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Wednesday, September 4, 2013
Edinson Volquez leaves a shaky impression

By Mark Saxon


DENVER -- It's hard to know what the Los Angeles Dodgers learned about their newest pitcher Wednesday night.

On one hand, Edinson Volquez looked very similar to the pitcher who had a 6.01 ERA for the San Diego Padres before the Dodgers salvaged him from the scrap heap of August free agency. On the other hand, the Dodgers won't run into the Colorado Rockies in the playoffs.

Volquez made his first start as a Dodger and lasted just four innings in a 7-5 loss to the Rockies at Coors Field.

Even by the standards of this stadium, it was ugly. In the first two innings, Rockies batters collectively hit for the cycle. Todd Helton hit a majestic, soaring home run to right. Josh Rutledge tripled to center field, the ball short-hopping a wall that's 415 feet from home plate. Troy Tulowitzki pounded a double off the top of the left-field wall.

It's not often a pitcher performs as poorly against one opponent as Volquez has against Colorado this season. He actually lowered his season ERA versus Colorado, from 13.08 to 12.43, though his record fell to 0-5 in six starts.

The Dodgers didn't get much out of Wednesday's game, but they did see one of their best players, Yasiel Puig, get back on the field after sitting out a couple of games because of a sore knee. Puig pinch hit in the eighth inning and struck out against Manny Corpas.

Most of the Dodgers' main players watched most of it from afar.

In spring training, teams are supposed to field lineups with at least four regulars. The Dodgers might have run afoul of MLB with the squad they trotted out Wednesday evening. Hanley Ramirez, A.J. Ellis and Juan Uribe were the only regulars starting, with the rest of the usual starters getting a night off.

Manager Don Mattingly fielded a similar lineup and the Dodgers won on Tuesday, but this one didn't generate much action. Jorge De La Rosa had the Dodgers off balance and, when they got things going, something unraveled it. Scott Van Slyke hit into a double play with the bases loaded in the sixth.

Another new guy, Carlos Marmol, also didn't help his chances of sticking with the Dodgers when they align their playoff bullpen. Marmol gave up three hits and three runs in the seventh inning. It was a spring training-like inning. A ball from the outfield caromed off the mound for an error. Marmol committed a balk to let in a run. In his previous 10 appearances, Marmol had been unscored upon.

On the bright side, Michael Young has looked like a nice pickup, albeit in just two games. Young had three hits, including two RBIs, and is 4-for-9 since coming to the Dodgers in a trade with the Philadelphia Phillies.