LOS ANGELES - The Phillies had a chance to put Manny Ramirez in their lineup before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, but they came up empty.
They came up empty and now they have to watch Ramirez hit against their pitching staff six more times in the next 12 games. That might not be much fun to watch if last night's 8-6 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers is any indication. Ramirez, whom the Boston Red Sox shipped to the Dodgers in a three-team trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates, started Kyle Kendrick on a path toward arguably the worst start of his career when he ripped a two-run double to left-center field in the third inning to make it 2-0.
Dodgers fans roared in anticipation when Ramirez strode to the plate with the bases loaded and one out in the third. They expected something big, and Ramirez happily provided it.
He has been doing just that since he joined the Dodgers. He is hitting .475 (19 for 40) with three doubles, four homers and 13 RBIs in 10 games since the trade. He also provided the Dodgers their first "Manny being Manny" moment when the top of the ninth inning was delayed because he was late running to left field.
The Dodgers scored four more runs in the third inning to make it 6-0. Kendrick allowed another run in the fourth, loading the bases when he walked Ramirez with one out, before Charlie Manuel pulled him for lefthander Les Walrond.
Kendrick allowed nine hits, seven runs, three walks and one homer in just 31/3 innings. He also hit a batter.
That 18.90 ERA is the highest in any start in Kendrick's 44-start career. He allowed six earned runs in three innings June 18 against the Red Sox, and seven earned runs in 41/3 innings July 19 against the Florida Marlins.
But Kendrick had been 2-1 with a 1.45 ERA in his last three starts, and 4-2 with a 3.28 ERA in his last eight starts.
The Dodgers derailed that nice little run.
After Ramirez's double scored two and put runners on second and third with one out, James Loney singled to center to score two more runs, making it 4-0. Casey Blake hit a two-run homer to center two batters later.
The Phillies chipped away, scoring single runs in the fourth and sixth innings and two in the seventh.
In the ninth, Chase Utley drove in a pair of runs with a single to left, but Ryan Howard gounded out to end the game.
The could have used a little more offensive punch.
Maybe somebody like Manny.