Astros Demote Closer After Two Games

Brad Lidge busted to middle reliever; Dan Wheeler promoted
By Jesse Andrews,  Newser User
Posted Apr 9, 2007 10:02 PM CDT
NLDS: Atlanta Braves v Houston Astros Game 3    (Getty Images)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – After just two woeful outings, Astros closer Brad Lidge has been demoted to middle reliever.  His close friend Dan Wheeler will take his place as Houston's ninth-inning man.  This will feel like deja vu to Lidge; he lost his closer's job twice last year as well.

On Opening Day in Minute Maid Park, Lidge gave up a game-tying home run to Xavier Nady, and the Astros would go on to lose in ten innings; down 5-0 to the Cardinals on Sunday, Lidge gave up five more runs, two earned.  His ERA is currently above 16. The Chronicle reports that manager Phil Garner made the announcement "only an hour after saying it was too early to change closers."