When the Los Angeles Dodgers acquired Ricky Nolasco on July 6, I’m sure that they didn’t even expect it to work out this well for them.
Before the trade, Nolasco was 5-8 for the Miami Marlins and although his ERA was under 4.00, the Dodgers should have still remained skeptical as to what exactly they were going to get when Nolasco stepped onto the mound at Dodger stadium.
Since the trade, Nolasco has been 8-2 for the Dodgers, while helping solidify the backend of the rotation, especially with the injuries to Chad Billingsley and Josh Beckett and the fact that players like Chris Capuano and Ted Lilly just couldn’t hold their own.
That said, Nolasco has had a rather up and down couple of months for the Dodgers.
In August, Nolasco was virtually unhittable, posting a 5-0 record with a 1.64 ERA. But then the calendar changed to September and so far, Nolasco is 2-1 with a 6.16 ERA. Those are quite the Jekyll and Hyde stats, but should any of us be surprised? For his career, he is 15 games above .500 but he has a 4.36 ERA, so obviously you have to take the good with the bad when it comes pitchers like Nolasco.
With the playoffs just a few days away, Nolasco takes the mound on Wednesday against the San Francisco Giants in hopes of ending his struggles during the month of September and to prove to the Dodgers organization that he can and will be able to hold his own during the postseason.
With the top end of the postseason rotation knotted up with the likes of Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke and Hyun-Jin Ryu and the fact that a five-man rotation is not completely necessary for the postseason, Nolasco likely gets the fourth spot in the rotation by default, but it sure would be nice for him to go out there and give the Dodgers a quality start just to show that he is indeed ready for when the games count most.