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Frustration level swells as losses mount for Dodgers

June 19, 2011 |  8:10 am

Rod Barajas Heads down, team lifeless, looking defeated. A beaten dog of a team.

The signs are all there, and Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly can see them as clearly as anyone.

Which is why after the Dodgers suffered a fifth consecutive loss Saturday, he held a quick team meeting.

He could sense their frustration in every movement, or non-movement.

"That’s for sure, but you know what? We don’t have time to be frustrated,’’ Mattingly said. "I don’t mean to dismiss this game, but we don’t have time to be frustrated. We have to be ready to play" on Sunday.

"I just want to make sure that we get that message," he said, "that we can’t back off now. We can’t back down and start the woe-is-me or anything else right now. It’s time to buckle up, get ready to play.

"We can’t afford to come out here say, 'Oh it’s a day game, we’ve lost five in a row.' It’s not a good start to our homestand, that’s for sure. But there ain’t nothing we can do about it now, the first five. We have to be ready to go."

Matt Kemp, about the only Dodger having an all-star-caliber season, admitted the frustration level was rising with the mounting losses and affecting team play.

"There have probably been guys who haven’t played the way they want to play," Kemp said. "We all felt frustrated and down a little bit.’’

Saturday’s 7-0 loss to the lowly Houston Astros left the Dodgers 10 games under .500 for the first time all season.

"I don’t know what to say. We just have to keep fighting,’’ Mattingly said. "There’s going to be another game [Sunday] at 1 o’clock. We have to turn that page and be ready to play.

"We’re at that stage, we can’t feel sorry for ourselves. It would be easy to, you can make a lot of excuses. But we just can’t do that right now.’’

-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Dodgers catcher Rod Barajas reacts after suffering a sprained right ankle in the 5th inning against the Houston Astros at Dodger Stadium, June 18, 2011. Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea / US Presswire