10/08/06 1:52 AM ET
Dodgers Short Hops: Game 3
Kent, two rookies only bright spots in loss to Mets
By Jim Street / MLB.com
The Dodgers recovered from an early four-run deficit, but not a late one, absorbing a season-ending 9-5 loss to the Mets. Frozen moment
Second baseman Jeff Kent brought the capacity crowd to its feet in the fifth inning with a two-out two-run home run to left field on the first pitch that he saw from Mets left-handed reliever Darren Oliver. The blast into the bleachers tied the game at 4 and capped the Dodgers' comeback from a four-run deficit. Big number
Five: The number of hits Dodgers right-hander Greg Maddux surrendered in the first inning, in which the Mets scored three runs and put the National League Wild Card-winning team in a quick hole. Game ball
Jeff Kent -- five balls: Kent had three legs of a cycle, with two singles, a home run and a double. Russell Martin -- five balls: The rookie catcher had three singles and threw out the only Mets baserunner, Jose Reyes, that tried to steal a base. James Loney -- three balls: Nomar Garciaparra's replacement at first base had two hits, walked once and drove in three runs. Sense of October
Two of the greatest Dodgers of all time -- Duke Snider and Sandy Koufax -- attended Game 3 in one capacity or another. Snider, the franchise's all-time home run leader, a 1980 Hall of Fame inductee, threw out the ceremonial first pitch. Koufax -- a New York native, Hall of Famer and high school classmate of Mets owner Fred Wilpon -- sat in the stands at Dodger Stadium. Lines of the Game
5 AB, 1 R, 4 H, 2B, HR, 2 RBIs
Comment: The veteran second baseman broke Steve Garvey's club record for the most hits in a National League Division Series with eight.
4 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER
Comment: This was not exactly the kind of performance the Dodgers needed to keep their season going. Five consecutive singles in the first inning led to an early deficit. Even though Los Angeles eventually caught up, Maddux was not at his best for Game 3.
"I don't think we ran out of gas, we just ran out of fortune. It is difficult to handle." -- Kent, on series loss
The sting of being swept in the NLDS will linger for most of the winter -- and no doubt until Spring Training, which opens in Vero Beach, Fla., in mid-February.
Jim Street is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.