Washington Smashes Dodgers Win Streak

So we all thought that the offense would go flat without Mr. Ramirez in the lineup, but what we found out is that the bullpen must have left town with him. After Randy Wolf held the struggling Nationals to a single run over six innings, the six relievers used folded like a popcorn sack in a driving rain, allowing 10 runs over the final three innings. Go figure.

The defeat snapped the Dodgers' win streak at seven and their modern-day record of consecutive home wins to start a season at 13. That might have been expected, but the way it happened certainly wasn't.

Mr. Ramirez's foolish actions brought on a media circus after daily papers all over town have been cutting down on their sports staff. Some think they detected a weatherman in the crowd with a notebook, but he might have been mistaken.

Manager Joe Torre called a press conference held behind home plate and attempted to field questions that had no answers. The after the players arrived and were told of the suspension, some 100 members of the media descended on them when they emerged from the clubhouse.

The Dodgers didn't miss Mr. Ramirez's offense this night -- they scored nine runs -- but it had to be a huge distraction for them.

Matt Kemp, who slugged a grand slam home run in the first inning when the Dodgers took a 6-0 lead, said. "We played hard, we grinded for nine innings. We just didn't get the win. We can't win 81 games at home. I wish we could."

"Obviously, it's an emotional thing here," Torre said. "But I just had the sense we'd be ready to play. They came out the way they did [scoring six runs in the first inning] and the last two innings battled back [with three more runs].

"They're in a good place right now. Obviously, we're not pleased with what transpired, but we know what we have to do."

The Dodgers scored first, as they have been doing much of the year, and scored six times. Then the team that has the worst record in baseball banged out 13 hits and scored 10 runs after starter Randy Wolf departed after six innings and 109 pitches.

Wolf now has no-decisions in his last five starts, taking up the spot Derek Lowe attempted to battle out of during his seasons in Los Angeles.

After Rafael Furcal struck out to open the bottom of the ninth, Orlando Hudson walked and Andre Ethier singled to center. James Loney drove in the first run with a single, Martin walked and and Kemp homered to deep right-center. They still weren't finished. Casey Blake tripled and Wolf drove him across with a sac fly.

Apparently the Dodgers thought, "that should show everyone that we can score runs without Mr. Ramirez," then But it took them five more innings to get a runner as far as second base.

Wolf allowed a home run in the sixth and handed the ball over to Ramon Troncoso who had a 14.2 consecutive scoreless innings streak going. He couldn't get out of the inning, allowing three runs -- two of which came in on a double off of Will Ohman.

Cory Wade got the final out in the seventh and then gave up the tying runs in the eighth and when he left with two on base and they scored when Brent Leach served up yet another double. Leach gave up two runs of his own and James McDonald worked the ninth and allowed the final run.

The Dodgers' offense re-awakened in the eighth, scoring a run on former Los Angeles reliever Joe Beimel but they left the bases loaded

The Dodgers scored a run off former teammate Joe Beimel on Blake's double with two-out rally in the eighth, but they also left the bases loaded. then added a pair of runs against Kip Wells in the ninth, but left the tying runs on the corners.

In the ninth, Martin and Kemp had RBI singles and had the tying run at the plate before Washington sewed it up.

Casey Blake spoke for the team after the game when he said, "I don't see or don't feel any impact at all. "Are we better with him? Yes, we are. We are still very, very good without him. What are we going to do? Hang it up? Shut her down the rest of the year? No. We're competitors, this is our job and we take it seriously. I've got faith in everyone in here. You have to overcome adversity in life and at work."

Pitching matchups for the Giants series:
Tonight, LHP Barry Zito (0-2, 3.99) vs. RHP Chad Billingsley (5-0, 2.21)
Saturday, LHP Jonathan Sanchez (1-2, 3.80) vs. LHP Eric Stults (3-1, 4.94) 
Sunday, RHP Tim Lincecum (3-1, 3.05) vs. RHP Jeff Weaver (1-0, 1.00)        

