The storyline before the Dodgers game against the Rockies on Sunday was about Ricky Nolasco, hometown boy making his first start for the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Only thing is Nolasco's "dream come true" scenario probably had a better ending.
Nolasco went just five inning and gave up three runs on eight hits and three walks. At least one runner reached base in every inning, but things could have been much worse if Nolasco had not found a way out of many of the situations he faced.
Nolasco could not contain Michael Cuddyer though. He crashed the homecoming party, hitting 2-3 with all three of Colorado's RBI and a home run.
Mattingly pulled Nolasco at 82 pitches, but acknowledged that he normally would not do it.
"We went to the pen early considering that we have four days off," Mattingly said. "He was keeping us in there. Wwe wanted to put Yasiel in, it was a good spot to take a shot at something."
The Dodger offense was running dry with just two hits headed into the bottom of the fifth inning, when Yasiel Puig pinch hit and stayed in to play right field. He promptly banged a single to left field.
Skip Schumaker followed with a single, and with two outs Adrian Gonzalez singled to right field to score Puig from second base for the Dodgers first run of the game.
It's frustrating because as soon as Puig entered the game he energized the stadium and the lineup, scoring their only run, but nobody really wanted to see him in the game, over resting his sore hip. Granted, Puig appeared healthy enough while rounding third base to score, so who are we to judge whether or not he should be playing.
Even with Puig mixed in for half of the game the Dodgers could not produce. They ended with six hits for one run.
J.P. Howell, Ronald Belisario, Paco Rodriguez and Kenley Jansen combined for four innings of scoreless relief.
So, Nolasco's homecoming at Dodger Stadium was not what he hoped for, but he will get a chance to shake it off as he pitches a second consecutive regular season game for the Dodgers after the All Star Break on Friday in Washington against the Nationals.
Tweets From #Dodgers Nation
— Alex Maravilla ⚾ (@amaravilla1) July 14, 2013
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— Vic Wear (@DodgerVic) July 14, 2013
This game has the same feel to it that a lot of those early games did. Here's to the 2nd half! #Dodgers
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