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Blake and Ramirez making a difference

Manny Ramirez has made his presence felt for the Dodgers.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - The Dodgers obtained two players, Casey Blake and Manny Ramirez, just before the July 31st trade deadline. Both have helped the Los Angeles offense and in turn have helped the Dodgers won-loss record.

Since his late July trade, Blake is hitting .302 with eight runs scored, four homers and 12 RBI. But he has been overshadowed by Ramirez who has been spectacular.

The future Hall-of-Famer has batted a stunning .423 with five homers and 17 knocked in over 14 games. His slugging percentage is a stellar .769 and his OPS is an off-the-board 1.277.

The Dodgers have gone from averaging 4.166 before Ramirez arrived to 4.785 after Ramirez took over the cleanup role. Jeff Kent, who bats third in the lineup just ahead of Ramirez, has seen more fastballs and is hitting .423 after hitting just .247 in July.

More importantly, the team has gone 9-5 (.643) with both newly acquired players on the team and tied the Arizona Diamondbacks for first place. The Dodgers were 50-52 (.490) when Blake arrived and still just 54-54 when Ramirez donned the Dodger blue.

The trade also seemed to have helped the Dodger pitching staff. Since July 26th when the Los Angeles management showed its players they were going to do what was necessary to win this year, the team ERA is 2.95 which is even better than its league-leading season ERA of 3.65.

The bottom line is not only are Blake and Ramirez producing, they are making the players around them better too.

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at sschwarz@sportsnetwork.com.