Nobody had much of an idea what to expect from Pedro Martinez in game two of the NLCS. Pedro has always seemed like a bit of an outsider on this squad, a guy focused on proving to the baseball world he’s still got it on a team full of players with a history of putting the team first. Whether that’s fair or not, it was the Phillies who let Martinez down in this game, not the other way around. Martinez was brilliant, spinning a two-hit shutout over seven innings. The Phillies, meanwhile, couldn’t hit Vicente Padilla, couldn’t get an out on a bunt, couldn’t turn a key double-play and walked in the winning run in a disastrous eighth inning that cost them the game.
Martinez exited after seven innings having thrown 87 pitches and allowing two singles and no walks. The Phils hit for him in the top of the eighth and things fell apart in the bottom of the inning. They hit for him cause the plan on the day was to limit Pedro to 90 pitches. If that was the plan they executed it brilliantly. What they didn’t do was win the game, which makes you wonder where the plan and the 90-pitch number came from in the first place.
Howard put the Phillies up 1-0 with a solo shot off of Padilla in the top of the fourth. Taking over for Pedro, Park started the eighth and gave up a single off the glove of Feliz. Ronnie Belliard bunted and the Phils couldn’t get an out. Russell Martin hit a throw-it-in-the-dugout ball and the Phils executed beautifully for the second straight day, getting one at second before Utley threw the ball into the first base dugout. Juan Pierre scored on the play to tie the game at 1-1. A single and a walk loaded the bases before JA Happ walked Andre Ethier, forcing in the run that put LA on top to stay at 2-1.
The Phils and Dodgers are tied at a game apiece after splitting the first two games of the NLCS. They head now to Philadelphia for game three on Sunday.
Pedro Martinez got the start for the Phillies and went seven shutout innings, allowing two singles, no walks and striking out three. He also hit a batter.
Pedro faced a lineup that went (1) Furcal (SS/S) (2) Kemp (CF/R) (3) Ethier (RF/L) (4) Ramirez (LF/R) (5) Loney (1B/L) (6) Blake (3B/R) (7) Belliard (2B/R) (8) Martin (C/R). Kemp moves to two after hitting fourth against the lefty in game one. Ethier to three from two. Ramirez three to four. Blake and Loney switch spots in the order. Like Ruiz, Martin starts in the day game after a night game.
The Dodgers had six players on the bench to start the game, lefties Jim Thome and Juan Pierre, righties Mark Loretta, Juan Castro and Brad Ausmus and switch-hitter Orlando Hudson.
Pedro threw a 1-2-3 first. Furcal flew to left on a 2-1 pitch for the first out. Kemp hit a 2-2 pitch softly to Rollins. Ethier got ahead 2-0, but popped a 2-2 pitch to Utley in short center for the second out.
Ramirez, Loney and Blake went down in the second. Manny got ahead 2-0 before popping to Howard in foul territory 2-1. Loney grounded an 0-1 pitch to first with Martinez covering. Blake got ahead in the count and then flew softly to right 3-1.
Belliard led off the third and flew to Ibanez in right-center for the first out. Martin was next and he blooped a 2-2 pitch in center for a single, the first runner of the game for LA. Padilla tried to bunt and fouled two off before getting it down. It moved Martin to second with two outs. Furcal grounded to second on a 2-0 pitch to leave him stranded.
He started the fourth with a 1-0 lead. Kemp led off with an infield single on a ball that Martinez deflected, but Ruiz gunned Kemp down stealing with Ethier at the plate for the first out before Ethier flew to center on a 1-2 pitch for the second out. Manny popped to Howard to end the inning.
Loney popped to third to start the fifth before Martinez struck Blake and Belliard both out swinging.
In the sixth, Martinez got ahead of the leadoff batter Martin 2-0 before hitting him with a 2-2 pitch. Padilla bunted Martin to second, but Furcal flew to center on a 1-1 pitch for the second out and Kemp flew to left to leave Martin stranded.
Ethier grounded to second 1-2 to start the seventh. Ramirez struck out swinging 1-2 for the second out. Loney hit the ball well to center, but Victorino took it for the third out.
Exit Pedro, enter the bullpen and the nightmare.
Park started the eighth with the Phils still up 1-0. Blake led off with a ground ball deflected off the glove of Feliz and into left field for a single. Juan Pierre ran for Blake at first. Belliard was next and bunted on the first base side of the mound, but nobody could make the play and he was safe with a single that moved Martin to second. Martin was next and he got ahead 3-0 before hitting a double-play ball to third. Feliz threw to second for the first out, but Utley’s relay to first was way off target. Pierre scored on the play to tie the game at 1-1. Martin held first with one out and Jim Thome hit for the pitcher Hong-Chih Kuo. Thome singled to right, putting men on first and third. Juan Castro ran for Thome and Madson came in to pitch to Furcal. Furcal walked to load the bases. Madson got a big strikeout next, getting Kemp swinging 1-2 for the second out. Happ came in to pitch to the lefty Ethier. He got ahead 1-2 before delivering three straight balls to walk Ethier, forcing in Martin to make it 2-1. Ball four was very close and may have been a strike. Durbin replaced Happ and got Manny on a popup to third on the first pitch of the at-bat.
Awful inning for the Phils. Very close pitch by Happ 3-2. At least they had a righty pitching to Furcal in a big spot late this time. Good job again by Durbin, getting Ramirez for the last out with the bases still loaded.
The Phillies lineup against righty Vicente Padilla went (1) Rollins (SS/S) (2) Victorino (CF/S) (3) Utley (2B/L) (4) Howard (1B/L) (5) Werth (RF/R) (6) Ibanez (LF/L) (7) Feliz (3B/R) (8) Ruiz (C/R).
