Los Angeles Dodgers beat Philadelphia Phillies, 2-1, to even NLCS
that results into a throwing error in in the 8th innings.
The Dodgers rally to beat the Phillies, 2-1.
Back on the stage for the first time since winning a World Series with the Red Sox five years ago, Martinez put the Phillies in position to move a step closer to repeating as champions by contributing seven scoreless innings Friday. However, after he departed, the Phillies threw it all away.
For the second straight day, second baseman Chase Utley fired a potential double-play ball wide of first baseman Ryan Howard on the turn, this time allowing pinch-runner Juan Pierre to score the tying run from second base. Later in the eighth inning, with the bases loaded, J.A. Happ missed low on a full-count pitch to Andre Ethier, forcing in Russell Martin as the Dodgers took the decisive 2-1 lead and sent the NLCS back to Philadelphia tied at a game apiece.
win before the Phillies blow the lead.
"It's not something I like to watch, but I've been there," .Martinez said. "It's not like we really blew it away so bad. It was a couple of little things that we should have done that we didn't do. As far as the game, I would have loved to have ended up with a win and have the team 2-0 going home, but that wasn't the case."
Said Happ: "I don't know how to explain how frustrating it is, but you've got to make them put the ball in play in that situation. Close, but not close enough. You've got to throw a strike there. It felt good coming out of my hand, but it was a little down, I guess."
Had Utley's throw been on the mark, Howard's fourth-inning homer off Vicente Padilla may have stood up in an unlikely duel between two pitchers signed by their clubs after the All-Star break. L.A. would have had Pierre at third base and two out, still trailing 1-0. But after Utley took a throw from third baseman Pedro Feliz on a grounder by Martin, his ensuing wild toss bounced off the netting in front of the Phillies' dugout. Pierre scampered home.
Game 2 of the Dodgers' division series against St. Louis swung on a late misplay, too. In that round, Cardinals left fielder Matt Holliday missed a would-be game-ending catch, eventually allowing the Dodgers to claim an improbable victory. On Thursday night, Utley threw a double-play turn into the dugout in the fifth, helping the Dodgers to begin clawing out of a four-run deficit.
"I had plenty of time to turn it," Utley said about yesterday's miscue. "I just didn't make a good throw."
As for the previous day's error, he added: "I forced it. I didn't really think we had a shot, but there was a runner on third, so I figured I'd give it a chance to try to turn it. Today was a different story."
Casey Blake singled off the glove of Feliz to lead off the L.A. eighth. Ronnie Belliard then bunted for a single on the first-base side, which was hard enough to pass diving pitcher Chan Ho Park and also elude Howard.
Martinez, making his second start at Dodger Stadium since flirting with a no-hitter as a Met here on Aug. 14, 2005, limited L.A. to two hits. Making the performance more remarkable: After tossing 130 pitches in eight scoreless innings against the Mets on Sept. 13, Martinez threw only seven innings and 140 pitches the rest of the season. He didn't appear in the division series.
But, in a way, Martinez had ideal conditions. The first-pitch temperature was 93 degrees, allowing Martinez's soon-to-be 38-year-old body - his birthday is Oct. 25 - to easily loosen. Martinez .departed after his 87th pitch, which induced an inning-ending flyout by James Loney to the track.
"I'm very pleased with the way everything went, especially after 17 days not being able to pitch," Martinez said. "Just placing my team in a position to win, it was my main goal today."