act to follow pitching-phenom Stephen Strasburg, Storen has been sensational coming up with nine saves and a 0.36 ERA.

Madson has some healthy competition under consideration for that top closer title. It’s hard to consider him at the top of the totem pole with so many other quality closers in the NL, but we appreciate Brad Lidge’s graciousness.



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