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Padilla, Dodgers End Season On High Note

The Dodgers continued their weekend celebration, ending their season with a 5-3 win over the Rockies to close out their 2009 regular season.  Vicente Padilla pitched five strong innings, racking up 10 strikeouts along the way, perhaps emerging as the favorite to take one of the two yet unnamed playoff starts for next weekend in St. Louis.

The Dodgers end the regular season with a 95-67 record, their best seasonal mark since 1985.  Let's hope this playoff match-up with St. Louis ends better than that one.  The Dodgers' 50 wins at home were their most since the 1991 squad went 54-27 at Dodger Stadium.

The fans at Dodger Stadium were a loud bunch from the first pitch, still buzzing from a thrilling division clincher Saturday night.  The Dodgers obliged with four runs in the first inning, a good start to the managerial career of Brad Ausmus.

One cool thing at the stadium today was that Matt Kemp, Casey Blake, Orlando Hudson, and Andre Ethier -- the four regulars in the starting lineup -- were removed in different innings after taking the field, allowing the home crowd to shower them with well-deserved ovations.

Brad Ausmus also inserted himself in the game in the eighth inning, pinch running for Jim Thome, perhaps making him the first manager/runner in Dodger history.  Ausmus explained his managerial move:

I am the second least fast guy in the stadium besides Thome; maybe Loretta, but somebody had to pinch run, so I figured I'd get myself out of the way.

Hudson ended the season with 631 plate appearances, falling just one plate appearance short of collecting all of his myriad of incentive bonuses.  In addition to his $3.38 million base salary, Hudson collected $4.61 million in incentives, pushing his salary to $7.99 million on the season.  Hudson got his career high 35th double.

Juan Pierre stole two bases, giving him exactly 30 steals on the season, the ninth straight season he has hit that mark.

Catcher A.J. Ellis got his first major league hit and run batted in with a first-inning single.

Padilla pitched very well, earning his fourth win as a Dodger.  Nine of his first 11 outs were recorded via strikeout, and he ended with 10 in five innings.  Since joining the Dodgers, Padilla has a 3.20 ERA, a 3.12 FIP, and has struck out 38 batters in 39.1 innings.

The Dodgers struck out 17 Rockies on the day, their most in a nine-inning game this season.  The Dodgers also struck out 17 Rockies in a 13-inning game on June 29, and struck out 20 Reds in 12 innings on August 30.

The Dodgers won the season series with Colorado, winning 14 of 18 games against the Rockies.  The Dodgers won all six series played between the two clubs this season, including a pair of sweeps.  The Dodgers finished the year 46-26 against the NL West, their best mark within the division since the 1974 club that went 63-27 against the west.

The Dodgers open up their divisional series with the Cardinals on Wednesday at 6:37pm Pacific time.  Rosters for the divisional series must be decided by Wednesday at 10am.

WP - Vicente Padilla (12-6): 5 IP, 4 hits, 1 run, 10 strikeouts

LP - Jason Marquis (15-13): 4 IP, 8 hits, 4 runs, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts

Sv - Ramon Troncoso (6):  1 IP, 2 hits, 1 run, 1 walk, 1 strikeout

Box Score