Muy, Muy Bien Señior Padilla

The Dodgers, with a little help from the Phillies, carved out their 43rd come-from-behind win, scoring twice in the eighth inning to win 2-1 and take the National League Championship Series to Philadelphia in a 1-1 tie. Starters Vincente Padilla and Pedro Martinez were brilliant but neither of them had a decision.

Second baseman Chase Utley of Philadelphia gave the Dodgers a second chance in the eighth inning when he threw a double play ball away to allow the tying run and then much later in a very long inning, Jay Happ, the fourth of five relief pitchers the Phillies used in the inning, walked Andre Ethier with the bases loaded to force in the eventual winning run. It was his eighth game-winning RBI of the season.

Less than 24-hours since the Dodgers had rapped out 14 hits, their highest total in NLCS play, they were held to five hits with three of them coming in the eighth inning.

The pundits (pun-dit: A latin word meaning "I don't know much about the subject but don't I speak confidently?) scoffing at the starters, Martinez and Padilla, and predicting a high scoring game, were not to be found after the remarkable job by the two veteran pitchers.

Padilla, who once pitched for the Phillies and was picked up on waivers from Texas by the Dodgers late in the season, allowed three harmless singles and an opposite-field home run by Ryan Howard for the only Philadelphia run.

If fact, it was the only run of the game until the last of the eighth inning when the Dodgers made an elephant disappear, pulled a rabbit out of a hat and put six of eight batters on base, scoring twice.

Martinez, 37 years old and without having pitched for 26 days, was even better. In fact, with a bit more luck he would have taken a no-hit game into the eighth inning. He allowed only a bloop single to center and a tap back to the mound that glanced off his glove for a second hit.

He turned the game and the 1-0 lead over to the shaky Phillie bullpen and, despite using five of them in the eighth inning, managed to give up a pair of runs and kill any chances of taking a 2-0 lead in the series.

Using a 91 mph fastball, a curve and a slider of a lesser velocity and a devastating changeup, he toyed with the Dodgers hitters and stranded two of the three baserunners he allowed.

Padilla, save for the slow curve that Howard banged out of the park deep to the opposite field, had stranded one of the four baserunners he had surrendered.

At the finish the Dodgers had left five on base, Philadelphia two. Neither team had a hit with a runner in scoring position. L.A. was 0-for-6 and the Phils were 0-for-1.

Utley tagged Padilla for a single in the first and Carlos Ruiz boosted his average against the Dodgers to .611 (11-for-18) with a single in the third. After Ruiz's hit, Martinez attempted to bunt him to second but popped the bunt up down the first base line.

James Loney caught the ball and flipped it to Ron Belliard covering first. Ruiz, seeing the popup, held the bag and Belliard inadvertently stepped on the base before tagging him. Had he done it all in reverse order it would have been a double play.

Martin dumped his little looper into center field in the third and was bunted to second but nothing came of it.

Howard, down 1-2 in the count, timed a slow curve and drove it deep into the left field seats for the only run of the game over the first 7 1/2 innings.

Kemp led off the fourth with a bouncer that Martinez could only slow down but was almost immediately caught stealing.

Pedro sailed through the 10 Dodgers hitters, leaving Martin stranded again after hitting him with a pitch in the sixth. Padilla, for the second time in the game, bunted him to second but there he stayed.

Padilla allowed only a seventh inning single after Howard's home run but with one out in the eighth, he walked Ruiz. Manager Joe Torre, who was roundly criticized for allowing Clayton Kershaw too long in a five run fifth inning the night before, didn't hesitate and brought in Hong-Chih Kuo.

Padilla got a standing ovation from the 56,000 Dodger fans in attendance. It was well-deserved after he had stopped Colorado on the final day of the regular season, held St. Louis to one run in seven innings and Philadelphia to one run in 7.1 innings, giving him a 1.37 earned run over his last three games.

It took the Kuo only three pitches to force pinch-hitter Ben Francisco to hit into a double play. He was the winning pitcher, following the Dodgers rally in the bottom of the inning.

Martinez had left the game for a pinch-hitter after seven innings, having thrown only 87 pitches and allowed only the two scratch singles.

Manager Charlie Manuel again called on Chan Ho Park, who had pitched a perfect inning in relief in the first game, stranding Andre Ethier who had doubled to lead off the inning with the Phillies leading 5-4.

Park again pitched well but with little luck. Casey Blake 0-for-6 against Park and 0-for-7 in the series, ripped a shot off Pedro Feliz's glove for the Dodgers' first hard hit ball of the afternoon. Juan Pierre ran for him.

Ron Belliard bunted to the right side of the mound and Park, slowed by a tender hamstring, slipped and was unable to catch up with it. That put the potential tying run at second and the winning run at first.

Martin bunted foul twice, then hit a ground ball to third base. The relay to second retired Belliard but he slid into the base hard and disrupted Utley's throw to first, a throw that was well down the line and luckily for the Phillies, just missed skipping into their dugout.

Pierre scored the tying run on the play but Martin was held at first. Pinch-hitter Jim Tome faced the second relief pitcher of the inning, Scott Eyre, and ripped a single into right field, moving Martin to third. Juan Castro ran for him.

Madison (pitcher #3) took over and walked Rafael Furcal to load the bases and struck out Matt Kemp for the second out of the inning. Jay Happ (#4) got ahead of Ethier 1-2, ran the count to 3-2 then walked him to force in the lead run.

Chad Durbin (#5) took over with the bases still loaded and Manny Ramirez, who was 0-for-3 against Martinez, popped up to end the inning.

Jonathan Broxton disposed of Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino on ground balls and Ethier ran down Utley's line drive into right field to end the game.

The series moved to Philadelphia for the next three games, set for Sunday (Hiroki Kuroda vs Cliff Lee), Monday and Wednesday, The final two games, if needed will be on Friday and Saturday.

 Score by innings
Philadelphia	000 100 000-1
Los Angeles	000 000 02x-2

 Los Angeles	ab r  h  bi  ave
Furcal ss	3  0  0  0  .143
Kemp cf	        4  0  1  0  .333
Ethier rf	3  0  0  1  .375
Ramirez lf	4  0  0  0  .111
 Broxton p	0  0  0  0  .000
Loney 1b	3  0  0  0  .429
Blake 3b	3  0  1  0  .125
 Pierre pr-lf	0  1  0  0  .000
Belliard 2b	3  0  1  0  .375
 Hudson 2b	0  0  0  0  .000
Martin c	2  1  1  0  .500
Padilla p	0  0  0  0  .000	
 Kuo p	        0  0  0  0  .000
 Tome ph	1  0  1  0 1.000
 Castro pr-3b	0  0  0  0  .000
 Totals	        26 2 5 1
 Philadelphia	29 1 4 1

 RBI- Ethier. S- Padilla 2. LOB- Los Angeles 5,
Philadelphia 2. RISP- Los Angeles 0-for-6.
Philadelphia 0-for-1.  CS- Kemp (1). DP- Furcal,
Belliard and Loney 2. 

 Los Angeles	in  h r-er bb so  era
Padilla	        7.1  4  1-1  1  6  1.23
Kuo (1-0)	0.2  0  0-0  0  2  0.00
Broxton (sv 1)	1.0  0  0-0  0  0  0.00
 HBP- Martin. T- 3:05. Att- 56,000.

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