Kent Bitterly Denounces Just About Everything

Frustration got the better of Jeff Kent after the Dodgers lost their fifth consecutive game, completing a four-game sweep by the Rockies. Rather than discuss his future, Kent lashed out at a number of things that have gone wrong for the Dodgers this season. A lot of his ire was directed at the younger players on the team and their supposed inability to grasp at the importance of a pennant race.

   "We're in a bad spot right now," Kent said. "Elimination time is in three games, and we're not in a good spot right now. We're close to the end of the season and a career for me, too. I'm running out of time. A lot of kids in here don't understand that. I've played a long time, and I've played for very good teams, but I've only been in the World Series once. So, you hate to waste an opportunity, even if it's one and even if it's your first time. It's hard to get them to understand that because they haven't been there. There lie some frustrations."

   Many first- and second-year players dot the Dodgers' roster this season, and some of those players have proven their ability to play on a daily basis. But when it comes to some of the intangibles that separate winning from losing, something seems to be missing.

   "How do you teach the young kids?" Kent asked. "I don't know if the older guys said that about me when I was a young kid, too. I don't know what it is. Especially when you have a lot of them, it's hard to influence a big group of them. We've got some good kids on this team. Please don't misinterpret my impression of them. But as far as trying to translate experience, I don't know why they don't get it."

   Kent went into the 2007 season with high hopes for a successful season, but he is not the type of person who typically predicts that his team will go to the playoffs. Thanks to the Dodgers' current losing streak, and assorted mistakes along the way, neither is happening.

   "You can use all your fingers on your hands and point around," Kent said. "There are so many things that have happened that are perplexing. There are things that have happened that are curious. There are things that have happened that are unfortunate. And there are things that happened that just don't happen. You can't really put your finger on it, but you can point to it. Those things are disappointing and frustrating as well.

   "I think experience can help more than inexperience. I've been there with some experienced teams. If anything, the experience can pull you through more than the inexperience. And it's hard to give a young kid experience."

ROCKIES 9, DODGERS 4: Derek Lowe gave up a home run to Matt Holliday and a two-run double to Brad Hawpe in a six-run second inning, leading to a Colorado win that capped a four-game sweep. The Dodgers were handcuffed by Rockies starter Ubaldo Jimenez for six innings, and they were trailing by seven runs before waking up. Andre Ethier and Andy LaRoche hit back-to-back home runs as part of a four-run seventh inning, but it wasn't enough. The Dodgers lost their fifth consecutive game and are on the brink of elimination in the NL West and NL wild-card races.

Notes & Quotes
   --2B Jeff Kent doubled in the seventh inning Thursday, giving him 550 plate appearances for the season. That means that his option for the 2008 season is guaranteed. Kent said he won't decide on his future in baseball until sometime in November.

   --3B Andy LaRoche had the second multi-hit game of his career Thursday. His second hit of Thursday's game turned out to be his first major league home run. He hit it off of Rockies reliever Matt Herges in the seventh inning. Herges had just entered the game, and LaRoche was guessing fastball on the first pitch. He was right. "That's what I was hoping for," LaRoche said. "It worked out to my advantage."

   --SS Rafael Furcal said Thursday that his stiff lower back is feeling better. Asked if he would be willing to end his season, for health reasons, once the Dodgers are eliminated from the playoff race, he said, "I'll keep playing no matter what happens because I've got to support all of the fans we have. We have some of the greatest fans in baseball. Even if we're eliminated, they'll keep coming back and watch us play."

   --RHP Brad Penny had two hits Wednesday, raising his batting average to .254. It's 69 points higher than he has ever hit, and the highest among Dodgers pitchers since Ramon Martinez hit .273 in 1994.

   --OF Juan Pierre stole his 60th base of the season Wednesday, leaving him five shy of trying his career high.

By the Numb3rs: 16 -- The number of victories by RHP Brad Penny after beating the Diamondbacks on Friday. The 16 victories equal a career high, which he set last season.

Quote to Note "A youth movement works only when the veterans are flexible enough to move. The Dodgers veterans, it turns out, were not. Although they won't say it publicly, neither Kent nor Luis Gonzalez nor Nomar Garciaparra is thrilled that they have lost playing time to the kids, even though most of the kids were outplaying them. This worry about careers and numbers has quietly bred the sort of discontent that decreases patience for rookie mistakes." -- Bill Plaschke, Los Angeles Times.

*M*A*S*H* 4077 Report
   SS Rafael Furcal (stiff lower back) took himself out of the first game of the doubleheader on Sept. 18. He didn't play Sept. 19-20, and he is day-to-day.

   RHP Derek Lowe (bruised right hand) missed his Sept. 12 start, but he was back on the mound Sept. 15 and pitched seven strong innings.

   LHP Randy Wolf (tender left shoulder) went on the disabled list July 4. He pitched on a rehab assignment July 25 but emerged with more shoulder irritation. He had season-ending surgery Sept. 5.

   OF Jason Repko (torn left hamstring) opened the season on the disabled list. He had surgery March 28 and is expected to be out for the season. He was moved to the 60-day disabled list Aug. 29.

   LHP Hong-Chih Kuo (sore left elbow) went on the disabled list retroactive to July 1. He had arthroscopic surgery to remove a bone chip from his left elbow July 25. He was transferred to the 60-day DL on Sept. 4, and he is out for the season.

   RHP Chin-hui Tsao (strained right shoulder) went on the disabled list July 15. He was ready to start a throwing program in early August, but renewed pain put those plans on hold.

   RHP Jason Schmidt (sore right shoulder) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 17. He underwent exploratory surgery on June 20, and a torn labrum was discovered. He was transferred to the 60-day disabled list on Aug. 13 and will miss the rest of the season.

   RHP Yhency Brazoban (strained right shoulder) went on the disabled list June 1. He cut short a throwing session June 15, and he was subsequently diagnosed with a torn labrum. He underwent surgery June 22 and is out for the season.


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