The Dodgers’ season plunged to a new low Friday night.
With Manny Ramirez, Rafael Furcal and Russell Martin already sidelined, the Dodgers lost one of their coaches.
First base coach Mariano Duncan was the latest member of the free-falling team to be hit by the injury bug that has spread throughout the clubhouse, as back pain forced him to receive an epidural and be replaced for a day by hitting instructor Jeff Pentland.
Not that Duncan missed much. Adam Dunn hit a pair of three-run home runs for the Washington Nationals, who sent the Dodgers crashing to their 15th defeat in 22 games with a 6-3 thumping at Dodger Stadium.
And the pitcher who started the game in which the Dodgers were held to five hits?
John Lannan, the Nationals’ opening-day starter in each of the last two seasons. John Lannan, who had won only one of his previous 13 starts. John Lannan, who spent six weeks in double A.
“Unfortunately, they had too much too early,” Torre said.
The Dodgers were down 6-0 by the middle of the third inning, as Dunn hit his first home run in the first and his second in the third. The home runs were Dunn’s league-leading 29th and 30th.
“I don’t care about the home runs,” said Dunn’s victim, Clayton Kershaw (10-7). “If they were solo home runs, it’s OK. But it doesn’t give you much of a chance when you’re down six.”
Especially because of how the Dodgers are hitting.
They have been held to two or fewer runs 14 times since the All-Star break.
The Dodgers cobbled together a rally in the fourth inning, taking back three runs to close the gap to 6-3. The key hit was a two-run homer by Andre Ethier, his 18th.
Nothing else happened.
Torre continued to insist that the Dodgers had the necessary personnel to turn around their season, pointing to recently acquired Scott Podsednik as someone he thought would energize the lineup.
Torre said before the game that the Dodgers would be buyers and not sellers as they headed toward the season’s second trade deadline.
This despite the Dodgers’ falling to two games over .500 and dropping seven games back of the San Francisco Giants in wild-card race.
The next deadline is Aug. 31.
That’s the last day players can be added to rosters and still be eligible for postseason competition.
But there’s a catch: The only players who can be acquired are players who didn’t have another team place a waiver claim on them.
August was a busy month for the Dodgers last year, as they acquired Vicente Padilla, Ronnie Belliard, Jim Thome and Jon Garland.
Colletti would not say if the Dodgers put in a claim on Dunn, who reportedly was placed on waivers. Clubs officials are forbidden to talk about any waiver wire activity by major league baseball.
Even if the Nationals pull back Dunn, they would have a 48-hour window to trade him to the team with the worst record that claimed him.
That team will not be the Giants, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, which reported that they placed a claim on Dunn, only to learn that a team with a worse record than theirs did too.
So, at very least, Dunn will not be playing for the team the Dodgers are chasing.