Martinez’s Dominance Not Enough as Phils Fall 2-1; Series Tied

Posted by Jason Bintliff, Fri, October 16, 2009 09:07 PM | Comments: 66

Through the first five games of this second season, manager Charlie Manuel has found himself in positions where his decisions weighed heavily on the outcome of the game. So far, Manuel had pushed all of the right buttons, placing his talented ball-club in a position to succeed. This afternoon, however, Manuel may have out-thought and out-managed himself.

Pedro Martinez, who was making his first postseason appearance since the World Series in 2004 for Boston, pitched a gem through seven innings. With the exception of two hits throughout, Martinez had the Dodgers line-up on their heels all afternoon. He wasn’t overpowering, as he struck out just three, but he was certainly efficient, walking none. Over the seven frames, Martinez threw just 87 pitches, forcing pop-ups and ground-outs the whole time.

Martinez’s doppelganger, former Phillie Vincente Padilla rode his floatilla straight through 7.1 innings, allowing just one run on a mistake to Ryan Howard, which the big man deposited in the left-field seats. Despite the solo shot from Howard, Padilla cruised, striking out six, walking only one. Padilla held the Phils to just four hits and the offense was completely mystified by the journeyman pitcher.

When the bottom half of the eighth arrived, Martinez’s spot in the batting order was due up third. When Carlos Ruiz walked with one out, Charlie Manuel decided to take a gamble hoping to hit the big-inning jackpot. Unfortunately, the gamble required Martinez to be removed from the game after throwing just 87 pitches. The gamble didn’t pay-off as the Phillies failed to put a run on the board. The game was then placed in the shaky hands of the bullpen. The snowball effect wasn’t pretty.

Chan Ho Park entered the game and surrendered a lead-off single to Casey Blake. The next batter, Ronnie Belliard singled on a seeing-eye bunt that put runners at first and second with no outs. A double-play ball was needed and Park got one off the bat of Russell Martin, however, two mistakes were made on the play. First, Pedro Feliz, who fielded the ball had the opportunity to tag out the lead-runner moving to third(pinch-runner Juan Pierre), but opted for the conventional double-play. After getting Belliard at second, the second mistake was made as Chase Utley, for the second straight day, air-mailed the relay to first, allowing the tying run to cross the plate.

Four Dodger batters and three Phillies relievers later and rookie J.A. Happ walked Andre Ethier on a 3-2 count, with the bases juiced to give the Dodgers the 2-1 lead. It was a good at-bat from Ethier who was able to lay off a close, but low ball four from Happ.

It was all the Dodgers would need as they sent closer Jonathan Broxton to the mound to finish off the Phillies in a 1-2-3 ninth inning, getting Chase Utley to fly-out to end the game.

Both teams will get a chance to breathe as the series moves to Philadelphia for three games, starting Sunday. The two teams stand tied at a game a piece.

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About Jason Bintliff

Jason Bintliff has written 55 articles on Phillies Nation.

Jason Bintliff is a Phillies season ticket holder and avid fan for 28 years. He was a former free lance writer and contributor to various baseball blogs. He is also the proud son of the owner of Lena Blackburns Baseball Rubbing Mud.

  • Posts: 0 Moshe B.

    I don’t know that you can blame Charlie for the early pull, based on Pedro’s past. Nor can we blame Chase Utley for his 2nd error in 2 games as the thing that blew the game for the Phils. The point is that, aside from Howard who went 2 for 3 with a solo homer, the NL’s highest scoring offense was befuddled by a mediocre pitcher — Padilla and could do nothing against a Dodger bullpen who got a big doubleplay against the pinch hitter for Pedro. Bottomline — the offense mounted nothing and so the Phils lost.

  • Posts: 0 dodger fan

    Ed. R. Who is the worst closer in history?

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Moshe B……that’s exactly why Utley’s error can’t happen. Sometimes a team is going to be “befuddled by a mediocre pitcher” and the defense has to step up. No excuses for Utley on that play. He deserves the Jeltz.


    Brad Lidge is our closer. Ryan Madson is our set up man, and should have started the 8th yesterday.

    Karen, under no cirucumstance do you ever show up a teammate on the field, especially two champions.

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    TODD….after Park’s performance the night before coupled with Madson’s struggles don’t you think that the decision to use Park right away was the right one? Park didn’t lose that game. Utley did and to some degree Happ with the walk. And Madson again wasn’t sharp.

  • Posts: 0 The Original Chuck P

    I understand that Charlie had a game plan (pitch count) and wanted to stick to it and saw the at bat as an opportunity to put his plan to work, however, there are times when you have to stop thinking and look at the situation for what it is… Pedro was dealing. 2 hits, no walks… the Dodgers were hopeless against him. I think that he could have started the 8th inning, at least. You probably have to pull him in the 9th but I trusted him to get through the bottom of the order.

    The bigger picture… if we can keep these games about the starters, we win. If we allow the benches and bullpen to dictate the outcome, we lose. Yesterday, we lost because Charlie chose to make it about the benches/bullpen too early. We allowed guys like Park, Madson, Happ, Juan Pierre, Broxton and the futile Phillies bench to play a large part in the outcome of the game.