 Score by innings
Washington	000 001 361-11
Los Angeles	600 000 012- 9

 Los Angeles	ab r  h  bi  ave
Furcal ss	5  0  0  0  .252
Hudson 2b	4  2  1  0  .339
Ethier rf	5  1  1  0  .312
Loney 1b	5  2  2  1  .282
Martin c	3  2  2  1  .282
Kemp cf	        5  1  3  5  .290
Blake 3b-lf	5  1  3  1  .245
Wolf p	        1  0  0  1  .143
 Paul ph	1  0  0  0  .000
 Troncoso p	0  0  0  0  .000
 Ohman p	0  0  0  0 1.000
 Wade p	        0  0  0  0  .000
 Leach p	0  0  0  0  .000
 Mota p	        0  0  0  0  .000
 Loretta ph-3b	0  0  0  0  .375
Pierre lf	4  0  2  0  .371
 McDonald p	0  0  0  0  .000
 Totals	        38  9 14  9
 Washington	44 11 18 11

  Two-base hits- Blake (4). 3b- Blake (1).
HR- Kemp (4). RBI- Loney 2 (21), Kemp 5
(22), Wolf (2), Blake (16), Martin (14).
SF- Wolf. SB- Pierre (2), CS- Pierre (1).
LOB- Los Angeles 7, Washington 10.
DP- Martin, Hudson and Martin.

 Los Angeles	in  h r-er bb so  era
Wolf	        6.0  5  1-1  2  5  2.95
Troncoso	0.2  3  3-3  0  0  2.37
Ohman	        0.0  1  0-0  0  0  5.00
Wade (0-2)	0.2  4  4-4  1  1  6.23
Leach	        0.0  2  2-2  1  0 18.00
Mota	        0.2  1  0-0  0  1  6.35
McDonald	1.0  3  1-1  0  2  7.71
 WP- Troncoso. T- 3:35. Att- 37,074.
McCourt's 'Share Disappointments'
Dodgers CEO Jamie McCourt issued the following statement in reaction to statements from Major League Baseball, the Major League Baseball Players Association, and Manny Ramirez. "We share the disappointment felt by our fans, our players, and every member of our organization.  We support the policies of Major League Baseball, and we will welcome Manny back upon his return."

Pierre-Ramirez Comparison
A cold, hard look at the statistics makes it clear that the loss of Ramirez will have a decided effect on the Dodgers offense.

Ramirez has played 80 games since coming to Los Angeles and the Dodgers as a team have scored 399 runs, just short of five per game. In the 111 games the Dodgers were without Ramirez since Opening Day 2008, which includes both his three days off since his trade and the portion of 2008 before the trade, they scored 462 runs, or 4.16 per game.

Pierre has played 302 games in his Dodgers career and has a .291 batting average and 72 RBIs. Baseball-Reference.com reports he has 133 runs created during that time, an average of 0.4 per game. By comparison, Ramirez has a .380 batting average and 73 RBIs in his Dodgers career in only 80 games. He has 100 runs created in that time, or 1.3 per game.

Ramirez has as many extra-base hits in his Dodgers career as Pierre does in his (46), and Manny has also drawn more walks (61-57). As a result, his OPS as a Dodger is more than 500 points higher than Pierre's (1.200-.677).

Dodger Blue Notes-- There has been a scoring change from the Dodgers' 5-4 loss at San Francisco on April 27.  Edgar Renteria's one-out double in the first inning has been changed to an error on right fielder Andre Ethier.  Ethier bumped into center fielder Matt Kemp, who dropped the ball.  The play led to three runs in the inning off left-hander Randy Wolf.  All three runs are now unearned, and Wolf's ERA entering tonight's game is 3.19. ...Orlando Hudson extended his hitting streak at Dodger Stadium to 15 games. ...Casey Blake made his first career appearance in left field, moving from third base in the ninth inning…he has played 238 games in right field. ...Xavier Paul, who was called up from Albuquerque to filll the roster vacancy , who will wear No. 3, Willie Davis' old number. . He was batting .344 with nine doubles, two homers, and 14 RBI in 25 games with Albuquerque.  He also was 8-for-10 in stolen-base attempts.  The 24-year-old ranks 10th in the Pacific Coast League in hitting and third with 33 hits. ...Mr. Ramirez is allowed to work out with the team during his suspension, but must be out of uniform when the stadium gates open for games.

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