Dodgers Inside Pitch - September 25

Manager Grady Little took steps to ease the tension that was created by Jeff Kent's tirade last week. How did Little do it? By taking some of the blame. "I think there are reasons why that has taken place and I have to take responsibility for not managing it better," Little said. "But it happened and now we have to learn from it and move forward and try to make sure it doesn't happen again."

   Kent was critical of the younger players on the team and spoke his mind following Thursday's loss at Colorado. The Dodgers had just been swept in a four-game series by the Rockies and watched their playoff chances take a dive. He didn't hide the fact that he was frustrated while speaking to the media after the game.

   "I've played a long time and I've played for very good teams, but I've only been in the World Series once," Kent said at the time. "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 (the younger players) to understand that because they haven't been there.    "How do you teach the young kids? 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 ... but as far as trying to translate experience, I don't know why they don't get it."

   Kent's words offended some of the younger players, who lashed back by questioning Kent's leadership qualities. Eventually, Little held a closed-door meeting with Kent, and another one with James Loney and Matt Kemp.

   "You do like any other things that happen negatively, or that you get bad results from," Little said. "You learn from it, you hope everyone involved learns from it and you go forward. I think there has been a lot of education taking place here in the last few days, and I think there will continue to be more.

   "I think it's just educating people to the way things are, the way we always have in the past. We try to always pride ourselves in taking care of some situations behind closed doors, but I think sometimes we slip a little bit. And I think that everyone is going to learn from this."

ROCKIES 9, DODGERS 7: The Dodgers showed that they do have some fight left in them despite being on the verge of elimination in the playoff race. 1B James Loney, IF Delwyn Young and IF Chin-Lung Hu homered for the Dodgers, but it wasn't enough to slow the Rockies, who won their ninth straight game. RHP Brad Penny came up short in his bid to win 17 games. He labored through five innings but was in position to get the win until reliever Mark Hendrickson gave up a two-run home run to Troy Tulowitzki in the sixth inning. The loss, coupled with the Padres' victory in San Francisco, eliminated the Dodgers from playoff contention.

   --2B Jeff Kent left Tuesday's game after the fifth inning because of a contusion in his lower left leg. Kent hurt his leg in a collision at home plate in the fifth inning. Kent hit his 537th career double before leaving the game.

   --IF Delwyn Young hit his first career home run in the ninth inning. It came against Rockies closer Manny Corpas.

   --RHP Brad Penny failed to win his 17th game of the season, but he did set a career high for innings pitched. Penny pitched five innings in what was surely his final start of the season and finished with 208 innings this season. His previous mark of 205 innings was set in 2001.

   --1B James Loney is batting .448 (26-for-58) in his last four games and has driven in 23 runs in his last 17 contests. He hit a three-run home run in Tuesday's loss to the Rockies.

   --C Russell Martin caught in his 142nd game of the season and can surpass Mike Piazza, the Los Angeles Dodgers' record holder, if he catches in the team's final five games. Piazza caught in 146 games while playing for the Dodgers.

By the Numb3rs: 23 -- The number of runs by which the Dodgers have been outscored during their third six-game losing streak of the season.

Quote to Note-- "It was just another game, as far as I knew, and when I think about it today, I can't believe that was what I thought. All the older guys -- Pee Wee and Duke and those guys -- seemed to know the facts, but I didn't know. And when the organist played "California Here I Come" when the game ended, I couldn't believe that after working my butt off to get to Brooklyn that I would be going back to another minor league town, which is what L.A. was then." --Danny McDevitt who pitched the final game in Ebbets Field not knowing that it would be the last.

*M*A*S*H* 4077 Report
:    2B Jeff Kent (bruised left leg) left the Sept. 25 game and is day to day.

   INF Tony Abreu (sore hip flexor) was injured in the Sept. 23 game and missed the Sept. 25 game. He is day to day.

   INF Ramon Martinez (hyperextended left elbow) was injured on Sept. 18, and may not return this season.

   SS Rafael Furcal (stiff lower back) took himself out of the first game of the doubleheader on Sept. 18. He didn't play Sept. 19-23, 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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