Signs Point to Pedro in Game 2
Charlie Manuel said today that Joe Blanton and J.A. Happ will be available in the bullpen in Games 1 and 2. Cole Hamels is starting Game 1 tomorrow night. Cliff Lee likely would start Game 3, which means they need a Game 2 starter. But the fact Manuel said Blanton and Happ could be used in the bullpen in Los Angeles suggests Martinez will pitch Game 2.
“I hope I (pitch),” Martinez said. “I’m open to do whatever. … It would be special to be able to be part of any game. The playoffs are big. For a person like me, I am not going to get too overexcited, but I still have the same respect for the game and I acknowledge the fact that it’s a playoff game and a great opportunity.”
But is Martinez ready? He threw two innings in a simulated game yesterday, but has not pitched since Sept. 30 and has thrown just four innings since Sept. 19. Rich Dubee said Martinez looked “dandy” yesterday. He said between the simulated game and bullpen sessions, Martinez could be sharp enough to get out hitters.
“I think he’s done enough work that I’m very confident sending him out,” Manuel said. “I think he’s capable of throwing anywhere from like 75 to 90 pitches, maybe 95, maybe even 100. But I think that gets you into the sixth inning or seventh, and I think where we’re at with our pitching and everything, I think that would work. … Yeah, I have confidence in him because I know him. I know the experience that he has. I liked his stuff (yesterday). Dubee and I stood there, and we were talking while he was throwing, and his stuff is there.”
But interestingly, while Manuel and Dubee liked what they saw yesterday, Martinez didn’t.
“I threw on the sides and in the bullpen but that’s not enough,” he said. “I threw two innings of BP yesterday, but that’s pretty much it. I’m going to let Dubee and Charlie make the decision. My two innings of BP were a little bit erratic, wild a little bit.”
It’s strange to see Vicente Padilla starting Game 2 of the NLCS for the Dodgers. I never could have imagined. The Phillies basically gave him away to the Rangers because they considered a poor presence in the clubhouse. Pat Gillick called it addition by subtraction. The Rangers then cut him loose for the same reason this summer. And now the Dodgers are having him start Game 2.
“I don’t know what you’re going to get from Padilla,” Jimmy Rollins said. “I’ve been behind him. If he’s good, he’s good. If he’s not, he’s way off.”
Padilla can be rattled, too, somebody mentioned.
“Yeah, he definitely can,” Rollins said. “I’ve been behind him. I don’t know what you’re going to get from him. It really depends on how we approach him, if his team scores obviously he becomes more confident. If we get out there early we could probably get in his head and make him throw a lot of pitches.”