On the surface, dropping left handed pitching in this series doesn’t make sense; St. Louis hitters batted .280 against right handers and .238 versus lefties.
However, Rodriquez, the Dodger lefty relief specialist out of the bullpen, faded down the stretch and appears to be out of gas.
Since September 3rd, the 22-year old appeared in 13 games spanning 6 1/3 innings. Over that time, he’s allowed five earned runs on eight hits and 12 walks.
“Paco’s been through a little stretch,” manager Don Mattingly said. “It doesn't mean we’ve lost confidence in him.”
Indeed, Rodriguez figures still figures into their long term plans.
Los Angeles gave the roster spot to Marmol in part because of the numbers against St. Louis hitters. Cardinals Matt Carpenter, David Descalso, and Jon Jay have a combined .069 (2-for-29) lifetime average against Marmol, the former Chicago closer.
The roster trade of Capuano for Edinson Volquez appears to have more to do with a lack of confidence in potential starting pitchers Hyun Jin Ryu and Ricky Nolasco.
Ryu lasted only three innings in Game 3 of the NLDS, yielding four runs on six hits and a walk. He also looked thoroughly confused defensively, failing to find the bag with his foot on a potential double play, and throwing to the wrong base on another play.
How the Dodgers feel about Nolasco is clear. With a 2-1 series lead, Los Angeles elected to skip Nolasco in favor of pitching Clayton Kershaw on three days’ rest for the first time in his career. There was no scenario in the Division Series in which Nolasco would receive a start. Kershaw undoubtedly would have gotten the start if his team was trailing in the series as well.
Adding Volquez gives the Dodgers a long man out of the bullpen should Ryu or Nolasco falter. It also gives the team the choice of starting Volquez and placing either Nolasco or the left-handed Ryu in the 'pen.
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