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8/29/07 "LA Is The Loneliest And Most Brutal Of American Cities," -Jack Kerouac

     My brother Scout, Braves fan and Source For All Things Baseball, is in the house because he wanted to watch Atlanta in Florida on and TBS is, "More interested in showing an `Everybody Loves Raymond' marathon than covering the Braves," in his words. Ouch! I wonder if TBS Laugh Headquarters would think that was funny. Meanwhile...

     Back in Los Angeles, the Dodgers welcome Washington for the second of a three game series, with Jason Bergmann on the hill for the Nationals against Chad Billingsley. Felipe Lopez hits a one-out single deep enough at third that Shea Hillenbrand just holds on to it. Ryan Zimmerman backs Andre Ethier up to the warning track for the second out. Dmitri Young splits the gap in right center, and not even center fielder Juan Pierre can get it in time to keep Lopez from scoring from first. 1-0 Nationals.

     Jason Bergmann throws a scoreless frame in his first inning back off the DL. After a quick top of the second for Billingsley, Bergmann's back on the mound. Jeff Kent beats out a check swing grounder and moves to second on Bergmann's errant throw over first. Bergmann gets a line out to center from Juan Gonzalez. Russell Martin takes a one-out walk. James Loney lines to short, and Felipe Lopez can't handle it. Bases loaded for Shea Hillenbrand, who hits a single through short to score two. 2-1 Dodgers.

     Felipe Lopez beats out an infield hit, and steals second while Ryan Zimmerman's going down swinging. DY gets the intentional from Billingsley. Austin Kearns does it like the Dodgers planned it, grounding to second and into an inning-ending double play. 2-1 Dodgers after two and a half.

     Jeff Kent lifts an 0-1 curve out to left center for a solo shot and a 3-1 LA lead after three innings of play. In the top of the fourth, Ronnie Belliard bounces a one-out triple off the top of the wall in left, but it bounces back into play. Brian Schneider flies out to left, Belliard tags and scores. 3-2 Dodgers.

     Jason Bergmann holds the Nationals close retiring the Dodgers in order in the fifth. DY and AK hit back to back singles to start the top of the sixth. Ryan Church grounds to Kent at second, who backhands to Furcal and on to Loney at first. Double play. Bellliard flies out to right, and DY's stranded at third. Still 3-2 Dodgers.

     Bergmann hits Russell Martin on the hands with two outs in the sixth. Catcher vs Catcher on the base paths, and Martin steals second on Schneider. James Loney pops out short-left to fiinish the sixth. Bergmann's allowed 6 hits, 3 earned runs,1 HR,1 walk and 1 K in 6.0 innings of work. Billingsley's back for the seventh, and with one out The Professional Pinch Hitter Tony Batista takes one deep to left, "..and takes Bergmann off the hook," Scout says. Home run for Batista. 3-3 ballgame after six and a half. Stand up and stretch...

     Chris Schroder takes over for Bergmann in the bottom of the seventh. Mark Sweeney doubles on a full-count fastball, finding the gap in right center and coming in standing at second. Schroder walks Furcal to bring up Juan Pierre. Manny Acta, Nationals Manager has seen enough. Ray King vs Juan Pierre. Lefty vs Lefty. Pierre grounds up the middle, and Felipe Lopez can't make the play. Bases loaded, one out. Andre Ethier connects enough to center to score Sweeney from third with an RBI sac fly. 4-3 Dodgers. Acta pulls King. Saul Rivera walks Jeff Kent to load the bases for Luis Gonzalez. Rivera gets a ground out from Gonzalez to end the seventh.

     "The Baby Bull" Jonathan Broxton retires the Nationals in order in the eigth. Russell Martin lead off the Dodgers eigth with a double off Saul Rivera. James Loney grounds out to move Martin over to third. Shea Hillenbrand grounds out, Martin gets caught too far off third. 4-3 Dodgers.

     Three outs to get one run for the Nationals in the ninth. Church, D'Angelo Jimenez and Schneider will face Takashi Saito. Church chases a curve into the dirt. Jimenez pops out to the catcher. Pinch hitter Wily Mo Pena strikes out swinging. Dodgers win 4-3. Nationals drop their fifth straight. Tomorrow at noon out West, 3:00pm est.

Nationals now 58-75.