In a tense matinee game at Coors Field, the Dodgers walked a tightrope but held off the Rockies to win the game, win the series, crush the Rockies, and push our NL West divisional lead back to four whole games. Vicente Padilla gave just enough in his Dodgers debut to get the win (5.0 IP, 6H, 2 ER), and Joe Torre used his arsenal of arms (Hong-Chih Kuo, Ramon Troncoso, George Sherrill, and Big Jonathan Broxton) to ice the Rockies over the last four innings, allowing the Dodgers' three runs (a Matt Kemp two-run HR in the first, and a Rafael Furcal single to plate Orlando Hudson in the sixth) to hold up for the win.
The Dodgers left 11 on base, with 0-fers from Andre Ethier, Brad Ausmus, and Casey Blake, and had a number of opportunities squelched and leadoff batters fail to score. But the outstanding performance of our relief corps, as well as the unconventional approach to using them today (i.e., pitching changes were made when situations dictated it, not when innings provided breakpoints), led to a tense but satisfying outcome for the good guys. Broxton's 100+ mph heat in the ninth inning was absolutely terrifying to behold. I love it.
Off we go to Cincinnati for a weekend series, while Colorado goes on to fight Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain this weekend in San Francisco. Everybody exhale! (And then drink.)