I addressed some of this in my game story tomorrow, but I also wrote that in about 15 minutes (West Coast deadlines aren't very much fun), so I figure I'll try to expand a little bit:
As much attention as has been lavished on Manny Ramirez the individual hitter in the past couple of weeks, I think what you saw last night was how much the rest of the Dodgers lineup has improved since the trade deadline. Ramirez's presence in the lineup suddenly gives L.A. an extremely potent bottom half of the line-up. To put it in perspective, the Dodgers No. 5, No. 6 and No. 7 hitters last night - James Loney, Russell Martin and Casey Blake - were hitting for a higher average, had more RBI, and had about 20 fewer runs scored than the top of the Phillies lineup. That really doesn't mean anything, I know, but the fact is, life ain't a picnic once you get best the Great Dreadlocked Wonder. Blake had a two-run home run, Martin went 1-for-3 with a run scored, and Loney went 3-for-4 with three RBI.
The Phillies No. 5, No. 6 and No. 7 hitters combined to go 2-for-11.
Granted, its just one game. But as much as you may try to point a finger at Kyle Kendrick, who allowed seven runs in 3 1/3 innings, you also have to give these Dodgers some credit. If they can get some pitching, they could be a dangerous team this final month and a half. I'm anxious to see how good this line-up looks against a top-notch starter like Hamels.