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Los Angeles Dodgers manager Joe Torre says the Philadelphia Phillies were definitely the better team

PHILADELPHIA — The Dodgers had the best record in the NL at 95-67 but in consecutive seasons have finished second best.

Their first-round sweep of the favored Cardinals didn't provide the momentum they were hoping for, and they made a meek showing against the Phillies.

"We weren't the best team this week, I don't think that's any secret,'' manager Joe Torre said. "But ... I'm very proud of this group. I just told them that. This losing leaves a real pit in your stomach. I'm not going to say, I can't say that the Phillies wanted it more than us but, as I said, they were better than us this week. We're getting there.''

Torre said the difference in experience seemed to clearly benefit the Phillies.

"They did pretty much everything better than we did,'' he said.

"The experience I think from last year that they got certainly helped keep the game from speeding up for them. I can't always say that about our clubs this year, although we made strides, which I'm proud of. And I think the guys understand a little bit more, especially the young guys, how much work is involved.''

Torre, who has one year remaining on his contract, said he expects to return.

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THE OTHER BOSS: Torre spent Tuesday's off night at the Bruce Springsteen concert, getting taunted a bit by fans chanting "Beat L.A." but otherwise enjoying a spectacular 3½-hour show.

"My wife laughs at me when I go to concerts like that," said Torre. "But the thing that I found really remarkable is how every single person there feels like he's there for them. He connects with all those people, whether they're sitting close or way back in the upper deck somewhere. And his energy is crazy — 60 years old, that's pretty damned good."

MISCELLANY: First-pitch temperature was a relatively balmy 63 degrees. … Dodgers LF Manny Ramirez's shower before the end of Monday's game became something of a soap opera, highlighted by Philly fans alternating chants of "Take a shower" with "You took steroids."… Phillies 2B Chase Utley, with a first-inning walk, tied Boog Powell's all-time record of reaching base in 25 consecutive postseason games. … Dallas Green, who managed the Phillies to the 1980 World Series championship, threw out the first pitch to current manager Charlie Manuel.

Los Angeles Dodgers manager Joe Torre says the Philadelphia Phillies were definitely the better team 10/21/09 [Last modified: Thursday, October 22, 2009 9:43am]

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