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Dodgers Look To Padilla To Extend Season

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Randy WolfClayton KershawChad BillingsleyHiroki KurodaJon Garland.

None of these starting pitchers will be making their third start this postseason today.  That honor falls to Vicente Padilla, who has pitched like an ace so far this October.

Padilla sure picked a great time to have his best two starts as a Dodger.  Padilla has allowed one run in 14.1 innings over his two playoff starts so far, and the Dodgers are hoping he can give them yet another strong start.  Burt Hooton is the only Dodger ever with three straight postseason starts allowing one run or fewer in seven or more innings, turning the trick in 1981.

Cole Hamels started last year's Game 5, allowing just one run over seven innings as the Phillies won their pennant at Dodger Stadium.  The Dodgers of course can't return the favor tonight, but the very least they can do is to assure that the 2009 NL pennant will be won at Dodger Stadium too.

Andre Ethier is the only Dodger starter with an OPS above .783 this postseason:

Ethier 6 .333/.419/.741 1.160
Manny 4 .276/.300/.483 .783
Loney 1 .308/.357/.423 .780
Martin 1 .238/.407/.286 .693
Belliard 0 .308/.379/.308 .687
Furcal 1 .286/.313/.357 .670
Kemp 2 .200/.226/.400 .626
Blake 0 .192/.250/.192 .442
Starters 15 .268/.331/.404 .734

The Dodgers need production from the offense if they want to play at home on Friday and/or Saturday.

Here's a brief look at the Dodgers' history when down 3-1 in the postseason:

  • 1916: Ernie Shore of the Red Sox threw a 3-hit CG to win 4-1, giving Boston it's fourth championship
  • 1941: One game after being stunned in the 9th inning (sound familiar?) by a strike 3 passed ball by Mickey Owen, leading to a four-run rally, the Dodgers fell to the Yankees 3-1 behind a CG by Tiny Bonham and a HR by Tommy Henrich
  • 1949: The Dodgers fell 10-6 to the Yankees to lose their third series to the Yankees in nine years. 
  • 1974: After three straight 3-2 games, the Dodgers must have been confused by the 5-2 defeat to the A's in Game 4, as they fell in Game 5 by yet another 3-2 score
  • 1977:  Trailing the Yankees 3-1, the Dodgers finally pulled one out, scoring a 10-4 win at Dodger Stadium by limiting Reggie Jackson to just one home run.  Jackson, however, had the last laugh, hitting three bombs in Game 6, cementing his status as Mr. October and denying the Dodgers a championship.
  • 2008:  Last season's NLCS Game 5 was dominated by Cole Hamels, who allowed just one run over seven innings.  The Phillies managed a few early runs, knocking out Chad Billingsley early, and the Phillies won their first pennant in 25 15 years.

So that's six times the Dodgers were down 3-1, and they forced a Game 6 just once.  However, the Dodgers did win three straight in the 1981 NLDS after falling behind 0-2 in the best-of-five series.

There is only one option tonight.  Win.


The Sons of Steve Garvey have an exclusive interview with the Don't Stop Believin' Guy.  Good job, Delino!


Check out Xeifrank's simulation of today's game here.

Game Time:  5:07pm

TV: TBS (Chip Caray, Ron Darling, Buck Martinez)

Baseball Reference Game Five Preview