Rough game for the Phils tonight (at least by their standards). After seven brilliant innings from Pedro Martinez, the team turned to its biggest question mark -- the bullpen. Sadly a combination of Chan Ho Park, Scott Eyre, Ryan Madson, and J.A. Happ, couldn't preserve the Phillies' 1-0 lead in the eighth inning and the team fell to the Dodgers, 2-1.
It was a surprising pitcher's duel, as Pedro took on former Phillie Vicente Padilla. Padilla, after bombing as a Texas Rangers starter, has rebounded as a key member of the Dodgers' rotation. This afternoon he was nearly flawless, making only one mistake, which resulted in a Ryan Howard solo shot. Other than that he was fantastic, allowing just the one run in 7 1/3 innings.
Pedro, however, was dominant in his own right, allowing just two hits over 7 innings. He threw just 87 pitches and one has to wonder why Charlie Manuel made the decision to remove him for a pinch hitter in the top of the eighth, as it looked like he should have been able to go at least one more inning. Well...at least no one can accuse him of having a Grady Little moment.
The Phillies also suffered from a bit of bad luck, as a Chase Utley throwing error allowed Juan Pierre to score in the eighth, tying the game. Maybe it's wrong to call it luck, as it was a poor throw, but it feels weird to blame Utley for a loss, considering what he's meant to this team. Either way, it's just one throw and one game and the Phillies head home, having wrested home-field advantage from the Dodgers' grasp. With Cliff Lee going in Game 3, one has to like their chances to at least take a 2-1 series lead.