Wilson Valdez reached on an error in the top of the 17th and scored on Brady Clark’s double into the leftfield corner. Brady was 0 for 5 with two walks in the game before that hit. Chad Billingsley, who had been perfect in the 16th, pitched around a one-out error by Ramon Martinez at third and his own one-out walk of Geoff Blum to strike out the final two batters with the tying run on second. Had Martinez made the play, it would have been his 11th assist in the game. … Franken-friar evidently doesn’t have much staying power. While most of us, including regular Friar, were here all the way to the end of this four-hour, 55-minute affair, Franken-friar was never seen after showing off his moves in the fourth inning. … They must have exhausted every piece of music in their collection here today, because now, 45 minutes after the game, they’re playing something by Hilary Duff. With apologies to my teenage daughter, who is such a big fan that she even has the Hilary perfume, that’s the musical equivalent of using pitchers to pinch hit. … Dodgers go to 15-10 and hold onto their half-game over the Snakes for at least one more day. The two teams begin a three-game series tomorrow night on the hill.
… in my scorebook, that is. Each sheet only goes to 14 innings. In all my years as a beat writer, I never had to do it until last season, when I had to do it THREE TIMES. And here we are not even through April yet, and I’m doing it again. … Dodgers have left 14 runners on base, eight of them in scoring position, which is as good a reason as any why I’m not halfway up the 5 by now. … I have to give credit to both managers or the way they have handled their benches in this game. Most of the time in the National League, when you have these marathon games, the game becomes a joke after about the 12th or 13th inning because both benches get emptied and you end up with pitchers pinch hitting and stuff like that. That hasn’t happened today. Grady still has not one, but TWO guys named Wilson on his bench. Bud Black has used everybody, but he hasn’t been forced to do anything weird yet. Nomar just GIDP’d to end the top of the 14th. Heart of the Pods’ order due up, so Bud might have to use a pitcher to pinch hit here. Billingsley coming on, so hold onto your hats. Dodgers 4, Padres 4, middle 14th
These are arguably the two best bullpens in all of baseball. Right now, the hitters on both sides are just props. The show is watching all these relievers match each other pitch for pitch, out for out, at a point when one mistake could be catastrophic. For the Dodgers, Beimel, Broxton, Tsao and Seanez have combined now for 5 2/3 hitless innings, including two perfectos by the unbelievable Tsao, who now has allowed no runs on one hit in 8 2/3 innings since his most recent callup. For the Pods, Doug Brocail, Heath Bell, Cla Meredith and Kevin Cameron have blanked the Dodgers on four hits over seven-plus innings, although Russell Martin just led off the 13th with a single off the leftfield wall. Dodgers 4, Padres 4, top 13