The Dodgers needed to get one more out in game four to tie up the series before Jimmy Rollins delivered his game-winning double. If they want to tie things up now they’ll need to win the next two games. The Phils sure don’t want to see that happen and they’ll try to end the series tonight as they send Cole Hamels to the mound to face righty Vicente Padilla.
Padilla pitched for both the Rangers and the Dodgers this season. He made 18 starts for Texas to start the season, going 8-6 with a 4.92 ERA and a 1.50 ratio. The Rangers released him in mid-August and he was signed by the Dodgers. He made eight appearances for LA, seven on them starts, and threw to a 3.20 ERA and a 1.22 ratio.
He was much better against righties than lefties on the season. Righties hit just 246/301/363 against him for the year, lefties 303/384/453.
This article suggests that not all of his Texas teammates missed him after he left the Rangers. It also mentions a game in June in which Padilla hit Mark Teixeira twice before the end of the fourth inning.
Padilla faced Pedro Martinez in game two of the series. Both pitchers were fantastic. Howard put the Phils up 1-0 with a solo homer in the fourth inning. Martinez threw seven shutout innings and was lifted in the eighth. LA scored two times in the eighth, starting the inning with a single off the glove of Feliz. The Phils failed to turn a key double-play in the frame and the Dodgers pulled ahead to stay at 2-1 when Happ walked Ethier with the bases loaded.
Padilla was very good. He went 7 1/3 innings in the game, allowing a run on four hits and a walk while striking out six. Utley singled in the first, Ruiz singled in the third, Howard homered in the fourth and singled in the seventh. Padilla walked Ruiz with one out in the eighth with the Phils up 1-0 and when Dobbs hit for Pedro, LA brought Kuo in to pitch to Dobbs.
Except for the Howard home run, Ruiz is the only runner who made it to second for the Phils in game two. Ruiz stole second with two outs after he singled in the third, but was left stranded when Victorino popped to Furcal.
Hamels went 10-11 with a 4.32 ERA and a 1.29 ratio over 32 starts in 2009. He went into the All-Star break with an ugly 4.87 ERA, but threw to a 3.76 ERA and a 1.19 ratio in 15 starts after the break. He was also much better at home this year than away from Citizens Bank Park. 3.76 ERA and a 1.12 ratio at home and a 4.99 ERA and a 1.48 ratio away. He was tough on lefties this year (242/295/416). Righties hit .282 against him, but he didn’t walk many of them, holding their line for the year against him to 282/320/447.
Hamels faced Clayton Kershaw in game one of the series. He didn’t pitch very well, allowing four runs on eight hits and a walk over 5 1/3 innings.
Loney put LA up 1-0 with a second inning home run in the game — he had also homered off of him on May 14 in Philadelphia as the Dodgers topped Hamels and the Phils 5-3. With Kershaw in control, the score held at 1-0 until the Phils hit in the fifth. In the fifth, Ruiz got the Phils on the board with a three-run homer and Howard extended the lead to 5-1 with a two-run double. LA put men on first and third in the bottom of the fifth and Hamels should have been out of the inning when he got Ethier to hit a double-play ball to short, but a miserable throw from Utley kept the inning alive as the runner scored from third to make it 5-2. To make matters worse, Ramirez followed with a two-run blast to make it 5-4. Hamels came back to get just one out in the sixth for the Phils, but it all ended well nonetheless. Ibanez delivered a three-run blast off of George Sherrill in the top of the eighth to make it 8-4. LA scored two runs charged to Madson in the bottom of the eighth to end the scoring at 8-6.
Hamels didn’t do a good job in game one of controls his emotions on the field, throwing his hands in the air after Utley threw the double-play ball into the dugout in the bottom of the fifth. This came after a similar reaction in game two of the NLDS when a bad throw from Howard kept the Phils from getting Carlos Gonzalez stealing second after Hamels picked him off. After being told that Manuel had said that he needed to do a better job of controlling himself, Hamels said, “He can say that all he wants, but I’m not going to change my emotions.”
That there is the kind of quote that one should try to keep out of the newspaper near one’s name. I’m pretty sure that Manuel was suggesting Hamels change what he says and does more than his emotions.
After ending the regular season by going 0-3 with a 7.02 ERA and a 1.50 ratio in his last three starts, Hamels has thrown to a 6.97 ERA and a 1.55 ratio over 10 1/3 innings in two starts this post-season.
Pedro says he could pitch game six if needed. Let’s hope it’s not. I would be surprised if Lee didn’t start game six if there is one.
Ryan Howard tied Lou Gehrig’s record of eight consecutive post-season games with an RBI in game four and has a chance to make it nine tonight.