News From the Dodger Front Lines is All Bad

News from the front lines is dismal and the situation seems to be worsening as we file this report. The defense seems to be holding for now but the offense is hunkered down in the trenches unable to move. General Ned Colletti is attempting to send fresh reinforcements but is experiencing little luck. Stay tuned to reports on changes in these conditions as they happen. Good night and good luck.

The Dodgers ran into former teammate Jeff Weaver, who was banished from San Diego with an earned run average that approximated the national debt. However, he held the Dodgers to six hits and one run before leaving with one out in the sixth and his earned run average down to 6.32.

When the evening ended, Los Angeles was looking up a the league-leading Giants who stuffed San Diego into third place behind Arizona. Only the Colorado Rockies are keeping the Dodgers from last place and the two clubs are currently tied with 51 losses each.
  N.L. West      w-l   pct  gb
San Francisco   51-47 .520  --
Arizona         50-47 .515  0.5 
San Diego       50-47 .515  0.5 
Los Angeles     47-51 .480  4.0 
Colorado        45-51 .469  5.0  
Colletti's attempts to get help by the trade route has found a number of willing helpers who are asking only for two or three top minor leaguers, Ned's first born son and the parking rights to Dodger Stadium.

The pressure to make some sort of deal that will jumpstart a club that seemed in control just before the all-star break must be tremendous. One hopes he doesn't give in and make a swap that sends yet another solid Dodger prospect for a hired gun that may or may not help out.

The Dodgers scored a run in the bottom of the first inning when Kenny Lofton singled with one out, stole second, and scored on Nomar Garciaparra's RBI single to left.

But that ended the offensive portion of the Dodger game. Weaver allowed six hits and his new teammates allowed none over the final four innings.

But they had chances.

When an error, Cesar Izturis' double and a four-pitch walk to Jose Cruz, Los Angeles had loaded the bases against St. Louis' Jeff Weaver in the sixth.

But pinch-hitter J.D. Drew, right knee contusion and all, flied out on an 0-1 pitch to center field. At that point, the they had stranded eight baserunners in six innings, six of them in scoring position.

They put two more on in the eighth and one more in the ninth but the results were exactly the same. Eleven baserunners were stranded during he long night.

Aaron Sele and Weaver hooked up one other time this season, on May 19 at Chavez Ravine, when the Dodgers beat Weaver and the Angels 16-3 with a nine-run sixth inning against relievers Esteban Yan and J.C. Romero.

Sele was high in the strike zone and allowed five runs on six hits. He only lasted four innings and allowed two home runs, both on breaking pitches.

Jim Edmonds' solo home run in the second inning tied the game at 1-all in the third, and that man, Albert Pujols, whacked a drive into the left field seats for two more runs. He left trailing 5-1.

A third Cardinal home run came off Joe Beimel in the fifth inning, but Beimel, Giovanni Carrara and Odalis Perez held the Cardinals hitless the rest of he way.

Andre Ethier led the weak Dodger offense with two hits including a double.

The Dodgers clubhouse was closed for about 20 minutes for a team meeting that the players called. Manager Grady Little sat in his office and tried to find something positive that could be taken from the loss.

This club has dropped nine of 10 games since the All-Star break, and through the sixth inning, the Dodgers had been outscored 51-16 for the second half.
  Score by innings
St. Louis 012 210 000-6
Dodgers   100 000 000-1
  Dodgers      ab r h bi ave
Furcal, SS      5 0 0 0 .266
Lofton, CF      5 1 1 0 .296
Garciaparra, 1B 5 0 1 1 .334
Ethier, LF      4 0 2 0 .345
Martin, C       4 0 0 0 .286
Aybar, 2B       2 0 0 0 .256
Izturis, 3B     3 0 1 0 .275
Cruz, RF        3 0 1 0 .237
Sele, P         1 0 0 0 .190
 Alomar, PH     1 0 0 0 .323
 Beimel, P      0 0 0 0 .000
 Drew, PH       1 0 0 0 .286
 Carrara, P     0 0 0 0 .000
 Perez, P       0 0 0 0 .067
 Ledee, PH      1 0 0 0 .231
    Totals     35 1 6 1
    St. Louis  34 6 9 5

  2B- Cruz (16), Ethier (13), 
Izturis (5). RBI- Garciaparra 
(57). DP- 2 (Aybar, Furcal 
and Garciaparra; Furcal, 
Aybar and Garciaparra).

  Dodgersin h r-er bb so era
Sele (6-4) 4.0 6 5-5 2 0 3.77
Beimel     2.0 1 1-1 1 0 3.73
Carrara    2.0 2 0-0 0 2 2.19
Perez      1.0 0 0-0 0 0 6.83
  HBP-Izturis. T-2:42. Att-50,438.
No Help on the Horizon-- GM Ned Colletti missed out on slugging infielder Shea Hillenbrand, whom Toronto traded to National League West rival San Francisco, and said the club is back to square one in its effort to improve itself before the July 31 non-waiver trading deadline. However, despite the rumors, the Dodgers aren't believed to be seriously in the running for Washington second baseman Alfonso Soriano, Chicago Cubs pitcher Greg Maddux or Pittsburgh outfielder Craig Wilson.

Dodger Blue Notes-- With Drew out, hot-hitting catcher Russell Martin batted fifth, the first time he ever has hit higher than eighth. Martin came in with a five- game hitting streak but went 0-for-4. Drew said he was optimistic about getting back in action quickly. … Right-hander Brett Tomko worked a scoreless inning out of the bullpen for Las Vegas on Saturday night. Outfielder Jason Repko has batted .280 in eight games in Las Vegas. …Chad Billingsley (1-2, 3.66 ERA) takes the mound against Jason Marquis (11-7, 5.97 ERA) in the final game of he three-game set against the Cardinals.

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