© 2007 MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.
09/23/07 2:25 AM ET
Dodgers dealt seventh straight defeat
Wells struggles on short rest in loss to Diamondbacks
By Michael Schwartz / MLB.com
PHOENIX -- A week ago, the Dodgers had won four in a row and were sniffing at the Padres' heels for a playoff spot, standing a mere 1 1/2 games off San Diego's Wild Card pace. A seven-game losing streak later, Dodgers players started working on their season's eulogy in a nearly silent clubhouse after the club's latest loss, a 6-2 defeat at the hands of the D-backs in front of 47,763 at Chase Field on Saturday night. "I think we can play for next year, play spoiler right now, because I think we're pretty much done," said starting pitcher David Wells. "We're a lot better team than what we've been showing of late, and I think we owe it to ourselves to go out there and be a better team than what's happening right now." After seven straight losses to division rivals Arizona and Colorado, the Dodgers have fallen 6 1/2 games back of San Diego in the National League Wild Card race. Saturday's loss eliminated them from the NL West race, in which Los Angeles trailed by just 3 1/2 games one week ago. The Dodgers are all but eliminated as any combination of two San Diego wins or Los Angeles losses will end the club's season -- not to mention Los Angeles needs to jump over four other teams in the race. "We played teams that are clicking on all cylinders," said veteran Luis Gonzalez. "We played the Rockies this past weekend and then we came here to Arizona. The last two teams that we've been playing are just scoring a lot of runs, and we're just not able to get back on track." Wells said he felt perfectly fine on the mound pitching on three days' rest after starting in Tuesday's doubleheader at Colorado. The veteran lefty gave up five runs on nine hits in 4 2/3 innings, yielding runs in all but one of the innings he pitched. "It was something [where] I felt I was just battling constantly, trying to make pitches," Wells said. "It's just something [where] I felt good, [then in the] second or third inning, I just didn't have the rhythm, leaving everything up. It wasn't the fact that it was three days' rest." Wells (8-9) has given up five runs in each of his starts this week during Los Angeles' losing streak. That came after providing the Dodgers with a shot in the arm in his first four starts since signing as a free agent on Aug. 24, as he went 3-0 while giving up three or fewer runs in those outings. "What we brought him in here for, he did exactly what we expected him to do, pitched some big games for us, and the games we're playing this week, from here on out they're not big games," manager Grady Little said. "He did exactly what we asked of him when he came in." It certainly didn't help that Arizona started Brandon Webb, who has not lost to the Dodgers since 2004. The D-backs ace has racked up a 4-0 record with a 0.91 ERA against the Los Angeles this season, with two of the three runs he's given up this season coming on Tony Abreu's double on his last pitch of Saturday's game. Besides the two runs, Webb (17-10) worked around eight hits while striking out six. Wells and Gonzalez both said the club would not lose its fight even as the final week of the season turns into meaningless baseball for a Dodgers club once expected to be playing in October. "I think we're too good of a team to be getting beat like this," Wells said. "Right now we're not on -- there's no cylinders whatsoever. I think when we do break [the losing streak], we might have to celebrate.
"How we're playing now, we're just not doing it."
Michael Schwartz is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.