Dodgers lose Drew in loss to D-Backs

Dodgers lose Drew in loss to D-Backs

LOS ANGELES -- The broken left wrist suffered by Dodger outfielder J.D. Drew Sunday night left general manager Paul DePodesta asking reporters questions, instead of the other way around.

"Ever seen anything like this?" he wondered aloud, referring to the latest in a siege of injuries that added to the insult of a 10-3 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks.

"It's been pretty remarkable. I don't think you'll find anyone in this clubhouse who has seen anything like this. Not one of our injured players has come back when he was eligible. Eight of them have missed at least six weeks each. Can we survive? We don't have a choice. We have to, at this point."

Drew suffered the injury when struck by a Brad Halsey fastball in the fifth inning. He played one inning in the field, then retreated for X-rays that confirmed the latest disabling Dodger injury. Halsey, who hit only two batters in 92 2/3 previous innings, also hit Antonio Perez and Olmedo Saenz with pitches in this game.

"It hurt but I wanted to test it out, and it started swelling pretty good and didn't feel good playing catch, so I came in and got the X-ray after that inning," said Drew. "It showed a clean break. It's one of those unfortunate things. I broke my hand back in 2001, it took six or seven weeks just to get back to swinging the bat again.

"It's tough, I definitely had a good rhythm going and a good approach at the plate. When you start coming back six weeks from now, it's hard to get that rhythm back. We've had a rollercoaster ride of injuries. You hate that something like this happens, but there's really nothing you can do."

Drew was on a roll, his average up to .288 coming into the game with 15 home runs, three in the previous two games. His will be the 16th disabling injury this year, and with Milton Bradley still out from a lingering torn finger ligament and Cesar Izturis not sure he can make the All-Star Game because of a hamstring, the Dodger offense is in a crisis.

"This injury is a direct hit to the middle of the order," said manager Jim Tracy.

Although his club fell back to 6 1/2 games out of first place after a 3-3 homestand against the two teams it trails, DePodesta said he remains a buyer and not a seller in the trade market. He said he is in "the middle of discussions with a handful of clubs," but the urgency is obviously heightened.

"I've said all along that health might dictate which way we go -- not whether we're a buyer or seller, but what kind of players we'll look for. [Drew's injury] may very well dictate what kind."

Although Bradley's return remains unknown, DePodesta said the club should get Odalis Perez back Tuesday, Wilson Alvarez soon after that and third baseman Jose Valentin by early August.

The injury to Drew overshadowed another crisis created when Sunday night starter D.J. Houlton lasted only two innings after Saturday's starter, Derek Lowe, pitched only three innings.

It's a crisis because the Dodgers open a four-game series Monday night in Coors Field and their bullpen has pitched 13 of the last 18 innings. The ultimate sign of crisis was closer Yhency Brazoban entering the game in the ninth inning, trailing by four runs, then allowing three more.

Scott Erickson's three effective innings of relief will be obscured by the fact that all five of the Diamondbacks that walked also scored. Two of those were charged to Houlton, who has settled into an unsettling pattern of wobbly early innings, having allowed 15 runs over the first two innings of his last five starts.

"That's not good. No, that's not good," said the rookie. "I can't keep putting us in a hole like that. I have a history of that in the Minor Leagues. I need to change my strategy. What I'm doing isn't working too well for me or the team."

The five-run first inning for Arizona was built around a two-run homer by Shawn Green, who had to be sorry to see the series end. Of his 15 home runs this year, he's hit five against the Dodgers. Green finished with three RBIs, as did catcher Chris Snyder, who has seven of his 16 RBIs this year against the Dodgers.

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.