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Eephus? Damn Near Killed Us: Padilla Stymies Padres

Vicente Padilla had as many hits at the plate (two) as he allowed on the mound.
Vicente Padilla had as many hits at the plate (two) as he allowed on the mound.

Vicente Padilla took a no-hitter into the seventh inning, and flummoxed the Padres all night, leading the Dodgers to a 9-0 win, their second straight over the Padres. It was the Dodgers second complete-game shutout of the season, joining Chad Billingsley on June 21.

Padilla was masterful tonight, keeping the Padres off balance with his eephus pitch, somewhere in the low 50s in miles per hour, mixed in quite liberally with a mid-90s fastball. Padilla threw 13 eephus pitches tonight: four balls, three called strikes, two fouls, and four softly hit outs on the infield.

Ryan Ludwick got the first hit of the game with one out in the seventh inning, a line drive just off the glove of a diving James Loney, who was just inserted into the game for defensive purposes. Padilla ended his night with a season-high nine strikeouts, allowing just two hits and two walks. For good measure, Padilla also had two hits himself, driving in an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth.

Since returning from the disabled list on June 19, Padilla has made nine starts, and is 4-2 with a 1.80 ERA with 13 walks and 52 strikeouts in 60 innings.

The last time the Dodgers got back-to-back starts of seven innings or more allowing two or fewer hits was on June 25 and June 26, 2002, when Odalis Perez and Hideo Nomo turned the trick.

The last complete game shutout by the Dodgers with such a lopsided score was when Kazuhisa Ishii shutout the Diamondbacks 11-0 on July 7, 2004.

Russell Martin Update

Martin, who was placed on the disabled list before the game with a labral tear in his right hip, is weighing his options and will be reevaluated tomorrow. Per Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times:

Martin's agent, Matt Colleran, told Times beat writer Dylan Hernandez it was undetermined whether the injury would require surgery.

"There are going to be some consultations with some specialists about it," Colleran said. "They're not saying he's going to need surgery, they're not saying he's not.

"That's not going to be decided until he meets with those people.''

Jon Weisman of Dodger Thoughts talked to injury expert Will Carroll of Baseball Prospectus, and the news doesn't seem good:

I asked baseball injury expert Will Carroll of Baseball Prospectus about this. His response: "If the acetabular labrum is torn, this is devastating for the Dodgers. In the short term, Martin would be done for the season. We don't really have good comparables for this - as far as I know, no catchers have had the procedures. Most have been very successful - Chase Utley, Alex Rodriguez, Brett Myers and more, just in baseball. The long term prognosis should be good, but the taxing nature of the catching position adds an element of uncertainty. If he has the FAIL surgery (femoral-acetabular impingement/labrum) he'd be out for approximately three to four months, which would have him back in time for spring training."

As far as naming a surgery FAIL, I can only say, "Bummer of a birthmark, Hal."

Chad Billingsley will beat Kevin Correia tomorrow night for the much-needed series win.

WP - Vicente Padilla (5-3): 9 IP, 2 hits, 2 walks, 9 strikeouts

LP - Wade LeBlanc (5-10): 6 1/3 IP, 8 hits, 4 runs, 1 walk, 6 strikeouts

Box Score