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Dodgers Have Cool-A-Coos But No Win

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The sheer weight of nostalgia from Dodger fans brought the ice cream snack Cool-A-Coos back to Dodger Stadium for the first time since 1998 on Thursday. Too bad the influence of the fans couldn't bring a win to the Ravine.

The Dodgers lost to the St. Louis Cardinals 2-1, the team who now holds a two-game lead for the final wild card spot in the National League. With 43,309 in attendance for both the fleece blanket and the delicious vanilla ice cream dessert sandwiched between two oatmeal cookies sprinkled with cinnamon and dunked in chocolate, the team felt an October atmosphere at the Stadium.

"You felt the energy with the game hanging on one at-bat," Dodger manager Don Mattingly said.

The crowd, somehow, wasn't jaded by how the Dodgers were performing. At every at-bat, they seemed to want to will the Dodgers to a base hit. When the Dodgers had runners on first and second with two outs, they did their best to get Hanley Ramirez's fly ball to go over the centerfield wall instead of in Jon Jay's glove.

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When Hanley Ramirez doubled in the bottom of the ninth with the Dodgers trailing 2-1, what remained of the disheartened crowd tried to wish Shane Victorino's fly ball to somehow drop in left field to tie the game.

But no.

"We've just got to go out there and do our jobs," Matt Kemp said.

See? It's that simple.

Starting pitcher Josh Beckett, despite giving up only one run, was not satisfied with the job he did.

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"I've got to stay in there longer," Beckett said. "I can't leave that many outs out there for these guys to get."

Mattingly admired Beckett's tenacity in his 5 1/3 innnings he pitched.

"Josh has hung in," Mattingly said. "He just keeps making pitches. Josh does not give in. He's going to continue to try to make pitches."

There was one positive with the Dodgers with respect to their offense. They continued the trend they started on Wednesday in Arizona. Mark Ellis lined to single to right field and Andre Ethier walked to set the table. Matt Kemp damn near wiped the whole table out when he grounded into a double play, but Ellis was left on third base.

Thankfully Adrian Gonzalez was there to buffer the pain a little, an RBI double into left-center field that scored Ellis and gave the Dodgers a first-inning score in two consecutive games.

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It's one small step towards respectability, right?

Well in the next inning Yadier Molina, Carlos Beltran and Skip Schumaker hit one-out singles that tied the game, so there went that.

The game winner for the Cardinals came in the seventh inning when Paco Rodriguez, making his Dodger Stadium debut, gave up a walk to Shane Robinson and a single to Matt Carpenter. Ronald Belisario came in with one out and after getting Matt Holliday to fly out to center field gave up the single to Allen Craig.

That was all it took.

A double and an error were all the Dodgers could muster the rest of the game, but at least 30,000 people got their blanket.

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"We've just got to start hitting," Kemp said. How do you do that? "Take one good at-bat at a time."

What do you write about two teams who seem to desperately refuse to win? It's not like the Cardinals have been on a hot streak. Both the St. Louis Cardinals and the Dodgers came into their deathmatch of sorts on Thursday having won only four games this month. So one of the teams were forced to win.

It just happened to be the Cardinals on Thursday night.

And for the Dodgers it's the same story every night. Good pitching, no offense and the World Series seeming more impossible with each passing pitch.

But that's not warm nostalgia. For a club that hasn't been there in 24 years, it's just a cold fact.