Dodgers 7, Diamondbacks 1

Dodgers finish their road sked with a 39-42 mark. They won six of nine here in the big hangar, which is fairly notable given that the Snakes have gone an incredible 50-31 at home. Today was all about the kids. Juan Pierre was the only guy in the starting lineup that wasn’t a first- or second-year big leaguer, and the boys fairly unloaded on Edgar Gonzalez, the same guy who beat them last Sunday to start the seven-game losing streak. Nice effort by Billingsley today, too, even though he threw 95 pitches and only went 5 2/3. I’m telling you, this kid is a potential No. 1 starter who could become one of the league’s elite starting pitchers as soon as next season. Loney went 3 for 5 with a home run, and Tony Abreu homered in the first inning. … Enjoyed watching that whole Milton Bradley thing unfold in San Diego. I feel bad for Buddy Black, one of the classiest guys in the game, and I’m sure he is beside himself over what happened. But this was the whole story of Milton wrapped up in one instance: he lost his temper yet again, and he got injured yet again. It appears his never-ending tendency to do both of those things is ultimately going to overshadow his talent, his ability and, unfortunately, his career. Thank your lucky stars he isn’t the Dodgers’ problem anymore. … While standing around the clubhouse this morning (one of my greatest talents, by the way), I saw the door to Grady’s office open. Matt Kemp and James Loney were coming out, but Ned, who was having a conversation nearby in the corner of the clubhouse, intercepted them, and the three of them went back in and closed the door again. I guess he wanted to talk to them, too, and I’m sure it was about their comments in response to Kent’s comments about the team’s young players. Let’s hope this thing is finally a dead issue. But mostly, let’s hope it doesn’t come up again next year, because I can’t imagine Kent isn’t coming back when he has a $9 million guarantee. … Dodgers improve to 80-76. They need to go at least 2-4 on the homestand to have a winning season. And while it’s true that you either make the playoffs or you don’t, I still think your final record is an important stat. It’s history, after all. This is my eighth year as a full-time beat guy, and I can still recite the records of every team I have covered (’00 Reds 85-77, ’01 Reds 66-96, ’02 Reds 78-84, ’03 Reds 69-93, ’04 Dodgers 93-69, ’05 Dodgers 71-91, ’06 Dodgers 88-74). I hope the boys feel the same way and play hard to the end — even though that series with the Jints next weekend figures to be rather dull.

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