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Dodgers Outlast Pedro, Attack Phillies Bullpen

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For seven innings, game two of the National League Championship Series was a game played to Renoir-esque beauty. For the players in the game and the diehard fans, the beauty of this pitcher’s duel couldn’t fully be appreciated. But from afar it was a complete piece of art.

But the Dodgers stayed persistent and used the ugly strokes painted by the Phillies reliever and defense to come away with a 2-1 victory tying up the series 1-1.

Phillies starter Pedro Martinez was outstanding in his seven scoreless innings giving up only two hits and hitting one batter. This is a guy who hadn’t pitched in 17 days and hadn’t had a quality outing since September 13.

Martinez’s fast ball wasn’t what it used to be, but he used his off-speed pitches to keep Dodgers hitters off balance. Manny Ramirez popped up twice and struck out against Martinez while Andre Ethier who had gotten two hits off of left-handers in game one went hitless against the former Cy Young.

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However Dodgers starter Vicente Padilla painted an equally beautiful picture matching Martinez pitch-by-pitch. With the exception of leaving a hanging breaking ball to slugger Ryan Howard in the fourth inning for a solo homer, Padilla also changed speeds frustrating the Phillies batters.

In the fourth inning with Shane Victorino at bat with two outs, Padilla started him off with a 55 mph breaking ball that fooled Victorino badly. In fact it was so bad Victorino could do nothing but laugh. The next pitch Padilla threw was a 96 mph fastball, a 41 mph difference. Though it was a ball, it was pitches like this that fooled the Phillies all day long.