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Padilla, Dodgers Finish Sweep of Cardinals

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NLDS: Cardinals vs. Dodgers
Dodgers Win Series 3-0
Game 1  
Dodgers 5, Cardinals 3
Game 2 Dodgers 3, Cardinals 2
Game 3 Dodgers 5, Cardinals 1

What better place to celebrate winning a division series than in front of The Greatest Fans in Baseball™?  The Dodgers finished off the Cardinals, winning 5-1 to sweep the series, advancing to their second straight National League Championship Series.

Vicente Padilla, whose release prompted cheers from teammates in Texas, induced a different kind of cheer tonight, a congratulatory one from his Dodger teammates.  When he was acquired in August, I don't even think the Dodgers expected Padilla to deliver like this.  Let, there he was, etching his name into Dodger lore.  Padilla was sharp all night, allowing just four hits and a walk in his seven scoreless innings.  Padilla's game was the 18th in Dodger postseason history to pitch seven or more scoreless innings, and the first since Jose Lima in 2004.

Padilla, with just four wins as a Dodger this season (he was acquired on August 17), has the lowest seasonal win total by any winning Dodger starter in the postseason, narrowly beating the five wins by Roger Craig in 1955 (Craig won Game 5 that year).

The Dodgers battered Cards' starter Joel Pineiro with four singles, two doubles, and a home run, scoring four runs in his short four innings of work.  On the night, the Dodgers scored all their runs with two outs:

  • Manny Ramirez laced a double in the first inning to score Matt Kemp
  • Andre Ethier hit a two-run home run in the third inning scoring Rafael Furcal
  • Furcal singled home Ronnie Belliard in the fourth inning
  • Manny Ramirez singled home Ethier in the seventh inning

Ethier and Manny were the catalysts tonight, each with three hits.  Ethier finished a single short of the cycle, and Manny included two doubles among his three knocks.  Furcal added two hits of his own.  Furcal and Ethier each had six hits in the three-game series.

Meanwhile, the Cardinals struggled again with runners in scoring position, that is, when they had the opportunity.  The Cardinals loaded the bases with two outs in the first inning, but left them stranded.  The Cardinals had one hit in eight at-bats with RISP (an Albert Pujols RBI single in the eighth inning), bringing their total for the series to just four hits in 30 at-bats.

The Dodgers play the winner of the Rockies-Phillies series beginning Thursday at Dodger Stadium.  But there will plenty of time to dissect that matchup later.  Tonight, we celebrate!

WP - Vicente Padilla (1-0):  7 IP, 4 hits, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts

LP  - Joel Pineiro (0-1):  4 IP, 7 hits, 4 runs, 3 strikeouts

Box Score

2009 Dodgers Checklist
Checkmark_medium Make The Playoffs
Checkmark_medium Win National League West
Checkmark_medium Best Record in the NL
Checkmark_medium Win NLDS
Win NL Pennant
Win World Series