It seems like there’s never a dull moment for the Dodgers these days. After losing their first series in two months last weekend, the Dodgers bounced back to take two of three games from the Chicago Cubs. Zack Greinke continued his recent run of dominance and Ricky Nolasco continued to impress Dodgers fans with another top notch start.

Amazingly, the game the Dodgers lost was with Clayton Kershaw pitching as he was outdueled by Cubs all-star Travis Wood and in typical Dodgers fashion, he received no run support. Oh, and of course, there was more commotion surrounding Yasiel Puig on Wednesday, but that didn’t stop the Dodgers from winning. Let’s look back at the series.

DODGERS PITCHING CONTINUES TO DOMINATE

Zack Greinke had allowed only three hits through eight innings of work Monday night and he came out for the ninth inning in hopes of getting his second complete game of the year. Greinke was able to get the first two outs of the ninth, but after an Anthony Rizzo double and a hit-by-pitch, Brian Bogusevic doubled home two runs.

Greinke wouldn’t finish off the complete game, but Brian Wilson came in to record the final out and the Dodgers got the win. Greinke improved to 13-3 on the year and lowered his ERA to 2.86.

Ricky Nolasco might have been even better Wednesday afternoon. Nolasco pitched eight shutout innings, striking out 11, allowing only three hits and one walk.  Nolasco improved to 11-9 on the season and he’s now 6-1 with a 2.20 ERA since joining the Dodgers.

Kershaw had his shortest outing since the end of April going only 5.2 innings. Despite allowing seven hits and walking three, Kershaw held the Cubs to only two runs, one earned in the first six innings with the aid of nine strikeouts.

The Dodgers offense didn’t support Kershaw yet again. They didn’t break through against Wood until the sixth inning on a Juan Uribe RBI single. The Cubs added an insurance run in the seventh, so Andre Ethier’s RBI single in the eighth was rendered moot. However, despite, an offensive lull in one game, the Dodgers pitching staff allowed only 5 runs in three games. Not too shabby.

PUIG DRAMA, AGAIN

It seemed like everything had been going just fine for Puig since the hoopla in Miami. However, Puig got pulled to start the top of the fifth inning of Wednesday’s game in what appeared to be a disciplinary action by Don Mattingly. Puig supposedly wasn’t giving enough effort in the outfield as he didn’t run out to his position.

Hanley Ramirez promptly homered off of Cubs’ starter Edwin Jackson to give the Dodgers an early 1-0 lead.  Maybe it could have been 2-0?  Puig was doing his best Andruw Jones impression the outfield, barely raising his glove to catch fly balls and flinging them with his glove hand into the stands. While Mattingly kept mum about it after the game, Puig agreed with his manager’s decision after the game and said he needed to be more prepared in the outfield.

I think everyone knows Puig has to cool his jets from time-to-time, but I really wish people would give him a break. MLB Network referred to him as “Baseball’s Bad Boy.”

Sure Puig has made some poor decisions on the field and off the field, however, let’s not forget, Puig is only 22. He didn’t grow up in America, he didn’t go to college for four years and he’s only been in the country for about six months.  I’m pretty sure he’s still going through an adjustment period and there’s been a bit of culture shock.  Let’s cut this guy a break.  You tell me which 20-22 year old male doesn’t think he’s the s**t.

Puig’s talent is unrivaled and we’ve only barely begun to crack the surface of it so let him grow and make some mistakes. Puig will figure things out along the way, but it’s not going to be overnight. Watch Puig refocus and make everyone pay for this over the weekend against the Padres.

OFFENSE REAWAKENS

Not including Tuesday’s 3-2 loss, the Dodgers tallied 10 runs in two games.  They also had four home runs in those two games, two from Hanley Ramirez, one from Puig, and one from Andre Ethier.

Monday night’s game was one of those typical Dodger wins where, the game lulled early on, then the offense started getting going, then it wore down Chicago’s pitching and then Zack Greinke took care of the rest.

Same could be said of Wednesday’s game. There was some concern after the Dodgers struggled against Boston, but that was a really good team and both instances where the team lost, they bounced back with big offensive efforts in the next game.

The Dodgers will have three games against the San Diego Padres starting Friday. The Padres just lost two of three games to the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Los Angeles is 6-7 against San Diego so far this year, but the two teams haven’t played since the end of June.

Carlos Quentin, who set off the infamous brawl with Zack Greinke, is done for the season with a knee injury. The Padres recently released starting pitcher Edinson Volquez and the Dodgers just signed him to a major league deal for the rest of the season.  Will Volquez make an appearance in the series?  Perhaps.  Hyun-Jin Ryu (12-5, 3.08 ERA) will take the mound Friday for the Dodgers and he’ll be opposed by the Padres’ Eric Stults (8-11, 3.72 ERA).

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In case you missed it, be sure to find out more about Yasiel Puig’s benching.

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