Jul. 9, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA: Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Ricky Nolasco in the first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Ricky Nolasco Makes Impressive Dodger Debut as the Blue Take Game Two vs. Snakes

Dodgers 6 10 1

Diamondbacks 1 5 2

WP- Nolasco (6-8)

LP- Kennedy (3-5)

Well hello Ricky Nolasco. The Dodgers newest pitcher impressed Tuesday night in Arizona and made his Southern Californian family proud. The right-hander walked not one batter while striking out five snakes over 7 solid innings of work at Chase Field. If it weren’t for a futile attempt by Puig to dive for a ball out of his reach in the seventh inning, it is possible that Nolasco could have pitched a shutout. J.P. Howell and Ronald Belisario both pitched scoreless innings as well, and the Snakes were almost completely de-fanged.

 

Ricky Nolasco can hit AND pitch. Photo: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Dodgers offense continued its onslaught, and Ricky Nolasco even helped his own cause with a single, double, and a RBI on the night. Ethier had two hits and raised his batting average to .272, and Skip Schumaker who got the start at second had a couple of hits and a RBI as well. The Dodgers took advantage of the flustered D-backs who committed a couple of errors and also another couple of bumbling plays which could have been called errors.

Carl Crawford wastes no time as he pops out to Didi Gregorius in foul territory to start things off in the top of the first. Crawford has yet to collect a hit since returning from the disabled list. Yasiel Puig proceeds to single to left field as he continues to amaze and dazzle the world with his baseball abilities. Adrian Gonzalez flies out to shallow left field. Then the slithery Snake Ian Kennedy hits Hanley Ramirez on the arm. He’s now plunked Puig in the nose, Greinke in the head, and Hanley on the arm. Andre Ethier chases a fastball away, and he strikes out to end the inning.

Ricky Nolasco takes the mound for the first time in Dodger Blue, and he retires Adam Eaton on one pitch to begin the home half of the first. The right-hander from Rialto then strikes out Gerardo Parra. Paul Goldschmidt singles to left with two outs. Aaron Hill strikes out, and Nolasco has struck out two in his first inning as a Dodger.

A.J. Ellis leads off the top of the second with a single. Skip Schumaker, adorned with a new jersey number (55), also singles. Jerry Hairston Jr. then hits into a double play, and A.J. takes third on the play. Ricky Nolasco then singles in A.J. in his first Blue at-bat! Welcome to the team, Ricky! The Dodgers take a 1-0 lead. Crawford once again flies out after two pitches to end the frame.

Nolasco pitches another nice inning, and he sends the D-backs down in order. He gets a little help from Schumaker, who admittedly makes a nice play at second on a Miguel Montero grounder. Nolasco also whiffs Jason Kubel for his third strikeout of the game.

The Dodgers go down 1-2-3 in the top of the third as Puig, Gonzo, and Hanley all ground out.

Ian Kennedy loses against the Dodgers to everyone’s delight. Photo: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

 

Gregorius leads off the bottom of the third with a single, and Kennedy successfully bunts him over to second. Eaton fouls out to JHair. Parra pops out to Hanley in shallow center to end the inning.

Thanks to some bumbling defense from Arizona, the Dodgers add another run in the fourth. Andre Ethier leads off the fourth with a single. While A.J. is busy striking out at the plate, Andre Ethier steals his third base of the season thanks to a high sailing throw into center field by Montero. Reminds me of the Dioner Navarro/Rod Barajas days. Ethier takes third on the error by the catcher, and he is able to score on a groundout by Skip Schumaker thanks to a bobble by second baseman Aaron Hill on the play. Dodgers now lead 2-0.

In the bottom of the fourth, Nolasco pitches another very nice 1-2-3 inning complete with a whiff of Goldy.

The Snakes fluster themselves out of another couple of runs in the top of the fifth after they commit two errors in the inning. Ricky Nolasco leads off the frame with a double for his second hit of the game! I like this guy! Crawford finally gets a hit with a bunt single. Hey, we’ll take what we can get, CC. Then Puig draws a walk to load up the bases. Then Gonzo hits a deep fly ball to center, and Adam Eaton slips on the dirt on the warning track and drops the ball allowing Nolasco and Crawford to score on the sac fly and error! Puig tries to come home on the play, but he is out by a mile. Hanley flies out. Dre reaches on another error, a fielding bumble by Martin Prado this time. A.J. Ellis flies out to left field to end the inning, but the Dodgers lead 4-0.

JHair commits the first Dodger error in the bottom of the fifth when he bobbles a ball hit by Prado. Kubel hits a ball right at Gonzo, and Adrian merely has to step on the bag to double up Prado at first. Gregorius flies out, and Nolasco pitches another scoreless inning.

 

Jul. 9, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA: Los Angeles Dodgers infielder Hanley Ramirez lifts up his shirt following the game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Schumaker leads off the sixth with a single, but JHair flies out. Nolasco gets a bunt down to move Skip to second. Crawford and Puig draw back-to-back walks to load the bases up with two outs, and that’s going to be all for Ian Kennedy as Arizona calls in Tony Sipp to pitch to Gonzalez. Gonzo singles to left, and two runs come home! The Dodgers break it right open and they now lead 6-0. Hanley strikes out to end the inning, and his 19-game hitting streak is in jeopardy.

Ian Kennedy allowed 6 runs on 9 hits over 5 2/3 innings while striking out 2 and walking 3 on 109 pitches.

Nolasco retires the side in order in the bottom of the sixth as he continues to cruise.

J.J. Putz will pitch the seventh for Arizona. Puig, Gonzalez, and Ramirez are retired in order.

In the bottom of the seventh, Aaron Hill doubles as Puig attempts to make a diving catch for the ball but deflects it off his glove. Puig is visibly upset with himself as he slams his fist down in the grass and throws his glove. Montero grounds out, and Hill advances to third. Prado singles in the lone Arizona run, and the shutout is broken up. Rick Honeycutt goes out to the mound to talk to Nolasco, and Hanley is smiling and laughing at something he said. Nolasco strikes out Kubel to end his impressive debut with style!

Ricky Nolasco pitched 7 innings and allowed just 1 run on 4 hits with 5 strikeouts and no walks on 97 pitches.

Brad Ziegler comes out of the D-back’s bullpen in the top of the eighth, and he sends the Dodgers down in order.

J.P. Howell will come in to relieve Nolasco in the bottom half of the eighth. Pinch-hitter Cody Rossdoubles to right field with

Yasiel Puig is angry after failing to make a diving catch in the seventh inning. Photo: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

one out, but Howell strikes out Eaton and induces a groundout from Parra to end the frame without any damage done.

David Hernandez sends the Dodgers down in order in the top of the ninth. Unfortunately Hanley Ramirez grounds out, and his 19-game hitting streak is snapped. If it wasn’t for Ian Kennedy hitting him in the first inning, Hanley could have had one more chance. It was still an impressive run.

Ronald Belisario will come in to pitch the bottom of the ninth. Other than hitting Montero in the feet with a pitch, he is able to get all three outs to secure the Dodger win!

The Dodgers take the series and improve to 44-45. They are now 2 1/2 games back of Arizona, and they will try to pull within 1 1/2 tomorrow as they eye the series sweep.

.500 is within reach. The Dodgers are 14-3 in the last 17 games. The road to redemption is sweet.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

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Tags: Arizona Diamondbacks Ian Kennedy Los Angeles Dodgers Ricky Nolasco

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