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)


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