Dodgers can't hit, blow lead, remain three back

KP Wee@kpwee1Senior Writer IAugust 24, 2008

It was a lost weekend as the Los Angeles Dodgers have lost the first three of their four-game series in Philadelphia.

While first-place Arizona lost two of three to the struggling Florida Marlins, the Dodgers couldn't capitalize, and remain three games behind the Diamondbacks in the NL West race.

The Friday and Saturday games were write-offs, as the Dodgers got blown out 8-1 and 9-2, respectively.

But the Sunday night game was the one the Dodgers had to have. After all, they were limping into the contest having lost five of their past seven.

Once again though, Joe Torre's boys couldn't get it done.

Say what you want about the Dodgers' recent acquisitions--namely, leftfielder Manny Ramirez, third baseman Casey Blake, and pitcher Greg Maddux.

The fact remained, the Dodgers still can't hit.

We've known that for a while. Now, they can't protect late-inning leads.

And they exhibited all that for the world to see on the nationally-televised Sunday Night Baseball broadcast.

In the very first inning, the Dodgers could have blown it wide open, but scored only one run after loading the bases with one out. The culprits in that first inning: Nomar Garciaparra and Blake, who struck out to end the threat.

That must have set the tone for the entire evening, because the Dodgers got only one more run after that.

In fact, after 10 innings, the Dodgers outhit the Phillies 12-5, but the game was 2-2.

All told, Los Angeles left 12 men on base in the first 10 innings.

Other lowlights:
* Andre Ethier flied out with Matt Kemp on third base to end the second.

* Pitcher Hiroki Kuroda and Kemp got on base to lead off the fifth, but the inning would end on Jeff Kent's double-play groundout.

* The Dodgers left at least a runner on in each of the final seven innings, including leadoff baserunners in the 10th and 11th. 

Rookie starter Kuroda would surrender only two hits in six innings, but thanks to the lack of run support and closer Jonathan Broxton's blown save, was denied his eighth victory of the year.

While the Dodgers bats struggled, a former foe didn't.

Ex-Giant Pedro Feliz, who entered the game as part a double switch in the Dodgers' half of the seventh--an inning, by the way, which saw Los Angeles collect two hits and a walk, but scored only once--must have thought he was still in San Francisco.

That's because with the Phillies down to their final out in the last of the ninth, Feliz singled off Broxton to bring home Shane Victorino to tie the ballgame.

Feliz then blasted a Jason Johnson pitch into the stands in deep center in the 11th, and it was all over.

While Feliz is no longer a Giant and most likely doesn't care about the San Fran-Los Angeles rivalry, he still must have brought a smile to Jints fans everywhere.

The Dodgers, meanwhile, are still, well, the Dodgers. A group of underachievers who can't hit.

The Dodgers still have a shot to salvage the series by avoiding the sweep Monday, but will they score enough runs?


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