WASHINGTON – The state of the Nationals’ bullpen has been a topic of concern for years, even in the World Series season of 2019.
Many veteran relievers have been summoned to the bullpen in Washington, only to see disappointment lurking out behind the right-field fence at home games.
It was 10 years ago today – on Jan. 26, 2012 – that the Nationals announced the signing of Brad Lidge, who had saved 41 games for the Phillies en route to an All-Star season and World Series title for Philadelphia in 2008.
Lidge stayed with the Phillies through the 2011 season in which he posted an ERA of 1.40 in 25 games with just one save.
The right-hander broke into the majors with Houston in 2002 and two years later posted 29 saves for the Astros.
In 2005, he was an All-Star for the first time and recorded 42 saves.
His last season in Houston was in 2007 and the next year he helped the Phillies win the World Series.
Alas, Lidge could not duplicate that success while in Washington.
In 11 outings in 2012 for manager Davey Johnson, he did record two saves but he also posted an ERA of 9.64 while finishing four games.
On June 16 at home against the Yankees, Lidge gave up three hits and two runs while recording two outs in the top of the 14th inning.
He struck out Freddy Garcia for the second out of the inning, then was replaced by reliever Mike Gonzalez.
Lidge was charged with the loss as the Yankees won 5-3.
It would be the last Major League game in which Lidge would appear. That was the only decision that Lidge logged in 2012 for the Nationals.
Another notable event in the history of the Nationals took place on Jan. 26 – in 2013.
According to thisdayinbaseball.com: “At the Walter E. Washington Convention Center during NatsFest, the Nationals introduce William Howard Taft as the fifth participant in the team’s iconic Presidents Race, a Washington, D.C. ballpark tradition since 2006. The 27th President of the United States will compete against the Rushmore Four, George, Tom, Abe, and Teddy.”