Dodgers starting pitcher Ricky Nolasco struck out 11 Cubs in his eight innings… (Mark J. Terrill / Associated…)
The Dodgers have an ace in Clayton Kershaw and another ace in Zack Greinke. And Ricky Nolasco? What’s he exactly?
Nolasco is giving the Dodgers pitching that’s at least equal to the aces, and currently maybe even better. Crazy but true.
One turn after shutting down the Boston Red Sox, Nolasco was back at it Wednesday afternoon, blanking the Chicago Cubs in his dominating eight innings to lead the Dodgers to a 4-0 victory at Dodger Stadium.
Nolasco held the Cubs to three hits, and has now not given up a run in his last two starts (16 innings).
Supported by solo home runs from Hanley Ramirez and Andre Ethier against former Dodger Edwin Jackson, Nolasco (11-9) breezed through his eight innings. He did not walk a batter until the eighth and struck out 11.
Nolasco, acquired from the Miami Marlins on July 6, is now 6-1 as a Dodger. In his last four games he has posted a 1.08 earned-run average. In the month of August, he is 5-0 with a 1.64 ERA. Otherwise, he’s just been another guy.
Kenley Jansen completed the dominating pitching performance for the Dodgers, striking out the side in the ninth inning (corrected: there was no save).
The shutout was the Dodgers’ 19th on the season, easily tops in the majors.
Ramirez started the scoring, hitting his homer off Jackson (7-14) in the first inning. Ethier added his solo shot in the fourth to give the Dodgers a 2-0 lead.
The Dodgers added two more in the fifth inning on singles by Juan Uribe and Tim Federowicz, a throwing error by Jackson on a Nolasco bunt and a Skip Schumaker single.
Schumaker entered the game in the fifth inning for rookie sensation Yasiel Puig. The outfielder was not injured but removed from the game in what team public relations officials termed a manager’s decision.
Cubs Manager Dale Sveum was not on hand for Puig's replacement. Sveum was ejected in the first inning for arguing Puig had not held up on a check swing.
The Dodgers have now won 21 games in August, tying their Los Angeles record for most victories in a calendar month.