There will be no more talk about “the playoffs” around here until the Dodgers actually, you know, win another game. Assuming that ever happens. Other than Manny Ramirez getting on base all 5 times he was up, you’ve just got another game in which there was nothing positive to take away. The offense, other than Manny, was stagnant as usual. The usually strong pitching gave up nine runs, led by Chan Ho Park immolating on the mound to the tune of 4 runs in 1/3 of an inning – although he was greatly helped by Nomar throwing away a double play ball into right field. Nomar’s now hitting .236 and made a second error last night as well. Someone explain to me again why he’s playing when he can’t hit or field, and why Chin-Lung Hu is still down in Las Vegas? He might not be a hitting improvement, but at least he can play shortstop.
At right: the Dodgers season.
Oh, and then there’s this:
Jeff Kent said he has played with pain in his left knee for the last month.
Friday, he said he couldn’t continue — not even with his team in the midst of a crisis that could push them out of contention.
Seven innings into a 9-3 loss to the NL West-leading Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field that extended the Dodgers’ season-long losing streak to eight games, the 40-year-old second baseman who has endured a wide range of physical problems this season had to be replaced by pinch-hitter Blake DeWitt.
The Dodgers are 4 1/2 games out of first place, they’re eight for 69 with runners in scoring position during their eight-game skid, but Kent said he probably wouldn’t play today. Kent, who will undergo an MRI exam, said he probably wouldn’t play Sunday, either.
Here’s the interesting thing, though. You would think that a knee injury so painful that he’s missing the biggest series of the year would explain why Kent’s having the worst season of his entire career, right? But Kent says that he’s been playing with pain for a month – a month in which he’s been excellent, hitting .357/.394/.439. Whether that’s Manny-aided or not, that’s impressive, but who gets hurt and then has their performance improve? It’s possible that Kent is just offhandedly saying “a month” when it’s in reality been more recent, and the numbers back that up since he’s got a .412 OPS over the last week. It’s hard to draw that conclusion when the entire team has been so bad at the plate over that time, though.
So I suppose we’re going to get to see what Blake DeWitt learned in Las Vegas about playing second base. With the season rapidly spiraling down the tubes, at least we’ll learn a bit more about what we have from DeWitt for next year.
One more thing… I’m still looking forward to tonight’s game. I know I’ve been a little negative around here lately; how could you not be? But playoffs or not, Chad Billingsley vs. Dan Haren is still a pretty marquee matchup, and if the Dodgers can touch Haren, who knows what could happen from there? That’s possible, right? Now if you’ll excuse me, Jessica Alba’s waiting outside for me in her Ferrari to drive me down to the lottery office to pick up my winnings.
- Mike Scioscia’s tragic illness