Not long after the trade deadline, the Phillies are, as rumor predicted, playing on the same field as Manny Ramirez. The eccentric left fielder went two for team, but playing for the opposing team -- the Phillies' traditional rival, the Los Angeles Dodgers. A matchup between these two teams has often meant that strange things were bound to happen, but nothing of that kind can really be said to have happened last night -- unless you want to count an uncharacteristically bad outing from starter Kyle Kendrick.
It was a bases-loaded double off Ramirez's bat that started the scoring off of Kendrick, in a disastrous third inning that gave Los Angeles a 6-0 lead -- damage from which the Phillies would never be able to recover. After the inning, capped off by a two-run home run by Jason Loney, finally came to an end, the Phillies were able to recover a single run in the fourth with hits from the hot Shane Victorino and Chase Utley. However, when Kendrick gave up another run to a Jeff Kent single in the bottom of the inning it was clear that he simply did not have his control. Charlie Manuel finally intervened and brough in relatively recent call-up Les Walrond to be the long-man.
Walrond kept the Dodgers from adding on and Derek Lowe held any Phillie retaliation in check until the sixth, when Jimmy Rollins singled and was moved around to score. The scored two more in a seventh-inning rally which culminated with yet another Jimmy Rollins triple. When the Dodgers added another in the eighth it was practically over. Utley singled in the clutch to bring in two runs and make it 8-6, but Ryan Howard grounded out to end the game and prevent a possible two-out rally.
After all the speculation about the fate of Manny Ramirez it is easy to point to his presence on the LA roster as the reason the Phillies dropped this game, but the real reason is just one of those unavoiadble parts of baseball: a usually-reliable pitcher happened to have a bad start. Ideally that will be likely with Cole Hamels on the mound tonight.
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