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Phillies' Chase Utley admits, 'I just didn't make a good throw'

Second baseman's throwing error in Game 2 opens the door for the Dodgers to win the game. The throw mirrors his bad throw in Game 1.

October 17, 2009|Jim Peltz

After dressing in front of his locker, Phillies second baseman Chase Utley rubbed a dab of cream through his hair, put on his sport coat and then turned to face the throng of reporters.

How did Utley explain his errant throw in the eighth inning that opened the door for the Dodgers to beat Philadelphia in Game 2 and pull even in the National League Championship Series?

"Just a bad throw," Utley replied softly, adding that, yes, he had a good grip on the ball.

With the Phillies clinging to a 1-0 lead, thanks to Pedro Martinez's shutout pitching through seven innings, the Dodgers rallied in the eighth inning with pinch-runner Juan Pierre at second and Ronnie Belliard at first against reliever and ex-Dodger Chan Ho Park.

Russell Martin hit a grounder to third baseman Pedro Feliz, who threw to Utley for a force.

But Utley threw wildly to first, allowing Pierre to score the tying run.

"Pedro had given me a great feed and I made a bad throw," said Utley, a Pasadena native who played for UCLA. "I thought Chan Ho did a good job of getting a ground ball there, and I just wasn't able to turn it."

Asked whether Belliard's bearing down on him had an effect on his throw, Utley said, "None whatsoever. I had plenty of time to turn it. I just didn't make a good throw.

"They capitalized on it, now we're going back to Philly, we'll enjoy being off tomorrow and be back ready to go on Sunday," Utley said. "We have a resilient ballclub, there's a lot of heart on this team, so it's not going to get us down."

No rust here

Both the Dodgers and Phillies marveled at the sparkling performance turned in by the veteran Martinez, who hadn't pitched since Sept. 30.

"Placing my team in a position to win was my main goal today," said Martinez, a three-time Cy Young Award winner. "I'm very pleased with the way everything went" in terms of his pitching.

He also said his outing wasn't wasted even though the Phillies couldn't hold the 1-0 lead he left.

"It's not something I like to watch, but I've been there," said Martinez, an eight-time All-Star who has also pitched for the New York Mets, Boston Red Sox, Montreal Expos and, at the start or his career, the Dodgers. "I would have loved to end up with the win and have the team 2-0 going back home, but that wasn't the case, so we have to refocus."

Said Manny Ramirez, who went 0 for 3 against Martinez, his friend and former teammate at Boston: "It was good to face him. He doesn't need to throw 95 [mph] to get people out. He showed me that today."


Times staff writer Ben Bolch contributed to this report.

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