Preview NLCS Game 2: Phillies @ Dodgers

Friday, October 16, 2009

Video source: ESPN

Pedro Martinez makes first playoff start since 2004

The Phillies used just about every resource they had in the bullpen in game one to steal home field advantage from the Los Angeles Dodgers and the question is how much relief will they need in game two? A win in game two would set the Phillies up nicely for the upcoming home portion of the NLCS. The big story line in game two will certainly be focused on the Phillies starting pitcher for this afternoon, Pedro Martinez.

Martinez grabs headlines wherever he goes and this afternoon he will start in his first post season game since 2004, the year the Boston Red Sox won their first World Series title in over 80 years. Martinez was a key player on that team and he will hope to rekindle some of that magic . In his last playoff start Martinez pitched seven shut out innings against the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2004 World Series while allowing just three hits and walked only two and struck out six.

But we all know that this is not exactly the same Martinez. He doesn't have as dominant stuff as he once had but he does bring a good mentality to the mound. He will not be intimidated or rattled by the high scoring Dodgers offense, including his former teammate Manny Ramirez. Martinez should be well rested as he was swapped out of a start in game three of the NLDS in favor of JA Happ in Colorado. In his career Martinez was 1-2 in six games (five starts) in the ALCS with a 4.72 ERA.

Looking to even the series for the Dodgers will be former Phillies pitcher Vicente Padilla. Padilla has pitched well since joining the Dodgers, including seven shut out innings in his game three start in the NLDS against the Cardinals. Padilla was 12-6 this season with a 4.46 ERA between his time with the Texas Rangers and Dodgers. Padilla pitched for the Phillies from 2000 to 2005. Now he must perform well in a must-win game against the team he has spent the most time with in his career.

The Phillies will want to pounce on Padilla early and take him off his game, unlike the Cardinals. Winning this game is not as urgent as it would have been had the Phillies lost last night, but it would put the Phillies in the driver's seat in the NLCS as the series returns to Philadelphia next week.

First pitch: 4:07 pm

Pitching probables
Pedro Martinez (-, - ERA) vs. Vicente Padilla (1-0, 0.00 ERA)

Phillies lead 1-0
Game # (location) - Date, time - preview/open thread/recap/video

Game 1 (Los Angeles) - W 8-6
Game 2 (Los Angeles) - October 16 4:07 pm
Game 3 (Philadelphia) - October 18 8:07 pm
Game 4 (Philadelphia) - October 19 8:07 pm
Game 5 (Philadelphia) - October 21* 8:07 pm
Game 6 (Los Angeles) - October 23* 8:07 pm
Game 7 (Los Angeles) - October 24* 8:07 pm

* if neccessary

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