The Dodgers and Cubs won't have to worry about the lights going out in today's series finale, as they play a more traditional day game, featuring a hometown boy pitching against a man facing the team that drafted him. The Dodgers have had six "rubber games" this season, a third game of a series tied at one win apiece. They have won all three such home games, and lost all three on the road. A win today would even the Dodgers road record at 12-12.
Harvey, Illinois native John Ely continues his rookie run for the Dodgers, coming into the game having thrown six innings in all five major league starts, with a streak of four straight quality starts, and a 28-to-4 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Scores of family and friends will be in the stands to watch their native son, who was drafted by the crosstown White Sox in 2007. Ely grew up about 30 minutes from Wrigley Field, and his mother will be wired for sound today for the Dodgers Media Network.
Ted Lilly was drafted by the Dodgers way back in 1996, but was traded to the Expos at the 1998 trading deadline in the famous Hiram Bocachica trade, also featuring throw-ins Carlos Perez and Mark Grudzielanek. Lilly is 2-1 with a 3.16 ERA in five starts against his original organization, including giving up just three runs in 13 innings over two starts last season.
Last night, Jonathan Broxton got the final five outs of the game in notching his 11th save of the season. Since becoming the full-time closer in July 2008, Broxton has been asked to get a save of more than one inning 13 times, and has converted 12 of those opportunities:
|Jonathan Broxton Multi-Inning Saves|
- The Dodgers are 6-7 in day games this season, or perhaps 7-7 depending on how you would classify last Saturday's 4pm start against Detroit.
- The Dodgers have given up 21 unearned runs on the road this season, compared to four at home
- Jonathan Broxton has yet to allow a run on the road this season, in 8 2/3 innings
- Casey Blake was hitting .233/.323/.397 before the start of the last homestand, but thanks to four home runs in his last eight games he is now hitting .273/.353/.493.
- Derrek Lee of the Cubs has six hits in eight at-bats in this series, with a double, a home run, and a walk.
- Mark Townsend of Bugs & Cranks is having a tournament of sorts to decide the best ballpark food. There are numerous battles in the Sweet 16; here is hot dogs vs. brats.
UPDATE: Per Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times, reliever Justin Miller's contract was purchased from Triple A, and Ramon Ortiz was designated for assignment. This still leaves the Dodgers with 11 pitchers, and I wonder if a 12th pitcher will still be added before tomorrow night's "bullpen game" in Colorado, as Joe Torre has said in the past few days.
Xeifrank's simulation of today's game is here.
Game Time: 11:20am
TV: Prime Ticket, MLB Network