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Dodgers Bullpen Implodes in Mets 6-1 Victory

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The Dodgers bullpen wasted away Dodger starter Vicente Padilla’s two-run outing drowning the Dodgers in a 6-1 loss.

“Padilla pitched sensational,” Torre said. “He was very economical. We couldn’t generate any offense, but we certainly let it get away from us in the eighth.”

Padilla didn’t have his stuff early on in the game evidenced by his first two pitches resulting in a double to Jose Reyes and a single to Luis Castillo that sent Reyes to third. Padilla coming out of the inning unscathed seemed like a real possibility after he struck out Angel Pagan. However after David Wright struck out swinging, Reyes booked it to home plate with Castillo going to second. Catcher Russell Martin threw to second baseman Blake DeWitt covering second base who dropped the ball as he tagged Castillo for the error and the unearned run.

“I don’t even know,” DeWitt tried to recall about the play. “It came out. It’s a play you’ve got to make, and I didn’t make it.”

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“He never had the ball in his glove,” Torre said of DeWitt’s drop. “It was a little bit of a snow cone. If it was a force play, it would have been fine. But when he made a tag the ball jumped out. It was tough because Russell made a good throw and Reyes hadn’t crossed home plate yet.”

Things looked even worse in the second inning after Padilla gave up a leadoff homer to Ike Davis for the Mets 2-0 lead. He gave up back-to-back singles to Jason Bay and Henry Blanco but managed to get out if it by retiring the side.

After that it was smooth sailing for Padilla settling down and retiring 17 batters in a row until giving up a single to Blanco in the seventh inning.

Despite making only 77 pitches, Torre inserted pinch hitter Ronnie Belliard in the bottom of the seventh inning after Carroll hit a two-out single despite the fact Belliard is batting .214 for the season and .160 (4-for-25) against Santana.

“It was obviously the wrong decision,” Torre said. “Sitting here I wish I did something else.”

And that reason became quite evident in the eighth inning. Pitching for the Dodgers:

  • Jeff Weaver: Walk to Jose Reyes; walk to Luis Castillo; sacrifice bunt to Angel Pagan.
  • James McDonald: RBI sacrifice fly by David Wright, intentional walk to Carlos Beltran.
  • Jack Taschner: Walk to Ike Davis.
  • Travis Schlichting: Three RBI double by Jason Bay. Error by Rafael Furcal on Henry Blanco’s grounder. Fly out by Johan Santana.

If you weren’t counting that’s four runs on one hit.
“You certainly can’t come in and walk Reyes,” Torre said. “Walking the first two guys in that lineup is pretty tough to overcome.”

Speaking overall about the bullpen Torre said, “It’s just been inconsistent. We just have been unable to shut people down out of the bullpen. It’s something if we’re going to do anything this year, we’re going to have to figure it out and find a way to do it.”

Offensively this marked the fifth time in seven games that the Dodgers have scored two runs or less in a game.

“It’s uneven,” Torre commented on the offense. “We’re having some good at-bats. We just can’t get it all together.”

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After leading off the fifth inning with a double, Russell Martin scored the Dodgers’ lone run from third base on Jamey Carroll’s dying fly ball to shallow right field thanks to catcher Henry Blanco’s inability to cleanly grab right fielder Angel Pagan’s throw.

Part of it Torre credited it to Mets’ starter Johan Santana who is now 4-0 against the Dodgers in four starts.

“We ran up against a tough pitcher tonight in Santana,” Torre said. “You certainly don’t get very many opportunities against him, and that certainly was the case tonight.”

Loney made two spectacular plays in the sixth inning - a pop up in the right baseline VIP seats despite a fan trying to do his best impression of Steve Bartman for the second out, and grabbing Carlos Beltran’s scorching line drive to end the inning.

However that didn’t overshadow the fact that the Dodgers committed two errors in the game, the 20th time this season they have committed two or more in a game.

Jason Bay ate part of the Dodger bullpen fence as he robbed Jamey Carroll of a base hit in the bottom of the second inning. He had to be helped off the field.

“He made a terrific catch,” Torre commented. “I was very surprised when Jamey hit that ball that someone was going to be playing him that deep to have a shot at that ball. He certainly had a good jump and held on to it. He hit that fence pretty good.”

Mets’ manager Jerry Manuel was tossed in the middle of the second inning for arguing with first base umpire Doug Eddings’ call that Castillo was out on a grounder to shortstop. Replays showed that Castillo just beat out the throw at first base by shortstop Rafael Furcal.

The Dodgers celebrated “55 Since ’55” marking the 55th anniversary of the Brooklyn Dodgers’ 1955 World Series win over the New York Yankees - the first World Series win for the franchise. It featured Don Newcombe throwing the ceremonial first pitch. Also organist Nancy Bea Hefley played most of the music for the game including “Don’t Stop Believin’.”