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It's a little late for the Dodgers' offense to be such a work-in-progress

July 24, 2010 |  7:46 am

The Dodgers are a cart with three wheels. Alas, every time they get one wheel fixed, another falls off.

Their offense is great guns, their starting pitching is a mess. Their starting pitching is rolling, the bullpen is a minefield. The bullpen is sharp, the defense is full of holes. The defense is sparkling, the offense is in the infirmary.

And right now, the offense has gone into hiding. A collection of inconsistency. Reliable as the stock market.

"We’re struggling offensively," said Joe Torre.

The Dodgers are 2-7 since the All-Star break. In those nine games, they’ve scored two or fewer runs six times. And won two of them. Manny Ramirez can't be missed that much.

They have players kinda cold (James Loney, two for 20) and players so frozen they may have to head to Death Valley to thaw (Andre Ethier, one for 28).

The Dodgers lost 6-1 to the Mets on Friday, this time being shut down by a legitimate ace, Johan Santana.

Yet, right now, almost everyone looks like Santana to the Dodgers. Their offense lacks identity. It’s the Oakland of baseball offenses. There’s no there there.

Matt Kemp and Casey Blake get it going, Rafael Furcal cools off. Russell Martin shows some life, Ronnie Belliard disappears.

"It’s uneven," Torre said.  "Casey is swinging the bat really well. James is struggling a little bit. Matty’s coming around again. Andre is struggling, fighting it.

"It’s uneven up and down. Russell had some good at-bats [Friday]. We just can’t get them all together. Raffy’s hit some balls good, but of course no one could stay as hot as he’s been for a month or so. We just not able to put enough hits together."

This comes as the rotation is on its best run of the season. Still, a wheel comes off the cart.

It makes for a bumpy ride. It makes for a 51-46 team.

-- Steve Dilbeck

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