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Long and Winding Road

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Now it’s so pathetic it’s just plain funny.

Last week Grady Little was quoted as saying that the team had hit rock bottom. Obviously he didn’t see what lie ahead.

Now that the Dodgers have a firm grip of fourth place in the NL West, it looks like the offense has completely collapsed. I knew that there would be games where the Dodgers wouldn’t be able to score since they have no power, but never in my imagination did I think the Dodgers would go into a slump of this magnitude.

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What really kills me is the Dodgers have had opportunities to get into games. Of all of their losses, only one was a loss by more than three runs: their Sunday afternoon 12-2 loss against the St. Louis Cardinals. All it would have taken was a hit here, a hit there, and the Dodgers would have won those games.

So how did the Dodgers attempt to get out of their slump and not embarass themselves in front of a national audience?

Well Grady has another closed-door team meeting. Since the first one didn't work, I guess he figured another one would work just fine.

Then came word that Shea Hillenbrand was brought up from AAA. This is the same Shea Hillenbrand that was deemed obsolete from the Angels earlier this season. This is the same Shea Hillenbrand that went .254 with five doubles, three homers and an on-base percentage of .275. With GM Ned Colletti's penchant for dumpster diving for talent (see Jason Schmidt, Brett Tomko), Hillenbrand seems a perfect fit.

And Hillenbrand proved how well he fit in Tuesday night after Nomar got ejected for arguing strikes in the fourth inning.

With runners on first and second with two outs in the sixth inning, Hillenbrand promptly grounded into a double play. I'll give him some slack for just being called up and not expecting to play in the game. But I never thought I would break out into tears of sorrow upon hearing the words "Wilson Betemit".

By bringing up Hillenbrand, the Dodgers sent down second baseman Delwyn Young who only managed to hit .500 in 14 at bats. That obviously doesn't fit the Dodger's mold.

Finally Grady put the walking stiff Mark Hendrickson back down to the bullpen. He hinted that there might be a trade involved or a call-up from the minors. Given Colletti's track record, don't be surprised if we wind up with David Wells who gave up 26 earned runs in his last four starts before being designated for assignment by the Padres.

So that's a lot of information, and have yet to mention the Dodgers lost to the Astros 4-1 Monday night in front of a national audience.

I knew this game would be an abortion when the Dodgers were given two base runners in the first inning. Rafael Furcal led off with what was called an infield single thanks to some charitable scorers (it should have been a throwing error on Lance Berkman). Then first base umpire Jerry Crawford called James Loney safe when it was clear that Berkman kicked the bag. It was scored as a failed fielders choice. So with charity runners on first and second with one out, Jeff Kent grounded into a double play. End of inning.

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Is it just me or can you just envision that double play ball when the Dodgers have two base runners on with one out?

There are seven weeks left to go, and the Dodgers are 6½ games behind division leading Diamondbacks. There's still a chance the Dodgers will make it to October, and I will cling to that hope until the Dodgers get eliminated.

But the realist in me tells me if the Dodgers don't manage to hit better in key situations there will be no October. I know I should be used to this being a Dodger fan. I should be used to the fast starts and the choke job summers. And to all of you who think that, fuck you.

Anyhow I should be treated to either the end of the Dodger's slump or the continuation of the comedy Tuesday at the Ravine. It's the last game on my 15-game mini plan, and I'm going to miss my Top Deck seat in Section 1 Row G. To that seat, I bid adieu!

AP Photo by Chris Pizzello