Big League Stew - MLB

No matter how good things seem to be going, nearly all contenders are forced to worry about a weak spot as the season winds down and the playoffs approach.

For the Phillies, who lead the NL East by seven games, that Achilles' heel comes in the form of struggling closer Brad Lidge(notes), who was the team's surest thing only a championship season ago.  

Even though Charlie Manuel is still standing by his man after Lidge (right) blew his ninth save of the season in a 6-4 loss to the Pirates on Tuesday night, it seems obvious that the Phillies manager will have to explore other alternatives for the final innings. 

Yes, even if ol' Cholly keeps insisting that he doesn't have any.

Don McKee comes up with a few suggestions in this morning's editions of the Philadelphia Inquirer, throwing out the possibilities of Pedro Martinez(notes), a closer-by-committee approach consisting of Chan Ho Park(notes), Scott Eyre(notes) and Chad Durbin(notes) and even a host of minor leaguers.

He also brings up the name of Brett Myers(notes), a replacement who's already being vigorously backed by one of the leading Phillies blogs. To which I say, interesting.

Very interesting.

Myers is still battling back from a hip injury and is slated to pitch for single double-A Reading tonight. If all goes well, he could rejoin the big league club in mid-September and would still be eligible for the posteason roster because of his disabled list status. Myers has experience as a closer — he saved 21 games in 2007 — and the makeup to handle the pressure. 

Whether or not he'd have the stuff to be successful remains to be seen, but at this point the performance of Lidge practically forces the Phillies to give Myers some consideration. 

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