October 16, 2009
Score and situation: Dodgers 2, Phillies 1 — Series tied at 1
Leading lads: Some decried the Pedro Martinez(notes)-Vicente Padilla Game 2 matchup as a sad statement on the strength of the National League, but their complaining was only answered with the creation of a fantastic pitcher's duel at Dodger Stadium. Both Martinez and Padilla turned in great efforts against their former teams in the heat of Chavez Ravine and only an ugly eighth inning from Philadelphia keeps this from being an instant classic.
Actually, check that. This was an instant classic because of the pitching — oh, the pitching — from the starters. After allowing a fourth inning home run to Ryan Howard(notes), it looked as if Padilla — who struck out six over 7 1/3 innings of one run ball — would be the hard luck loser to a team that employed him from 2000-2005. Pedro was pitching that well.
Yet the Phillies defense and bullpen somehow wasted Martinez's two-hit, seven-inning effort and when Andre Ethier(notes) drew a go-ahead, bases loaded walk from J.A. Happ(notes), Padilla was given a no decision that ensured the Dodgers won't be headed to Philly in a 2-0 hole. There aren't many no decisions a pitcher can be happy with, but this one qualifies.
(So long as your name is Padilla and not Pedro.)
Head hangers: The main culprit is Phillies second baseman Chase Utley(notes), who committed a throwing error while trying to turn a double play. Utley's throw sailed past Ryan Howard, allowed Juan Pierre(notes) to score with the tying run and extended the inning for the Phillies bullpen, which would have had two outs after early trouble from Chan Ho Park(notes).
Others deserving blame are manager Charlie Manuel, who is left to wonder if Martinez could have gone another inning and the four Phillies relievers — Park, Scott Eyre(notes), Ryan Madson(notes) and Happ — who all had a hand in the eighth inning letdown.
Key stat: Martinez threw just 87 pitches over seven innings and didn't walk a batter.
What they're talking about: Philadelphians will no doubt be focused on Utley's throwing error and Manuel's early hook. Los Angelenos, meanwhile, will be lauding Padilla for doing enough to stand up to Martinez and keep the Dodgers hanging around long enough to do the eighth inning damage. With Cliff Lee(notes) scheduled for Game 3, a 2-0 hole would have looked even deeper, so kudos to the Dodgers for being able to pull it out.
What they're saying:
"There was no room for error." — Joe Torre
What's next: The series loses three hours while traveling to Philadelphia for Sunday's Game 3. The scheduled pitching matchup is Hiroki Kuroda(notes) vs. Cliff Lee and gametime at Citizens Bank Park is scheduled for 8:07 ET.