Monday, March 29, 2010

Ryan Madson on the 9th: "Just treat it as another inning"

Phillies (temporary) closer Ryan Madson can be a source for a cheap saves early in the season.

Madson will serve as the team's closer while Brad Lidge remains in Clearwater at the start of the season.

Athough he struggled in that role in 2009 by converting only 10 of 16 opportunities, last year's experience should help him this year.

At least, that's Madson's (and Lidge's) view.

"Just treat it as another inning," Madson said. "I got into a little bit of a groove and got my confidence and realized that. So if I can just start that way, get that feeling that I had at the end of the year last year and just treat it like another inning, go out for each hitter and have fun with it, everything will be fine."

"We all know [Madson's] stuff is as good as anybody's among the late-inning guys. And I think for him, the experience of last year will go a long way for him this year," Lidge said. "I thought he did fine for his first year getting in there. He probably learned a lot about how the ninth inning is a little different from the eighth inning. And now that he knows that, and with his stuff, I think he's going to do an excellent job. I mean, he's really capable of being a great closer."

In six spring appearances, Madson has saved one game while posting an ERA of 6.00 and WHIP of 1.50 in six innings pitched.

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