Hanley Impresses In Debut, But Dodgers Fall To Cardinals

On the first pitch Hanley Ramirez saw as a Dodger, he drove a Kyle Lohse pitch off the center field wall for a triple, coming around to score the first Dodger run on a James Loney sacrifice fly. In his second time up, he flew out to the left field warning track; in his third, he drove home the second Dodger run with a single up the middle; in his fifth and final at-bat, he walked.

It was a relatively smashing debut for Ramirez – hell, even a hard-hit ball he botched at third was grabbed by Luis Cruz on the deflection and turned into an out – but unfortunately for the newest Dodger, he was basically the only bat who did show up. No other Dodger reached base more than once, and when Ramirez did lead off the 12th with that walk, he ended the inning still nailed to first base, as no one could even move him into scoring position. (It was a particularly tough night for Matt Kemp, who went 0-5 while striking out three times.)

Not only was Ramirez’ debut for naught, an outstanding performance by Aaron Harang went to waste. Harang worked into the eighth for the second time as a Dodger, allowing only two hits while striking out eight; each of the two St. Louis runs he allowed came on outs.

But Harang tired in the bottom of the eighth, walking two – well that’s a relative term, because ball four to Rafael Furcal could not have been more over the plate – before Scott Elbert walked Jon Jay to load the bases. Ronald Belisario came in, which was terrifying since he’s been awful lately, and immediately allowed Matt Holliday to smoke a line drive up the middle… which Mark Ellis was fortunately able to glove and step on second for the inning-ending double play.

That held into the twelfth - without Don Mattingly, who was ejected for arguing the strike zone in the tenth and was not pleased about it – before Jamey Wright allowed the winning run on a walk and two singles, the final one coming off the bat of former Dodger Furcal. Tony Gwynn may have had a play at the plate on the ball, but bobbled it in left and never managed to get a throw off. I can’t even kill Wright on this too much, because it was the end of his second inning, and if anyone else on the Dodgers could have bothered to a hit off of Kyle LohseKyle Lohse! – this game would have been over long before.

Don’t forget, tomorrow’s an early 10:45 start in the west, as Chris Capuano hopes to split the series for the Dodgers.

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