Ricky Nolasco looked atrocious again for the third start in a row, and this is becoming a problem.
Barry Zito, in potentially the final start of his career — though who are we kidding, each and every one of us knows he’s going to be a Dodger non-roster invite in the spring — basically shut down a playoff offense over five innings, which would be a problem if it weren’t so hilariously predictable.
Michael Young, Skip Schumaker, & Jerry Hairston did little to make me feel better about their inclusion on the playoff roster bench, either, going 0-10 between them — though Dee Gordon hitting for Hairston in the ninth is a fun wrinkle that we can talk about. (Gordon popped out, which is why I’m only interested in him as a pinch-runner, and too bad, too; a suddenly shaven Adrian Gonzalez pinch-hit and doubled off the wall with two outs, but Hanley Ramirez grounded out hard to third to Nick Noonan to end the game.)
But you know what? The takeaway from this isn’t a negative one. It’s that Matt Kemp doubled and had three hits — fine, at least one was a bloop — giving him five hits in two days. I’m not prepared to announce that “he’s back,” or anything like that, but he certainly looks good at the plate, and with the continued uncertainty around Andre Ethier, the Dodgers could certainly use some good health news in the outfield. If — and I realize this is a Sandoval-sized if — we’re watching the start of a healthy Kemp returning to something to the man we once knew, well… I’ll remember that when he’s causing damage in the playoffs a whole lot more than I will what the score was against Zito and the Giants on September 25.