Season Ends With Whiffs -- 11 of Them

The 2005 ended Sunday afternoon in sun-splashed San Diego, not with a bang but with a whiffer. Adam Eaton allowed one hit and fanned 11 Dodgers over seven inning. L.A. managed only four hits and dropped their 91st game by a 3-1 margin in a nearly-emotionless game. The Padres go to St. Louis for the playoffs and the Dodgers go home for the winter.

A former Dodger (EY Young) replaced a former Dodger (Dave Roberts) at the last minute, then scored the first run and knocked in the second.

L.A. could not touch Eaton's stuff, fanning seven times in the first four innings and 11 times overall. Mike Edwards sliced a ball into right field that ran through the San Diego bullpen for a double.

That was the only Dodger hit until Rose banged a shot into the right field seats in the eighth. Pinch-hitter Jason followed Rose's homer with a single and Oscar Robles led off the ninth with the fourth -- and final -- hit of the season.

Over the past five games the Dodgers have collected 18 hits, 3.6 per game.

Excluding years interrupted by strikes, their 82-80 record contained the fewest wins for a playoff team in major league history. The Padres also finished with the lowest winning percentage for a division champion since divisional play began in 1969. The Dodgers finished 71-91.

Trailing 2-1 in the bottom of the eighth, Edwards, the Dodgers' third baseman, dropped a two-out popup, allowing the third San Diego run to score.

Elmer Dessens (1-2) allowed one run and four hits over four innings, striking out two and walking none. He was followed by DL Houlton, Steve Schmoll and Jon Broxton, who collectively allowed five hits and one earned run.

It also may have been the final game for Jim Tracy.

Tracy will learn by Tuesday whether he will continue to be manager of the Dodgers, sources said Friday, meaning he will not have an opportunity to exercise his seven-day opt-out clause.

Tracy, who is in his fifth season, either will be offered a contract extension or be fired.

He has requested a two-year extension that would give him security through 2008. The Dodgers are mulling whether to offer a one-year extension. But if an agreement can't be reached in the next few days, the Dodgers would fire him and pay his 2006 base salary of $700,000 if he doesn't find another job.

Jeff Kent has seemingly had enough 91-loss seasons during his career and will apparently not be around for another.

"These last few days, I just want this season to be over," Kent said after the Dodgers beat the San Diego Padres, 2-1 Saturday night.

"I play with my head and my heart. There's no need or reason to go out and try to kill the opponent now because what are we playing for? I haven't been in this position very often in my career ... and I don't like it."

Kent is the only player who will make enough plate appearances in a Dodgers uniform to qualify for the batting title. He led the team in games played (149), at bats (553), hits (160), runs (100), RBI (105) and home runs (29).

Kent said will spend some time this winter re-assessing whether he wants to finish out his potential Hall of Fame career playing for the Dodgers. "Not to beat around the bush," he said, "if the team going young or is it going to try to compete right away?

"I'm in a wait-and-see mode, waiting and gathering information. I don't mean for that to sound arrogant. I signed a two-year contract with the Dodgers and I'm very mindful of that commitment. I take that very seriously. But I also care about my career and my chance at winning."

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