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Dodgers 5-3 Loss to Phillies a Sad Story

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The Dodgers’ 5-3 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies was sad so many ways.

It was sad because the Dodgers really tried. They got nine hits off of Cy Young winner Roy Halladay and 13 hits total off of the best team in baseball.

“At this time of the year, moral victories don’t do you a whole lot of good,” Manager Don Mattingly said, “But I’m real proud of our club tonight.”

Trailing 4-1 in the bottom of the eighth inning the Dodgers feasted on reliever Michael Stutes. Matt Kemp singled, stole second base and scored on Aaron Miles’ single. Miles advanced to second base when Stutes overthrew first base on a pickoff attempt. After James Loney flew to centerfield allowing Miles to get to third base, Stutes’ night was over. Enter Brad Lidge.

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The Brad Lidge that was invincible in 2008 has become mortal in 2011, and the Dodgers took advantage. Rod Barajas walked and Juan Rivera singled to score Miles. It was 4-3 with one out, and a Dodger victory looked possible.

Dee Gordon hit a grounder to second base. However Rivera literally ran over second baseman Chase Utley as Eugenio Velez, pinch running for Barajas, crossed home plate. Alas it was runner interference, Rivera was called out, Velez sent back to second base and Gordon on first base.

“He’s okay,” Mattingly said about Rivera who was attended to on the field by trainers. “It’s a tough call, but the runner definitely has to avoid him.”

Then came a head scratcher: Tony Gwynn on a 1-1 count bunted down the first baseline.

“I saw the first baseman and second baseman were playing way back,” Gwynn said. “It’s my option [to bunt]. I thought I could get it down.”

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Gwynn thought wrong. Lidge fielded the bunt to end the threat.

“If you get it down, it’s a good play,” Gwynn said. “If you don’t get it down, it looks stupid.”

It was sad that after starter Hiroki Kuroda gave up the run in the first inning, the game was done. After all the last time Kuroda won a game when giving up at least one run was on April 24.

“It’s a little bit frustrating,” Kuroda continued to echo about the lack of run support. “When you prepare yourself to win a game every time you go out there, if you lose a chance of getting more runs and winning a game it’s always disappointing.”

It was sad seeing the cavernous Dodger Stadium speckled with red and shouting out, “Let’s go Phillies!”

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But perhaps the saddest was the loss of what could have been and the remembrance of things past.

On October 15, 2009 the Dodgers public relations department sent out the following email statement:

Frank McCourt and Jamie McCourt confirm that they are separated. This is a personal matter and they request that their privacy be respected. They will be making no public statements.

From that moment on nothing would be the same for the Dodgers. That’s when Frank and Jamie McCourt lawyered up and set in motion what has now become the complete embarrassment of the Dodgers franchise.

And of course that was the day before the National League Championship Series in 2009 where the Dodgers had the rematch from the year before against the Phillies. The Dodgers yet again lost in five games and that was the last of success.

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Now Dodger Stadium is empty only filled when tickets are heavily discounted. Now a loss is expected when the starting pitcher for the Dodgers gives up a run despite having an ERA that dances around 3.00. Now it is no surprise to see a journeyman who is 0-for-19 make a start in the infield for the Dodgers.

TONIGHT’S ACTION

LA Angels at New York Yankees. 4:05 p.m. FSWest, AM 830 KLAA.

Philadelphia Phillies at LA Dodgers. 7: 10 p.m. KCAL9, AM 790 KABC.