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Dodgers Bullpen Struggling Of Late

Don Mattingly has not gotten good results when going to the bullpen this week.
Don Mattingly has not gotten good results when going to the bullpen this week.

The Dodgers bullpen has struggled mightily of late, as the relievers have allowed nine runs and 17 hits in 8 2/3 innings over the last five games, with 10 walks and 14 strikeouts during that span. There have been 14 individual relief appearances in the last five games with just one clean outing with no baserunners, and even that was just a one-out appearance by Scott Elbert on Tuesday in Colorado.

The good news, if there is any, about the Dodgers' current two game losing streak is that Javy Guerra and Kenley Jansen have gotten some rest. Coupled with Thursday's off day, both Jansen and Guerra have not pitched since Tuesday. Jansen is tied with Francisco Rodriguez of the Milwaukee Brewers for most games pitched in the National League this season, with 15, and Guerra is close behind with 13 appearances.

Since Todd Coffey and Ronald Belisario have joined the Dodgers bullpen on the road trip, here is a look at the bullpen usage for the last week.

Pitches Thrown, Dodgers Bullpen
Pitcher Sat Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri
Guerra 22 19
Jansen 26 27
Lindblom 14 21* 20 15
Wright 12 28*
Elbert 5 8 6 2 21
Coffey 14 23
Belisario 2 inn.^ 22 12
*Pitched in more than one inning; ^Belisario threw 2 innings in Class A (unknown pitch count)

Today's Pitching Matchup

The Dodgers look to snap that two-game losing streak on Saturday morning at Wrigley Field as they battle the Cubs in the second game of a three-game series. Chris Capuano looks to become the first four-game winner on the staff as he starts for the Dodgers.

After a shaky first start, Capuano has allowed two runs or less in each of his last four starts. During that span, Capuano has 25 strikeouts and eight walks in 25 innings, with a 1.80 ERA.

Chris Volstad was supposed to start Sunday for the Cubs but got pushed up to Saturday to start in place of Matt Garza. Volstad has a 6.11 ERA through five starts and has allowed 32 hits in 28 innings, though he does have 20 strikeouts against just seven walks on the season. The Cubs have lost all five of Volstad's starts this season.

Starting Lineups

Bobby Abreu gets his first start as a Dodger, in left field.

Dodgers Cubs
SS Gordon RF DeJesus
2B Ellis CF Mather
CF Kemp SS Castro
RF Ethier
1B LaHair
LF Abreu LF Soriano
3B Hairston
3B Stewart
1B Loney 2B Barney
C Treanor C Soto
P Capuano P Volstad

Game Time: 10:05 a.m.

TV: Prime Ticket

MLB Gameday