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Dodgers: Same Old Story

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It’s come to this. I asked Dodger Manager Don Mattingly how he would solve the perpetual state of crisis in the Middle East. “Not very well,” he deadpanned. And so went the first two minutes of Mattingly’s daily pregame comments to the media before the Dodgers 3-1 loss to the San Francisco Giants.

For eight-and-a-half innings, Mattingly’s politics discourse seemed to be the most compelling part of the day. The Dodgers only mustered four singles, one each in the second, third, fourth and fifth innings providing no backup to Chad Billingsley’s (L, 2-4) quality start of six innings.

With Giants’ starter Madison Bumgarner (W, 1-6) trying to complete his first career complete game shutout in the bottom of the ninth, something must have awaken the Blue Crew. After Matt Kemp and Juan Uribe quietly made the first two outs, Rod Barajas hit a single giving what remained of the crowd of 34,248 hope.

Once Jerry Sands hit the RBI double that forced Bumgarner out of the game, the crowd was ecstatic.

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Brian Wilson came in for the elusive final out, “elusive” being the key word. Wilson walked pinch hitters Jay Gibbons and James Loney setting the stage for Jamey Carroll. For a second there, it looked like the Dodgers tied the game. Carroll’s line drive to right fielder Nate Schierholtz kept dying in the cold air. Finally the moment of truth: Schierholtz left his feet in a dive, and the ball landed in his glove. Yet another loss for the Dodgers, give Bumgarner his first win of the season and Wilson his 13th save.

“Jamey has a great at-bat there, and the guys keep trying to put something up,” Mattingly said. “That ball is frustrating.”

It really made Billingsley’s outing look more like an 11-0 blowout rather than the quality start it was.

“I felt like he was frustrated tonight and kind of fought himself,” Mattingly noted.

The Giants got on the scoreboard when Mike Fontenot doubled in Buster Posey home in the second inning. They tacked on a run in the third on Freddy Sanchez’s sacrifice fly and another in the sixth on Sanchez’s single.

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“I didn’t have the command I’d like to have had,” Billingsley said. “You’re not going to have that every day you go out there. It’s a matter of battling through it and keeping the game close.”

But he insisted the lack of run support isn’t frustrating him.

“I still go out there with the same mindset and the same game plan,” he asserted. “You go as long and as hard as you can. That’s all you can do.”

As for the Dodger offense, Mattingly is certain there’s more they can do to help things along.

“We’ve got to get hits obviously,” Mattingly said. “You can’t just wish it out there. We’ve got to be able to put the ball in play and find some holes. We’ve got to put some hits together and create some action.”

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But he has faith.

“We’re going to swing the bats better than we are now. We’re in a little bit of a funk.”

As the late Senator Paul Wellstone said, “Sometimes the only realists are dreamers.”

Seattle Mariners defeat LA Angels 2-1. The Angels were a Torii Hunter misplayed ball away from send the game to extras.

TONIGHT’S ACTION

LA Dodgers at Chicago White Sox 5:10 p.m. FS Prime Ticket, AM 790 KABC.

Atlanta Braves at LA Angels. 7:05 p.m. FSWest, AM 830 KLAA.