The Phillies started the game with six players on the bench, lefties Dobbs, Stairs and Bako and righties Francisco, Bruntlett and Cairo.
Rollins led off the game and took ball one before flying to left for the first out. Victorino flew to right on an 0-1 pitch, but Utley hit a 2-1 pitch into right for a single. Howard swung at the first pitch and popped to Furcal near the foul line in short left field.
He set the Phils down in order in the second. Werth went down looking 1-2. Ibanez grounded 1-2 pitch to first. Feliz struck out swinging 0-2.
Ruiz led off the third and hit a 2-2 pitch into center for a single. Martinez was next and popped up the bunt for the first out. Loney tried dropping it on purpose, but the umps didn’t go for it. Rollins got behind 0-2 and Padilla came way up and in. Rollins hit the 1-2 pitch into right, which Ethier took running in for the second out. Ruiz stole second before Victorino popped to Furcal to end the frame.
Utley grounded a 1-1 pitch to first for the first out of the fourth. Howard was next and he hit a 1-1 pitch out to left-center, putting the Phils up 1-0. Werth struck out swinging 1-2 and Ibanez struck out swinging 1-2.
In the fifth, Feliz grounded to short, Ruiz flew to right and Pedro lined to second.
Rollins struck out swinging 2-2 for the first out of the sixth. Victorino swung at the first pitch of his at-bat and hit the ball hard, but Loney took it for the second out. Utley also swung at the first pitch and flew to left.
Howard singled to right to start the seventh with the Phillies still up 1-0. Werth got behind in the count and hit into a double-play to short on a 1-2 pitch, clearing the bases. Ibanez swung and missed three straight pitches to set the Phillies down.
Feliz grounded to short to start the eighth. Ruiz was next and he got behind 1-2, but came back to work a walk. Pedro was due to hit next, having thrown a two-hit shutout through seven innings and needing on 87 pitches to do so, but the Phils called on Dobbs to hit for him. The lefty Kuo came in to pitch to Dobbs and Francisco hit for Dobbs. Kuo got Francisco to ground into a double-play on a 1-1 pitch.
The Phils started the ninth down 2-1 with righty Jonathan Broxton on the mound for the Dodgers. Rollins took the first pitch for a strike and then grounded to second. Victorino grounded a 2-2 pitch to short. Utley was the last hope and he flew to right on a 2-2 pitch to end the game.
Rollins was 0-for-4 in the game and is 1-for-9 in the series.
Victorino was 0-for-4 in the game. 2-for-9 in the series.
Utley 1-for-4 in the game, 1-for-8 with a walk in the series. He’s having huge problems throwing the ball to first base.
Howard 2-for-3 with a home run in the game. 3-for-6 with a double, a home run and two walks.
Werth 0-for-3 with two strikeouts. In the at-bat when he didn’t strike out he hit into a double-play. 0-for-6 with a walk and three strikeouts so far.
Ibanez was 0-for-3 and struck out twice, too. 2-for-7 with a home run.
Feliz has been just terrible with the bat. 0-for-3 with a strikeout in the game. 0-for-6 with a walk in the series.
Ruiz 1-for-2 with a walk in the game. 3-for-5 with a home run and two walks.
Francisco was 0-for-1 in the game.
Lefty Cliff Lee faces righty Hiroki Kuroda in game three.
The 34-year-old Kuroda threw 117 1/3 innings for the Dodgers this year, pitching to a 3.76 ERA and a 1.14 ratio. He was the Dodger’s opening day starter, but missed a lot of the early part of the season with an oblique problem and some time recently with a neck issue.
Kuroda doesn’t walk anyone. Just 24 in 117 1/3 innings for the season. He walked just six of the 250 right-handed batters he faced for the year. Overall, he was almost as good against lefties as he was righties this year. Lefties hit 233/294/419 against him and righties 253/272/371.
He made one start against the Phils this year, which came on June 6. He threw six shutouts innings that day, holding the Phils to two hits and three walks. Ethier homered off of Blanton in the fourth to put LA up 1-0. Stairs had a two-run single off of Belisario in the seventh to put the Phils up 2-1. Furcal homered off of Lidge with one out in the ninth. 2-2. Ethier homered off of Durbin with two outs in the twelfth. LA wins 3-2.
Kuroda started game three of the NLCS against the Phillies last year and pitched very well, allowing two runs on five hits and a walk over six innings. Howard and Utley doubled against him in that game and LA won 7-2 as they lit up Moyer. Kuroda threw a ball near Victorino’s head in that game, setting of a bench-clearing incident.
None of the Phillies have big numbers of at-bats against him over their careers in the regular season. Howard 0-for-8 with four strikeouts. Rollins 0-for-6. Victorino 0-for-5. Utley’s had some luck, 2-for-7 with two walks. Werth 2-for-7 with a double.
Lee went 14-13 with a 3.22 ERA and a 1.24 ratio in 34 starts for the Indians and Phillies in 2009. He doesn’t walk anyone, almost literally when it comes to lefties. He walked six left-handed batters all season. Lefties hit just 241/263/320 against Lee with eleven extra-base hits for the season. Righties had a lot more luck, hitting 283/321/414.
Lee was brilliant in July and August, making 11 starts between the Indians and Phils in which he threw to a 2.06 ERA with an 0.98 ratio. Opponents posted a .590 OPS against him over those 11 starts. Things have been ugly since the end of August. In his last six starts of the season Lee had a 5.45 ERA and a 1.38 ratio. Opponents hit .317 against him.
He didn’t face the Dodgers this year.
Manny has some scary career numbers against him: 6-for-14 with three doubles, two home runs and six walks (429/571/1.071). Kemp 1-for-4 with a strikeout. Furcal 2-for-3 with a homer. Ethier and Loney are both 0-for-3.