Game One Hundred Eight: Cubs (49-58) vs. Dodgers (57-49)
- Game Time – 7:05pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 186/844
- Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Chris Rusin (1-0, 2.93/0.98) vs. Ricky Nolasco (1-1, 3.13/1.35, 6-9, 3.72/1.24)
The Cubs open a four-game series tonight against Yasiel Puig and the high flying Los Angeles Dodgers. After a miserable start to the season, Don Mattingly has his team atop the NL West with a comfortable four game lead over the Diamondbacks. The Dodgers are 27-7 in their last 34 games and are showing no signs of slowing down.
Thanks to the schedule makers, the Cubs are already done with their season series against both the Diamondbacks and Giants before playing a single game against the Dodgers. The Cubs play the Dodgers seven times this month (three games in LA from August 26 – August 28) and will face a much different club than they saw a year ago. The Cubs were 2-4 in the six games with the Dodgers a year ago.
Carlos Marmol makes his return to Wrigley for the four-game series. Marmol was sent to the Dodgers after the Cubs designated him for assignment. Marmol has appeared in two games in a Dodgers’ uniform and has allowed four runs on six hits with two walks and one strikeout in 2 2/3 innings.
The front office will also get a first hand look at two players they tried to sign but were outbid by the Dodgers. The Cubs were believed to be in the final running for both Yasiel Puig and Hyun-Jin Ryu.
Dale Sveum’s team has played better ball against the west this season (12-12) and has already won as many games as they did a year ago (12-22). The Cubs must start playing better at Wrigley (23-29) and with that said, the next four days will be a big challenge for the Cubs.
Chris Rusin will make his first start at Wrigley of the season tonight, and will take the hill at Wrigley for only the third time. Rusin has pitched well but some feel he has been more lucky than good. After tonight’s matchup of Chris Rusin and Ricky Nolasco, Friday afternoon will be a duel between two very good southpaws when Travis Wood faces Hyun-Jin Ryu. Jeff Samardzija is scheduled to face Chris Capuano on Saturday with Carlos Villanueva wrapping up the series on Sunday afternoon against Zack Greinke. The Cubs will miss Clayton Kershaw this weekend.
Tonight it all starts with Chris Rusin …
Chris Rusin is coming off an excellent start in San Francisco. Rusin tossed seven innings of shutout ball and allowed only three hits with two walks and three strikeouts. Rusin has been very good in his three big league appearances this season … but he has yet to face an offense like the one he’ll face tonight.
Rusin made only two starts at Wrigley last season and did not fare too well. Rusin has made a lot of improvements since last year and tonight will be an excellent test to see exactly how far he has come.
Chris Rusin did not face the Dodgers last season and makes his first regular season appearance against the Dodgers tonight. No one on Los Angeles’ active roster has faced Chris Rusin in a regular season game.
The Cubs will get another look at an old nemesis tonight. Ricky Nolasco has always stepped up his game when he faces the team that took him in the fourth round of the 2001 draft. Nolasco has already beaten the Cubs once this season and he will face the Cubs for the first time in a Dodgers’ uniform tonight.
Ricky Nolasco beat the Cubs back on April 28 in Miami. Nolasco held the Cubs to three run on four hits with two walks and two strikeouts in seven innings. For his career, Nolasco is 5-2 in nine games, eight starts, against the Cubs with a 2.98 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP. Nolasco owns a career mark of 2-2 in four games, three starts, with a 2.45 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP.
Cubs Career Numbers against Ricky Nolasco
- Darwin Barney – 1-for-11 with a triple
- Julio Borbon – 0-for-2 with a walk
- Starlin Castro – 6-for-15 with a double
- David DeJesus – 1-for-6 with three walks
- Dioner Navarro – 7-for-13 with two doubles and a home run
- Anthony Rizzo – 1-for-2 with a double and a walk
- Nate Schierholtz – 4-for-15 with a home run
- Luis Valbuena – 0-for-3
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …