Ailing Dodgers Look to Capture Series Victory in Rubber Game vs. Cubs

Ricky Nolasco (10-9, 3.42) vs. Edwin Jackson (7-13, 5.00)

Lineup:

Puig 9
Crawford 7
Hanley 6
Ethier 8
Hairston 3
M.Ellis 4
Uribe 5
Fedex 2
Nolasco 1

 

 

Ricky Nolasco is coming off his best start as a Dodger. Photo: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Dodgers lost to the Cubs Tuesday night. It happens. It’s only happened once this season, and the Dodgers would like to keep it that way by winning the rubber game on Wednesday afternoon. Clayton Kershaw was once again bequeathed with little run support as the Dodgers could only muster two runs off of Travis Wood and the Chicago bullpen. Actually they couldn’t do anything off of the impressive Wood. It was reported that some of the players were battling cold viruses, so perhaps they all felt a little listless and sick? Apparently a large group of players (including Wednesday’s starter Ricky Nolasco) picked up the cold bug upon returning from Miami. Hyun-jin Ryu was one Dodger infected, and Ryu did have a disappointing start last time out on Saturday against the Red Sox. Ronald Belisario was suffering from the cold as well, and he had a bad inning in Tuesday’s game allowing a run on two hits in the seventh inning. J.P. Howell, Brandon League, Carlos Marmol, and Mark Ellis also have been ill. Mark Ellis went 0-for-3 on Wednesday, but he did reach first after being hit with a pitch. Don Mattingly said they have coughs, and he hopes that it doesn’t get to the other guys. Can we please inject everyone with some vitamin C and zinc? This could explain their listless look in game two.

Let’s hope the Dodgers have quarantined Hanley Ramirez, Yasiel Puig, and Adrian Gonzalez. Although Adrian Gonzalez wasn’t

Edwin Jackson once played for the Dodgers, but he is now a full-fledged Cub. Photo: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

looking too good on Wednesday either. The Dodger first baseman went 0-for-4 with 2 strikeouts. I must admit that the team hasn’t looked like themselves since the Miami series, and they are 2-3 so far on this homestand. Thursday will be a much-needed day off before they begin a divisional series with the Padres on Friday.

The D-backs defeated the Padres Tuesday night, and with the Dodger loss they pick up a game in the standings. The Dodgers are now 8 1/2 games ahead of Arizona with 30 games remaining in the regular season.

Ricky Nolasco, who hopefully drank his Coldbuster Jamba Juice, will be taking the mound in game two on Wednesday. Nolasco is coming off of his strongest start as a Dodger in his last time out against the Red Sox. He picked up his 10th win of the season after pitching 8 shutout innings. He only allowed 2 hits with 6 strikeouts and no walks. Ricky was great, and it was the sharpest I have seen him pitch while wearing Blue. The So Cal native is now 5-1 with a 2.53 in 9 starts with the Dodgers since being acquired from the Marlins. Nolasco has been pretty successful against the Cubs over his career as well, and the right-hander is 6-2 with a 3.19 ERA against them.

The Cubs will be countering with former Dodger Edwin Jackson. If you remember, the Dodgers originally drafted Jackson in the 6th round of the 2001 draft. He played for the Dodgers from 2003-2005  sparingly. The Dodgers traded Jackson in the winter of 2006 to the then Tampa Bay Devil Rays with minor leaguer Chuck Tiffany in exchange for Danys Baez and Lance Carter. Jackson subsequently bounced around between quite a few teams including the Tigers, D-backs, White Sox, Cardinals, Nationals, and now the Cubs. Jackson hasn’t won a game with the Cubs since July 31st against Milwaukee. Last time out versus San Diego, the 29-year old allowed 6 runs on 10 hits in 6 disastrous innings. He struck out 4 and walked none in the no-decision. Jackson leads the league with 13 losses (tied with Hamels, Peralta, and Lincecum). Jackson is 3-1 with a 3.62 ERA against the Dodgers in his career (5 starts). At Dodger Stadium, he is 4-3 with a 4.66 ERA in 11 games (8 starts). He’s allowed 8 homeruns at Chavez Ravine altogether.

 

Matt Kemp is almost ready for rehab games. Photo: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Kemp tested his sprained ankle by running the bases on Tuesday at Dodger Stadium. He will run them again on Wednesday, and he may play in a rehab game (possibly at Rancho Cucamonga) on Thursday.

The Dodgers also hit another milestone on Tuesday. They now have had over 3 million in attendance this season. They have hit this mark 27 times prior in their Dodger Stadium history.

Wednesday will be a rare mid-day game at 12:10 p.m. on Prime Ticket.

Go Blue! (and please don’t get sick and look blue)

Tags: Chicago Cubs Edwin Jackson Featured Los Angeles Dodgers Popular Ricky Nolasco

  • michael passe

    Baseball will humble you in a hurry. The Dodgers were bound to cool off; in fact, they themselves cooled off the red-hot Rays a few weeks back, and Atlanta has also looked a little tired and sluggish in recent weeks. It’s a long, long season. Perhaps more troubling is the way the Dodgers have been playing offensively at home, really for some time now. True, they played very well at home against good teams (Reds, Rays) mainly with outstanding pitching. But they aren’t scoring much in Dodger Stadium, suggesting a need to start playing more “small ball” and not count on Puig or Ramirez or A-Gon to hit one out of that huge ball park. If Kemp returns fully healthy (a big if), it might be just what they need. But no one at all can keep up the pace these guys have been on the past two months and not go through a few bumps in the road; better now than in the playoffs.

    • LasordasLair

      I mostly agree with you. But not being able to score runs at home is a huge problem. They had the same problem last season remember? In the second half they stopped scoring runs at home and it cost them big time. The problem as I see it, is they just give up in games. Like on Sunday against Peavy, and last night vs, Wood. That was the same guy they lit up like a Xmas tree three weeks ago in Chicago. Whats he difference now? The difference is their terrible plate approaches and they cant score before the 6th inning at home anymore. They’re going to have to make some adustments and start scoring at home and stop giving away at-bats. You could tell on Sunday and yesterday and even on saturday too, they just gave up. Two hits through seven innings against Travis Wood? They werent even getting on base at all, just grounders and pop-ups. It’s expected that they wont continue to play .850 ball, but they need to stop rolling over in games at home. Start having smarter at-bats, stop falling out of hitter’s counts and they need to stop being overconfident. It’s not over until they clinch the division.

      • michael passe

        I guess we could consider how many teams would love to have the Dodgers’ problems, to where people are saying “what’s wrong with them?” when they go through a short stretch of .500 ball. They just need to manufacture a few more runs or whatever you want to call it, string together hits like they do on the road. They were consistently scoring with 2 out and now they’re stranding more runners. But it’s hardly a crisis at this point, the pitching keeps them in nearly every game and you can go a long way winning 2 out of every three in MLB.

        • LasordasLair

          Ive heard there is a nasty flu bug going around the clubhouse that they picked up in Miami, so that may explain the offensive malaise of late.

    • Stacie Wheeler

      Great comment. The Dodgers have definitely struggled a bit offensively at home, and they haven’t fared well against their NL West counterparts during those first two months. Hopefully they’ll be able to fend off the D-backs in those 7 key games. The D-backs will not go down easily, and Paul Goldschmidt is still a huge Dodger killer.

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