Dodgers on bit of a roll

The Dodgers kept their playoff hopes alive by taking two of three from the Arizona Diamondbacks' best pitchers this weekend, then stayed within 2½ games of first place by beating San Diego today. Dodger Thoughts beholds Manny's numbers in L.A. so far:

Manny Ramirez finished his first (and penultimate?) month in Los Angeles with simply mind-boggling numbers: .415 batting average, .508 on-base percentage, .736 slugging percentage, 1.244 OPS, 217 OPS+. He reached base 65 times in 29 games and had 16 extra-base hits, including nine home runs.

Casey Blake hasn't been too shabby an acquisition either: 7 home runs, ten doubles and the team's third-highest slugging percentage in 36 games. The Dodgers, though, are only 14-17 with Manny and Blake.

Regarding Jeff Kent: Dodger Thoughts makes a case that Kent's four seasons in L.A. featured the best offense by a Dodgers second baseman since Jackie Robinson. T.J. Simers makes a case from the clubhouse that if Kent's career is over, he won't be missed by teammates:

The young players immediately gravitated to Ramirez, each one expressing their admiration for such a great hitter.

It bothered Kent, because as the team's resident veteran, he thought every one of them should be looking up to him, clueless when it came to understanding why they did not....they wanted nothing to do with someone who made it appear as if he wanted nothing to do with them. He lost them a long time ago.

[skip]

He's already an outsider in his own clubhouse, 40 years old, his family gone, his foot in his mouth, everyone fawning over Ramirez, and now withdrawn more than ever.

Joe Torre told MLB.com's Ken Gurnick that the younger players were looser in the dugout without Kent glaring at them. With Kent's injuries and age, the Dodgers have used eight different 2B's this season.


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