No one’s blaming Furcal for this one

Times Staff Writer

Larry Bowa called to Rafael Furcal.

“Hey,” Bowa said.

Furcal, his eyes red, looked up. Bowa embraced him and said something in his ear.

There wasn’t a person in the Dodgers’ clubhouse that was critical of Furcal in the wake of the 5-1, season-ending loss to the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday night in Game 5 of the National League Championship Series.


Furcal’s teammates didn’t want to talk about the three errors he made in the fifth inning that the Phillies turned into two runs to extend their lead to 5-0 and blow open the game. They preferred to look back at how Furcal came back in the final weeks of the regular season from a back injury that had sidelined him since May 5 and started every game of the postseason.

“That was one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen a player do for his teammates,” Greg Maddux said. “It was freaking awesome.”

Furcal took little comfort in the knowledge that he returned from back surgery.

“It’s tough, man,” he said. “I know I’ll feel bad tonight because of the way I played.”

The Phillies had men on first and second when Pat Burrell hit a potential double-play ball to Furcal that slipped under his glove, hit his foot and bounced into left field. That let Chase Utley score, and Furcal’s errant throw home allowed Ryan Howard and Burrell to move up to second and third.

Later in the inning, Furcal made a throwing error to first on a grounder by Carlos Ruiz.

But what happened on this night didn’t temper Furcal’s desire to be back with the Dodgers next season. Furcal will be a free agent this winter.

“Really, I want to come back,” he said. “I love it here. I love the city. I love my teammates.”

General Manager Ned Colletti said the feeling was mutual.

“We would like to have Raffy back,” Colletti said.

Peavy to the Dodgers?

A longtime nemesis of the Dodgers has emerged as a candidate to be the top-of-the-rotation arm to replace Derek Lowe if he leaves the club this winter in free agency as expected.

Jake Peavy has told the San Diego Padres that the Dodgers are among the five teams he would consider as potential trade destinations, according to Peavy’s agent, Barry Axelrod.

Peavy, who has a full no-trade clause in a contract that was extended in December, is owed $11 million in 2009, $15 million in 2010, $16 million in 2011 and $17 million in 2012. He has a $22-million team option for 2013 that could be bought out for $4 million.

Axelrod said Padres General Manager Kevin Towers told him late in the season that the team was looking to rebuild and that could benefit from unloading Peavy’s contract. Axelrod said he recently gave Towers a list of teams to which Peavy might consent to being traded. On that list were the Dodgers, Atlanta Braves, Chicago Cubs, Houston Astros and St. Louis Cardinals.

“This isn’t Jake asking,” Axelrod said. “He wants to stay in San Diego.”

Or, if the Padres are dead set on rebuilding, in the National League, on a contender.

Axelrod said he was later asked by Towers if his client would be open to pitching for any American League team. The agent said the Angels could be a possibility.

Peavy, 27, won the Cy Young Award last season, when he was 19-6 with a 2.54 earned-run average. He was 10-11 for a team that lost 99 games this year, but his 2.85 ERA ranked third in the NL and fifth in the majors.

Peavy is 13-1 lifetime against the Dodgers with a 2.32 ERA.