I'm torn between how I want to remember last night's game. The loss was painful, sure, so ultimately the negatives will outweigh the positives, but I can't help but think there were some good things that came out of last night's game too:
- Manny Ramirez struck out in his first two at-bats, but battled through 15 pitches in doing so. He later came through with a home run to get the Dodgers back in the game right after the horrible top of the fifth.
- The Dodgers got to Cole Hamels, for once. After never pitching less than seven innings nor ever giving up more than two runs to the Dodgers, Hamels allowed four runs in 5.1 innings.
- The Dodgers were only three for 14 with runners in scoring position, but I find it very hard to take issue with an offense that scored six runs on 14 hits.
James Loney had three hits, including a rare Dodger Stadium home run, and is now hitting .380/.446/.560 with 12 runs batted in in 13 playoff games in his career
For today, the Dodgers have to continue what they're doing on offense and, I don't know, maybe give up one or two fewer three-run jacks.
Both teams have six capable starting pitchers at their disposal. What are the odds that Vicente Padilla and Pedro Martinez would be pitching in Game 2 of the NLCS? 1,000 to one? Would it be off the board?
Martinez had flashes of brilliance for the Phillies in August and September, but ever since throwing 119 and 130 pitches in back-to-back starts, he hasn't been the same pitcher. In his last two regular season starts, Pedro allowed six runs on 13 hits in just seven innings, while striking out only three batters. He hasn't pitched since September 30, but a similarly long layoff didn't hinder Chan Ho Park last night, who blew Matt Kemp away with a 96-mph fastball in the seventh inning.
The Dodgers are hoping Vicente Padilla continues his groove. In his last 14 innings, he has allowed one run on eight hits and two walks while striking out 17. Since joining the Dodgers, Padilla has thrown 46.1 innings, including the playoffs, and has a 2.72 ERA and 3.02 FIP.
Call me crazy, but I think the Dodgers today get what they have been longing for for quite a long time: a win in a playoff game started by Pedro Martinez at Dodger Stadium.
Check out Xeifrank's simulation of today's game here.
Game Time: 1:07pm
TV: TBS (Chip "Fisted" Caray, Ron Darling, Buck Martinez)
10/16/09 1:07 PM PDT
|Philadelphia Phillies||Los Angeles Dodgers|
|Jimmy Rollins - SS||Rafael Furcal - SS|
|Shane Victorino - CF||Matt Kemp - CF|
|Chase Utley - 2B||Andre Ethier - RF|
|Ryan Howard - 1B||Manny Ramirez - LF|
|Jayson Werth - RF||James Loney - 1B|
|Raul Ibanez - LF||Casey Blake - 3B|
|Pedro Feliz - 3B||Ronnie Belliard - 2B|
|Carlos Ruiz - C||Russell Martin - C|
|Pedro Martinez - P||Vicente Padilla - P|