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Dodgers short hops
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10/08/2004 2:35 AM ET
Dodgers short hops
Pitching continues downward trend in Game 2
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ST. LOUIS -- Even three Dodgers homers in Game 2 of the National League Division Series couldn't overcome some porous defense and another off-kilter starting pitching performance, this time by Jeff Weaver.

In the first two games of the series, both 8-3 losses, Game 1 starter Odalis Perez and Weaver combined to allow 13 hits and 11 runs in a combined 7 1/3 innings. Perez didn't make it out of third inning in Tuesday's loss and Weaver didn't make it out of the fifth inning on Wednesday.

The Dodgers can't give the Cardinals extra outs and extra base runners as they did on Thursday in the second and fifth innings when St. Louis scored the bulk of its runs -- three in each inning. Add a five-run third inning on Tuesday and the Dodgers are being banged right out of the series.

Vitals check
A look at key statistics through Game 2 of the NLDS.

Team stats

Digits Trend The Deal
ERA 9.00 another starter struggles mightily
BA .299 not hitting in clutch; three solo homers not enough
Runs 6 have scored six runs in last 27 innings
Errors 2 seemed like a lot more if you count misplayed hits

Who's hot?

Player Digits Trend The Deal
Milton Bradley 3-for-6, 2B, HR is good at causing commotions on and off the field
Shawn Green 1-for-8, HR homer breaks 0-for-5 and is only hit of the series

Who's not?

Player Digits Trend The Deal
Weaver 11.57 ERA (4 2/3 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 2 BB, 2 HP, 1 WP) couldn't shake performance in last year's World Series
Steve Finley 0-for-8, BB hasn't had a hit since Saturday's title-clinching granny

Behind the numbers
The Dodgers are now in danger of being swept out of their third consecutive first-round series since they last won a postseason game to win the 1988 World Series (Game 5 at Oakland). They were swept by the Reds in 1995 and the Braves in 1996 and have now lost eight postseason games in a row.

Frozen moment
Shawn Green and Milton Bradley hit back-to-back homers to lead off the fourth inning, putting the Dodgers back in the game. Two Cardinals pitchers then walked the bases loaded with two out. Reliever Cal Eldred went 3-and-0 on Steve Finley, who ultimately flied out to center on a full-count pitch. Where's the Giants' Wayne Franklin when you need him?

Second guess
No explicable reason for leaving Weaver in the game after he hit both Larry Walker and Reggie Sanders during a three-run Cardinals fifth inning. With the score tied, two runners on and two out, Edgar Renteria singled home the tie-breaking run. Then Weaver hit Sanders. Then Mike Matheny smacked a two-run single. Then Weaver was lifted two batters too late.

Love those Yankees, Part I
The last time the Dodgers hit back-to-back homers in a postseason game was Game 5 of the 1981 World Series against the Yankees (Pedro Guerrero and Steve Yeager). The Dodgers won that one in six games.

Love those Yankees, Part II
The last time the Dodgers hit three homers in a postseason game was Game 1 of the 1978 World Series (Dusty Baker and Davey Lopes twice) against you know who: the Yankees. The Dodgers lost that series in six games when Reggie Jackson hit three homers all by himself in Game 6.

Last word
"We're going to have to play three very good baseball games. I can't sit here and say that that's never happened before. That's happened with this club a number of times. It's a formidable task for us, but the way we have played all year long and the resiliency we have shown, nothing has been very easy for us."
-- Dodgers manager Jim Tracy

Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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