Edinson Volquez has a chance to make the Dodgers look very, very good today.
Led by Ricky Nolasco, yesterday’s 7-4 win over the Rockies gave the appearance that the Dodgers can rest half their starters, give up six runs and still win. (The appropriate response: “Must be nice.”)
Can the Dodgers one-up themselves?
Several starting position players are getting the day off again as the Dodgers go for the sweep today — Yasiel Puig, Carl Crawford, Andre Ethier, Adrian Gonzalez and Mark Ellis. The scheduled starter, Volquez, has the sixth-highest career ERA at Coors Field (8.39) of any pitcher with at least seven starts at the ballpark. In three starts this season he’s allowed 21 runs, all earned, in 12 ⅔ innings at Coors. That’s made for a 14.92 ERA, the highest in a single season for any pitcher with at least three starts at the park.
Short of trading for Jeremy Guthrie and putting him on the mound — his 9.50 career ERA is the highest of any active starter at Coors — the Dodgers are doing their best to prove they can win with anybody in Denver.
Volquez has told reporters that he might have been tipping pitches recently. If that was indeed the problem and the magician has been revealing his secrets, pitching coach Rick Honeycutt‘s magic-bullet discovery would be enough to make Penn and Teller jealous.
A couple pregame notes:
• The Atlanta Braves lost to the New York Mets, temporarily moving the Dodgers 1 ½ games behind the Braves for the NL’s best record.
• As of last night, the Dodgers now lead the majors in average road attendance, drawing 2,392,116 in 67 dates for an average of 35,703. The Dodgers’ 45,696 average at home also leads MLB.
• The Arizona Diamondbacks’ game against the Toronto Blue Jays (click here for the live box score) will be over by the time the Dodgers take the field. Arizona is currently 13 ½ games out of first place. The Dodgers’ magic number to clinch the division is 12.
Here’s how the two teams will line up for the 5:40 p.m. game (televised locally on KCAL, Channel 9):
Jerry Hairston Jr. LF
Nick Punto 2B
Hanley Ramirez SS
Michael Young 1B
Scott Van Slyke RF
A.J. Ellis C
Juan Uribe 3B
Skip Schumaker CF
Edinson Volquez P