It's strange, but I feel like we still have a chance. If Penny can just settle down for a few innings, I think we can get to Blanton. We just have to do it quickly, before they can bring in any of their solid relievers.
Well, turns out I was (mostly) right. The Dodgers did manage the comeback, but they only had to do part of it against the starter, Joe Blanton.
Brad Penny sucked. Let's just be honest. He was no good. He lasted only three innings, which was his shortest outing in almost two years. In those three innings, he gave up three two-run home runs. Three! That's insane! His ERA shot up to 6.05, but thanks to some amazing work from the bullpen, not to mention some help from the offense, he didn't take the loss. Now he just has to figure out what the hell is wrong with him.
Down 6-1 in the third, Jeff Kent led off the inning with a double, and Manny Ramirez followed with his fifth home run as a Dodger, cutting the lead to 6-3 (thirteen minutes after my bold prediction). In the fourth, Andre Ethier added a solo shot to make it 6-4. In case you're wondering, Juan Pierre's last home run was September 18, 2006. Just putting that out there.
Now, Pierre did contribute to this one, so I'll give credit where it's due. In the bottom of the eighth, after three innings where the Dodgers did absolutely nothing, Chad Durbin took the mound for the Phillies. Durbin was the one pitching on Tuesday night, also in the eighth inning, when the Dodgers tied that game. Martin led off with a single, then Durbin walked Pierre. Things were looking promising, but Kemp lined out to center and Ethier grounded out to first, though he did advance the runners to second and third.
And then Jeff Kent came up and hit a line drive down the line that hit the third baseman's glove and went all the way to the corner. I had a half-second of panic when the third baseman jumped, thinking for sure he would catch it. But he didn't, and Martin and Pierre both scored to tie the game. Excellent.
Condrey came in to pitch for the Phillies in the ninth. Casey Blake swung at the first pitch he saw and flied out to center, bringing Nomar Garciaparra to the plate. Nomar uncharacteristically took the first three pitches, then hit a low line drive that barely cleared the bullpen fence. Dodgers win, 7-6.
The bullpen deserves a ton of credit. Jason Johnson, Chan Ho Park, Joe Beimel and Jonathan Broxton combined for six innings. They gave up one hit and walked four, allowing no one to cross the plate.
Two walkoff wins in a row, and a series win against the Phillies, with the potential for a sweep on Thursday. I wonder if Drunk Philly Phan is crying in his beer somewhere.
I know I said I'd be avoiding long game recaps, but I just can't help it with these games. They're so exciting!
Photo by John Soo Hoo/Dodgers