  • Posts: 0 The Original Chuck P

    I may be wrong but I think that Utley’s hip is bothering him… he tried to run out an infield single a couple of games ago and took an awkward last step towards the base. I remember thinking, “I hope he didn’t reinjure his hip.” Well, seeing him air mail two throws in the past two games because he’s pulling his head away too quickly, I’m a little bit concerned that there’s something wrong. Plus, like someone else said, they chose to add Eric Bruntlett to the roster; a seemingly senseless move unless you’re not sure whether Utley is healthy.

  • Posts: 0 Ed R.

    Lidge had a bad year, one year does not make someone the worst, nor does his PERFECT year last year make him the best. He is a good closer who is having a horrible year. Period. Goose Gossage has the most career blown saves, Rollie Fingers(Hall of Famer) Bruce Sutter(Hall of Famer), Bob Stanley, Jerry Staley and Ron Davis are tied the most blown saves in a season. Rollie Fingers is second in career blown saves…is he the worst closer ever? Because the Hall of Fame would beg to differ.

    Sorry our closer doesn’t have an 84 straight game saves streak…but I guess, not being on the juice will prevent that.

    Lidge has converted 81% of his save opps over his career…pretty sure that would mean he is far from being the worst closer ever.

    Do me a favor dodger fan, read a baseball almanac while your waiting to get to the game in the 3rd inning. Fraud.

  • Posts: 0 bob.

    Heartbreaking is the best word to describe this game. It is so easy in hindsight to say that Charlie should of left Pedro in the game (and maybe he should have). But the pen needs to do their job and they did not do it. Chase Utley did not do his job, that double play needs to be turned, PERIOD. The offense did not do its job. 1 run is not acceptable and will lose you 99.2% of playoff games.

    Tough one but this team always bounces back. We have Lee on the mound and a rapid crowd, who will be in their seats by 1st pitch. Utley and the pen will bounce back.

  • Posts: 0 Az Mike

    Utley didn’t lose the game – if you assume the double play there was still the runner on 3rd with two out. He scored on Thome’s single to right. Now let’s all debate whether Thome would have got the hit if the runner was on 3rd instead of 1st.

    Here’s another scenario – Pedro pitched a 1-2-3 eighth and
    started the 9th – he got the first batter in the 9th and then gave up a hit – Chollie then brought in Lidge, who on a 3-1
    pitch gave up a walk-off home run to Ethier. Does that sound familiar? Sounds like something Chollie might have done though!

    My point is “Let’s Move on”! Phils need Utley and they need
    Hamels – He is a good young pitcher, but is still learning
    a lot of things about pitching and life in general. He will develop another pitch and continue to get better. Let’s be sure we run him out of town to the Dodgers where he’ll
    probably win 16-20 games for the next ten years.

    Phillies in six!


    Chuck, I just didnt see Madson having another bad outing. Was hoping he would start that inning and blaze through that part of the lineup. I dont blame Chopper, I just blame our O for not scoring more than a run off of padilla, ouch that hurt. Lets get it done tomorrow nite, see you down there.

  • Posts: 0 Stuart

    Georgie55, youre stupid shut up and leave. Whenever you post, everyone disagrees with you. you dont know baseball and your posts just annoy me. when other teams fans post, i laugh because its funny, when you post, im ashamed that you claim to root for the same team. i know this all may sound harsh but im just so sick of reading your posts. it has become an annoyance. you say hamels is awful, how did he pitch so bad? most of his runs are blamed on utley not ending that inning. you know nothing so shut up. you just get on everyones case and blame just whoever you dont like.

    now onto everyone else. yes charlie shoudlve left pedro in, yes utley shouldve made that throw. but no one really has pointed out that the offense was non existent. one homerun, you cant beat anyone with that.

  • Posts: 0 Brian of CO

    I honestly cant figure out who is the bigger F$^CKING MORON, george55 or Dodger Blue. Neither one of them have any clue about Baseball, nor do they have any class, however I must say at least george55 didnt say “Abandoned buildings. Political corruption. Abject poverty.” in reference to Philly and say Los Angeles CALIFORNIA (the state with the LARGEST DEBT in the Country, with a higher crime rate, gangs, and corruption per capita that the entire state of PA. DUH!) didnt have any problems. Just a typical west coast IDIOT with too much hair dye in his hair. Stop frosting your hair, face it, IT IS GAY.

  • Posts: 0 PhreeholdDave

    Feliz made a bad play on the first hit of the inning but the throw he made to Utley was the correct play. If he tried for the tag and didn’t make it, then he won’t be able to make the double play.

    Utley had plenty of time to make the double play but his throw was so far off. Not a good time for this kind of stuff to be happenning. Hopefully, its just a couple of isolated bad throws.

    There is nothing you can do about it right now. You just have to hope that Utley doesn’t have more of these plays.

    The problem yesterday was that the team didn’t hit. If you score only one run, you are going to lose more often then you are going to win.

  • Posts: 0 j reed

    wow….talk about a bad a call

  • Posts: 0 j reed

    The Angels should protest the game if they lose as a result of that call.

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