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Dodgers Offense Anemic Against Rockies, Lead Shrinks to One

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It was more of the same for the Dodgers who couldn’t get many things done in an epic 3:42 4-3 loss.

Singer-songwriter Jimmy Demers set the tone of the evening by taking 10 minutes to sing the National Anthem. In fact he’s still in the middle of one of his runs.

The Dodgers couldn’t muster anything at the plate striking out 10 times against Rockies starter Ubaldo Jimenez. In the two other games Jimenez started against the Dodgers this season he struck out only seven batters total.

“We’ve got to take our hat off to [Jimenez],” Matt Kemp said. “He pitched a really good game today.”

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The offense started off anemic the Dodgers could only score a run thanks to walks and wild pitches in the third inning.

Jimenez walked the bases loaded and during Manny Ramirez’s at-bat threw a 54-foot pitch that bounced and caught catcher Torrealba on the helmet which scored Orlando Hudson.

We then got our “Manny Being Manny” moment when he struck out on the next pitch. Oblivious to it, he just stood to the side as if warming up for the next pitch. Home plate umpire Dana DeMuth had to go up to Manny and tell his he struck out.

Kemp struck out to end the inning which yielded one run on no hits for the Dodgers.

Dodgers starter Randy Wolf did a decent job, but the past seemed to come back to haunt him. Dodger fans might remember in 2007 during Wolf’s first stint with the Dodgers he had the darndest time in the first inning. While his troubles with the first inning weren’t as pronounced this season as they were then, tonight was a blast from the past for Wolf.

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It seemed that Wolf would escape the first inning with Dexter Fowler on first with two outs. He pitched from behind to get Troy Tulowitzki in a 3-2 count. With the early birds of the tenth sellout crowd of 54,131 cheering with postseason fervor Wolf threw a fastball low to give up the walk.

After giving up another walk to Garrett Atkins to load the bases, Yorvit Torrealba hit a double to score two to give the Rockies the quick lead.

“It looks like he was trying to make perfect pitches, ran the pitch count up, they got two runs,” manager Joe Torre said of Wolf’s performance after the game.

Wolf went only five innings giving up two earned runs on five hits and four walks with two strikeouts.

The Dodgers bullpen couldn’t hold down the fort in the seventh inning when Todd Helton hit a bloop double down the left field line off of Scott Elbert to lead off. Ronald Belisario came in to relieve Elbert and promptly gave up a two-run homer to Tulowitzki to extend the Rockies lead 4-1.

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The Dodgers defense was keen in the fourth inning however lacking it was on the road.

After Clint Barmes walked and was sacrificed to second, Carlos Gonzalez hit a single to right. Andre Ethier threw a cannon shot to Russell Martin getting Barmes out at the plate but allowed Gonzalez to advance to second.

Dexter Fowler came to the plate and hit a grounder to the gap between third and short. Rafael Furcal slid to rob Fowler of the hit and threw to third just in time to get Gonzalez out.

The Dodgers would get their offense going and attempt to come back against reliever Matt Daley in the seventh inning when Russell Martin would open the inning with a home run cutting the deficit to 4-2.

Daley would get pinch runner Chin-Lung Hu on third and Furcal on first. Former Dodger reliever Joe Beimel came into the game and gave up a single to Ethier scoring Hu to bring the Dodgers to 4-3.

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That was as close as the Dodgers would get thanks to shut down efforts from Rafael Betancourt and Huston Street.

“We fought today,” Torre said. “It was a good game. I wish we would have won, but I thought there was a lot of fight out there.”

“It‘s just another one of those days,” Kemp exhaled. “We actually got our fight back.”

“I think we played great tonight,” Manny echoed.

Manny’s day sunk to Andruw Jones level nadir. Manny was awarded the golden sombrero (struck out four times) in the seventh inning complete with his own parade of boos. He was joined by Casey Blake who also notched a golden sombrero.

“I don’t control [the boos],” Manny said. “I got no pressure. I’m one of the best hitters in the league.”

One of the best hitters in the league? Really?

“All you got to do is check my police report and see that I’m still a good hitter,” Manny explained.

“He just doesn’t look comfortable up there,” Torre assessed. “The only thing I can do is write his name in there, pat him on the back and expect better things to happen.”

The Dodgers NL West lead is now down to one game, the tightest it's been since April 22. They also maintain a one game lead for the best record in the NL over the Philadelphia Phillies.

As with their NL West championship hopes, the magic number is one for the best record in the National League.