Friday, October 16, 2009 at 9:18 p.m.
Has-been Pedro Martinez dialed up the way back machine and held the Dodgers to two hits in seven shutout innings with no walks. Castoff Vicente Padilla pretty much matched him: four hits over 7.1 innings, with one walk and only Ryan Howard's solo homer. And the Dodgers turned a series of Philly miscues into two runs--just enough to secure a crucial Game 2 victory.
And the Dodgers got key contributions from guys who aren't the marquee players.
In the eighth inning, Casey Blake led off with a single. Ostensibly trying to move him over, Rafael Belliard instead got on base with a perfectly placed bunt. And when Chase Utley muffed the throw to first on Russell Martin's potential double play grounder, pinch runner Juan Pierre scored the winning run. Then lefty Jim Thome (yes, I know I ragged on him) singled off lefty Scott Eyre, Rafael Furcal walked to load the bases, and Ethier walked to force in the go-ahead run. Boss Hogg shut the Phillies down in the 9th and this one was in the books.
If you would've told me the Dodgers would only get five hits in Game 2, I wouldn't have liked their chances. But they pulled it out. Freaky.
So it's on to Philly for Game 3 on Sunday. Last year's AL Cy Young Award winner Cliff Lee pitches for the first time ever against the Dodgers. Typically, the advantage in a situation like this goes to the pitcher. But this series has been weird and promises to get weirder. For the Dodgers: head wound survivor Hiroki Kuroda, who missed the Cardinal series with a neck injury that may or may not be related to taking a line drive off his cranium earlier in the season.
Somehow, I think the Dodgers will take Game 3.