Yasiel Puig was removed from the game on Wednesday afternoon after just four innings, but that only gave him a better view, from the dugout, of Ricky Nolasco's latest gem. The right-hander struck out 11 in eight scoreless innings to lead the Dodgers to a 4-0 win over the Cubs and a series win over Chicago.
Nolasco extended his scoreless inning streak to 16 consecutive innings, and pitched his fourth straight quality start. The right-hander captured his fifth straight decision by allowing just three hits and a walk.
Nolasco ended his August at 5-0 with a 1.64 ERA in six starts, with 35 strikeouts and just six walks in 38⅓. innings. The Rialto High School native also has a streak of 20⅔ consecutive scoreless innings at Dodger Stadium.
Puig led off the game with a walk, but not after getting bailed out on a check swing called no swing by first base umpire Lance Barksdale on appeal. That decision did not sit well with Dale Sveum, who moments later was ejected by Barksdale for arguing.
Carl Crawford, batting No. 2 for the first time all season, grounded into a perfectly placed double play as Puig was erased even though he was running on the play. But Hanley Ramirez launched a ball well into the left field pavilion for a quick 1-0 lead in the opening frame.
Ramirez had quite a productive series against the Cubs, going 5-for-12 (.417) with two home runs and four runs scored during the three-game series.
Andre Ethier launched one into the visitor's bullpen in the fourth inning for a 2-0 lead, but the story came after the inning as Skip Schumaker replaced Puig in right field.
Puig was not injured and while speculation ran rampant in the press box and online, the prevailing thought was that he was benched by manager Don Mattingly for disciplinary reasons, with the specific incident(s) to likely be revealed after the game. All we know now is that Puig's removal was simply a manager's decision.
Kenley Jansen, in his first appearance since Friday, pitched the ninth inning, finishing off the Dodgers' MLB-best 19th shutout of the season.
Home runs: Hanley Ramirez (15), Andre Ethier (10)
WP - Ricky Nolasco (11-9): 8 IP, 3 hits, 1 walk, 11 strikeouts
LP - Edwin Jackson (7-14): 6⅔ IP, 6 hits, 4 runs (2 earned), 2 walks, 5 strikeouts