I KNEW mattingly Would Find a Way to Blow It

When the empty uniform non manager don mattingly ransacked his starting rotation so that Clayton Kershaw would pitch early, going against yankee ace Hiroki Kuroda, I KNEW that the end result would be at least one Dodgers’ loss that should not happen. Forcing Ricky Nolasco out of his five-day rotation pace and making him wait SEVEN DAYS between starts will undoubtedly result in another lose tonight.

mattingly screwed up a second time last night when he pulled Kershaw after he had made only 97 pitches over eight innings. The result was, of course, the bullpen blowing the game in the ninth (though with help from the over-energetic Yasiel Puig). Of course, the one bullpen guy that the empty uniform can count on, Kenley Jansen, never got into the game.



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The Dodgers have a frail, two-and-one-half game lead over Arizona, and a few days ago I would have thought that was ok, that the Dodgers, even with mattingly, could outlast the Diamondbacks, and in the purely awful NL West, end on top. But, the biggest deal of the trade-deadline thunderstorm was pulled off by Arizona, ridding themselves of one loss every five games by trading away the trojan brain surgeon one-year-wonder Headhunter ian kennedy. Not only will Arizona no longer have one assured defeat every five games, but they acquired a solid lefty for their bullpen in Joe Thatcher, plus a future starter in Matt

Stites.

Of course injuries, that have dramatically effected virtually every contender all season, have wrecked havoc on the Arizona starting staff, as, similar to the Dodgers’, they have three guys who should each be regular starters all on the DL, and all likely to remain there the rest of the season. In fact, it is an interesting exercise to compare just who has the better starting staff on their respective DLs, the Dodgers (Josh Beckett, Chad Billingsley, and Stephen Fife) or Arizona (Trevor Cahill, Daniel Hudson, and Brandon McCarthy)? It’s a close call, with Arizona winning by a nose. But, if you look at the entire DL and see Matt Kemp on the LA list, it’s no contest.

In tonight’g game at Wrigley – where the Dodgers have lost four of its last five series against the lowly Cubs, Chicago will start Chris Rusin, who took over Scot Feldman’s spot after he was traded to Baltimore. Rusin has made three starts and has improved immensely with each subsequent start. If the wind is blowing in tonight, expect to see the Cubs win a low scoring game. If the wind is blowing out, expect to see the Cubs win a high scoring game.

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