Los Angeles Dodgers' Vicente Padilla reacts after giving up a three-run home run to Philadelphia Phillies' Jayson Werth during the first inning of Game 5 of the National League Championship baseball series.
When the season started, the book on the Dodgers was that they had a lot of talent on the field, great young players and a talented bullpen — if they got enough good starting pitching, they could go a long way.
In the end, it was that lack of starting pitching that did them in. Another rocky outing from a starter put them behind and there were not enough comebacks in the bag of tricks, and the Dodgers fell to the Phillies 10-4. This is the second year in a row he Dodgers reached the National League Championship Series, entered it as favorites, then got bounced out by the Phillies.
They’ll have all winter to think about it. The front office will have all winter to consider the starting rotation. In this series the Dodger pitchers gave up 10 home runs and 21 runs in 21 innings played.
Wednesday night Los Angles got the start it wanted — in the top of the first, Andre Ethier hit a home run to give the Dodgers a quick 1-0.
But then in the bottom half of the first, Dodger pitcher Vincente Padilla showed he did not have the control over his pitches he did a couple nights ago. He walked Chase Utley, then he walked Ryan Howard. That brought up former Dodger Jason Werth, and when Padilla left a pitch that was supposed to be inside out over the plate, Werth crushed it over the wall. And it was 3-1 Phillies.
The Dodgers got one back with a James Loney solo homerun in the second inning. Then Pedro Feliz answered with another Phillie homer in the bottom half of the inning. In the fourth, a single by Werth and a double that scored him by Raul Ibanez meant Padilla was gone. That didn’t mean the Phillies were done scoring — reliever George Sherrill hit Shane Victorino with the bases loaded, walking in another run.
It was 6-2 Phillies at the end of four, and the writing was on the wall.
It’s not like the Dodgers didn’t have their chances. In the top of the fifth both Ethier and Manny Ramirez were at the plate with two on, but neither could do anything. They had the bases loaded and nobody out in the top of the eighth, but came away with just one run (on a Matt Kemp single). Meanwhile, the Phillies took advantage of their chances, with another Werth home run among other things.
The Dodgers will have other chances — they have a young core of players, and virtually the entire team will be back next year (or can be, depending on what the front office decides to do).
But this year it was not to be.