Dodgers 6, Mets 5

There are many disadvantages to life in Southern California. The smog. Terrible traffic. Defamer. The Beachwood Sparks. And even through all of the above, I’m not sure if there is anything worse about the L.A. experience than hearing Charley Steiner and Steve Lyons call a Dodgers game. Had they these gentlemen been hired two decades earlier, Randy Newman’s “I Love L.A.” could well have been titled “Set Fire To Los Angeles (And Make Sure Steiner & Lyon Burn)”.

At Shea this evening, Victor Zamrano allowed 6 runs in 4 and 2/3rds innings — only the 2nd time this season he’s given up more than 3 runs — as the Mets’ post-break streak of brilliant starts came to a sorry end. Jeff Kent, wearing long trousers for the occasion, had a HR, a double and a single, and might well have hit for the cycle had New York’s Carlos Beltran not run down a 400 foot drive. That is, if you can fantasize about the ball taking a weird bounce or two after landing — the Bad Lieutenant is a slow baserunner and slow-witted.

Carlos Beltran’s 3 run homer in the 7th off Jeff Weaver (above) brought the Mets within a run, but the Fresno State product and 3 relievers (Duaner Sanchez, Wilson Alvarez, rookie Steve Schmoll and closer Yhency Brazoban) combined to hold NY scoreless the rest of the way.

I don’t want to take anything away from a game the Dodgers deserved to win, but if there’s anything lamer than Will Cordero hitting cleanup for Washington, it would have to be Ricky Ledee batting fourth for Los Angeles.

Then again, Ledee did have 3 more hits last night than Cliff Floyd.

Jim Tracy celebrated his 400th win as Dodgers manager. Coincidently, Tommy Lasorda burned his 400th copy of the No Mag interview with his late son Tommy Jr. after winning an eBay auction earlier in the week.

White Sox mouthpiece Ken Harrelson waxed ecstatic over his employers tonight on Comcast’s Chicago/Boston telecast. “We have better starters. We have the better bullpen. We’ve got more speed. And they’re the defending World Champions!” spurted the Hawk.

Luckily, “we” don’t have to play in the same division as the Yankees, Orioles or Blue Jays or “we” might not be 31 games over .500. Make no mistake, the White Sox are no fluke and even without Frank Thomas, are good enough to advance in October. But a transparent company man like Harrelson does the team no favors. All of a sudden, Charley Steiner seems downright reasonable.

After his storybook return to New York baseball last Sunday night, P Al Leiter has revereted to form ; 3 IP, 62 pitches, 5 earned runs, 7 hits, 2 walks, with the Yankees trailing the Angels 5-2 through 3 1/2. I guess Garrett Anderson and Jose Molina didn’t get the memo from Mayor Bloomberg.

Speaking of coming back to earth, how about those Nationals?