Ricky Nolasco and Lance Lynn take center stage today as the starting pitchers in Game 4 of the National League Championship Series at Dodger Stadium.
Nolasco has yet to make a post season appearance, getting skipped over in the Division Series as Dodger manager Don Mattingly elected to go with Clayton Kershaw on three days’ rest.
In his first nine starts after coming over from the Marlins, Nolasco was brilliant. By winning eight of nine decisions, he appeared to solidify the Dodger rotation.
In four starts since his last win on September 9th, Nolasco has been dismal. The Los Angeles native lasted only 13 innings in those four games, yielding 19 runs on 25 hits. He walked four and hit three more.
“It was a couple bad starts there,” Nolasco admitted. “I didn't locate as good as before, caught a couple of tough breaks here and there. But those things are going to happen here and there. Even in the starts I struggled, I felt good, arm felt good and stuff like that.”
Nolasco has not appeared in a game since September 29th. He’s done his work to stay sharp.
“I got in the sim game a few days ago, and I've seen throwing regularly on the side and long tossing,” Nolasco said. “So I feel good, ready to go.
Mattingly believes his pitcher is ready to go.
“I’d like to see him go nine, honestly,” said a smiling Mattingly. “Ricky seems to be calm about everything. He’s a guy that’s come into this setting and pitched really well for us. I feel like Ricky’s going to be fine tonight."
The two teams have combined for only 9 runs in 31 innings, and are on pace to set the Championship Series record for offensive futility.
The only Cardinals starter to get a loss in the NLDS against the Pirates, Lynn has struggled in this year’s post season, giving up five runs in two appearances spanning 6 1/3 innings.
The St. Louis starter is ready to go in the series that so far has been dominated by pitching.
“You have two really good offensive teams that haven’t done much so far, and I've never been one to be naive of the fact that somebody’s probably due,” Lynn said. “We have two great offenses here that haven’t done anything yet, so there could be a couple of good games here offensively. But as a starting pitcher, you don’t want to see it.”
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