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|James Loney and the rest of the Dodgers are obviously frustrated, but Joe Torre preached patience to get out of their terrible slump.|
"We have to start doing more things right and fewer things wrong. We had a situation where one runner didn't run fast enough and the other ran too fast. They were both at fault." To his credit, Kemp stood in front of his locker after the game after both of his costly baserunning gaffes and acknowledged his mistakes. This time the apology went something like this: "I think I probably should've just ran a little bit harder and we wouldn't be talking about that right now," Kemp said. But this isn't about one play or one decision. It's about character, and right now the Dodgers aren't displaying much of it right now. It's a shame that after a game in which he had a career-high five hits, including a towering homer to center in the eighth, Kemp had to answer any questions about whether he hustled around third fast enough. It's also not a coincidence that Kemp is becoming the walking symbol for what's gone wrong with the Dodgers this season: All the talent in the world, not enough of it coming together. Instead of celebrating Kemp's five-tool athletic gifts, we are talking about why they aren't translating into wins. Instead of asking how he helped the team break out of its hitting slump (the Dodgers had 14 hits Monday after collecting just 20 hits in their past four games), Kemp was left to answer how his big night Monday might help the team turn things around the next day. "It's really not wasted when I can take it into my approach tomorrow and see I can make something good out of it," Kemp said. "We're still confident. We've been in this situation before. We've just got to battle and keep fighting." Colletti said before the game that he still believed this team could contend for the playoffs. "If we didn't have confidence in the group we wouldn't have done that," Colletti said, referencing the Dodgers' four acquisitions at the trading deadline. "We don't make moves just to make moves."
For more news, notes and analysis of the Dodgers, check out Jon Weisman's Dodger Thoughts blog.