Sunday's game against the Rockies offers up an interesting story line, as Ricky Nolasco, Los Angeles native and fan for life, starts his first game at Chavez Ravine, with Dodgers emblazoned across his chest.
"It is a dream come true," said Nolasco of becoming a member of the Dodgers. On Thursday he was asked about the anticipation that he will face on Sunday with pitching in Los Angeles, answering that he has to be able to treat it like just another day, "it is the same game. The same adrenaline, I have to keep it basically the same."
He has pitched at Dodger Stadium twice before while he was with the Marlins. He was 1-1 against the Dodgers, lasting five innings and giving up eight runs in 2011, and in 2008 had a two-run, six-inning outing.
In his first start with the Dodgers, in Arizona, he lasted seven innings and gave up four hits for one run, with five strikeouts, in a 6-1 victory.
Catcher, A.J. Ellis, had words of praise for Nolasco's first start on Thursday, saying that he has a good, "ability to mix his pitches, (and) an amazing feel for his offspeed. It's something you see on the film, but don't realize how good it is till you catch it."
When asked if he could tell that Nolasco was excited to play for his home-town team Ellis just stuck with what he saw on the mound, "he was very focused, very determined."
We'll see if Nolasco can stay so focused and determined on Sunday. He has already said that he expects a large number of family and friends to be at the stadium for his start.
What makes this storyline so great with Nolasco is that he is not a prospect getting his first crack at the bigs. He is a seasoned played with close to 200 career starts, so while he is excited to be playing for this team, he maintains his professionalism while still appreciating the experience.
Sunday's game is against the Colorado Rockies and will feature Nolasco against Jhoulys Chacin in the final game before the All Star Break