Dodgers Lineup:Schumaker 9 Punto 4 Gonzalez 3 Hanley 6 Ethier 8 A.J. Ellis 2 Van Slyke 7 Hairston 5 Nolasco 1
The All-Star break is coming at the perfect time for the Dodgers who have been hit hard with injuries this season. Most of the team finally returned healthy in the past month, and the lineup has been energized with Hanley Ramirez who missed a significant amount of time during a lengthy D.L. stint. Now a new crop of injuries have befallen the Boys in Blue, and the four games off will be a great time for them to get some rest before the second half of the season commences. Yasiel Puig was out of the lineup on Saturday after his left hip was aggravated during the game on Friday night. I would be fine with Puig sitting out Sunday and getting some extra time off in order to come back 100%. Carl Crawford‘s back has been bothering him. Even though a MRI showed nothing significant, his general rustiness has become a major concern as to whether the outfielder can remain healthy for any length of time. Matt Kemp hasn’t begun to swing a bat since his AC joint in his shoulder became irritated, and Mark Ellis hurt his leg again after fouling a pitch off of it on Saturday.
Despite the injuries, the Dodgers will look to end the first half on a winning note. Ricky Nolasco will try to follow Zack Greinke‘s lead after the right-hander pitched a complete game shutout against the Rox in game three. Ricky Nolasco is 1-0 with a 1.29 ERA as a Dodger so far after impressing in his first start with the team in Arizona. The right-hander allowed 1 run on 4 hits with 5 strikeouts and no walks over 7 solid innings of work against the D-backs. Nolasco and international signing bonus money was acquired by the Dodgers from Miami in exchange for relief pitcher Matt Guerrier. Dodger fans have welcomed the Southern California native with open arms, and Nolasco who attended Dodger games as a child, will surely be pitching in front of family and friends at Dodger Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Nolasco is 6-2 with a 4.76 ERA in his career against the Rockies. The usual culprits Cargo, Cuddyer, and Tulowitzki have all hit homeruns against the righty.
The Rockies will counter with Jhoulys Chacin who lost his last time out against the Padres. The Dodgers have faced Chacin a couple of times already this season, and Chacin won on the 4th of July in Colorado even though he allowed 4 runs on 9 hits over 5 2/3 innings. Back on June 1st, he allowed 5 runs on 9 hits to the Dodgers in 6 innings but wasn’t involved in the decision. Chacin has only allowed 3 homeruns this year in 17 starts which is pretty impressive considering he pitches in Coors Field. In his career against the Dodgers, Chacin is 7-5 with a 3.70 ERA. A.J. Ellis and Andre Ethier have both hit him well, and each have a homerun and 3 RBIs against him.
Arizona knocked off Milwaukee again on Saturday night so the Dodgers remain 2 1/2 back and in second place and one game
above .500. Tim Lincecum pitched a no-hitter against San Diego while making an eye-popping 148 pitches and striking out 13. Congrats, Timmy. You truly are a FREAK. The Giants remain in fourth place.
Tune into Prime Ticket for the 1:10 p.m. game, and swing back here for our postgame coverage as we continue to document the entire Dodger season. Be sure to visit us during the All-Star break for extended Dodger analysis. Go Blue!