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School For The Dodgers, Angels Get Off The Floor

McCourts with Eric Gagne and Paul DePodesta
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The Dodgers weren't exactly limping going into Angel Stadium; after all, getting swept on the road isn't the most noteworthy stumble, and besides, they'd swept the lowly Pirates and salvaged the last game of the Seattle series just before that. Despite losing the division lead to San Diego, it wasn't like they were hopelessly out of first; even the division-trailing Diamondbacks were only four and a half games out, and nobody had really made a move to dominate the division.

So when Brad Penny ascended the mound to dominate the Angels over seven strong innings, it came as a welcome reminder that the team could actually win games. His resulting win — a 6-1 Dodger victory — brought Penny a 9-2 record, the best season opening of his career, a prelude to his All-Star bid.