NLCS Coverage: Phillies Stuck in Park

The National League Championship Series (NLCS) Game Two starters put on a show on Friday night. Los Angeles’ Vicente Padilla allowed just one run on four hits and a walk in 7.1 innings (.258 WPA). Philadelphia’s Pedro Martinez (.500 WPA), who hadn’t pitched in a game since Sept. 30, pitched 7.0 innings and allowed just two hits (and no walks).

The most questionable move came when Martinez was pulled from the game with Philadelphia up 1-0 in the eighth. Manager Charlie Manuel chose to bring in reliever Chan Ho Park (-.296 WPA). Park had dominated his former team the night before, so it’s easy to understand the line of thinking.

However, the veteran had just been activated from the disabled list before Game One of the series. Park had not pitched since Sept. 16 due to the injury problem. Why would you sit a guy for a month and then ask him to pitch on back-to-back days? It was well publicized that Park was not at 100% at the start of the series.

On offense for the Phillies, only first baseman Ryan Howard and catcher Carlos Ruiz had positive WPAs at .141 and .058, respectively.

The rest of the offense will look to get rolling tonight against LA’s Hiroki Kuroda, who has historically had good success against Philadelphia. Kuroda was activated prior to the NLCS after missing time due to a neck injury. He has not pitched since Sept. 28. As a result, the bullpen will be on its toes.

Cliff Lee will head to the hill for Philly. The club has won both of Lee’s 2009 playoff starts. The game will begin in Philadephia shortly after 8 p.m. Eastern.

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Marc Hulet has been writing at FanGraphs since 2008. His work focuses on prospects and fantasy. Follow him on Twitter @marchulet.

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He at least knew to pull Martinez after seven, unlike a certain G. Little.