08/28/10 6:22 PM ET
Lilly puts perfect Dodgers run on line vs. Rox
By Alex DiFilippo / MLB.com
Lilly is 5-0 with a 1.83 ERA in five starts for his new club since being acquired from the Cubs before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline. On Sunday against the Rockies, he'll try to become the first Dodgers pitcher to win his first six starts since Kaz Ishii accomplished the feat in 2002.
As the Dodgers try to discover whether they are a viable contender for the National League Wild Card, Lilly, along with Manny Ramirez, have uncertain futures with the club. Lilly's start will be the last before the Dodgers must decide whether to trade him before Wednesday, if he's claimed by another team.
With the way he's been throwing, Lilly could undoubtedly be a valuable addition to a needy contending club. He'll take the mound on Sunday afternoon and try to earn the series victory for the Dodgers at Coors Field.
He's had success against the Rockies this season, tossing a two-hit shutout against them on Aug. 19. In fact, he's had success against Colorado throughout his career, posting a 4-1 record with a 3.90 ERA in six starts.
Lilly is coming off a start he wasn't particularly happy with. On Tuesday against the Brewers, the southpaw said he was leaving pitches up in the strike zone and was bailed out by strong defensive plays. But his line looked good, throwing 6 1/3 innings, while only allowing three earned runs off seven hits.
"I got away with quite a few pitches," Lilly said. "I just wasn't locating. I was leaving just about everything arm side on all my misses. We got some good 'D' and I got away with a few and a few of the balls that were hit hard, were right at guys."
Opposite Lilly will be Jason Hammel, who is coming off two quality starts that both led to no-decisions. The right-hander hasn't given up more than four runs in a start since July 21, yet will look for only his second victory since July 10.
Dodgers: Manny out of lineup on Saturday
For the third straight game, Dodgers slugger Manny Ramirez was out of the Dodgers' starting lineup on Saturday night. Manager Joe Torre and general manager Ned Colletti said it had nothing to do with Ramirez's waiver status.
Ramirez was claimed off waivers Friday by the White Sox. The Dodgers have until Tuesday morning to deal him and the remaining $4.3 million on his contract to Chicago or keep him.
"It's not an easy decision. It has nothing to do with the waivers and the gossip," Torre said of his decision to keep Ramirez out of the lineup. "I'm not messing with you. There's no reasoning I can give you that will make sense. A lot of what I do is a feel thing. He's still there, but now all of a sudden instead of four outfielders we have six or seven, all with different skills. Which personality do I want today? There's no guarantee the decision-making is going to work. Right now, I just like the feel of what's going on. And Manny was part of it three days ago."
Rockies: Consistency key in Wild Card race
For Rockies manager Jim Tracy, the NL Wild Card will be won and lost based on what team plays the best fundamental baseball down the stretch.
His club sits nine games out of the lead in the National League West, but is only 4 1/2 games back in the Wild Card race.
"The team that plays more consistently than any of the others -- the team that performs consistently offensively, that catches the ball collectively and plays its offensive innings and picks up its big hits when the opportunities are there and they pitch from the mound as a starter and from the bullpen -- that's who's going to take up another playoff spot," Tracy said. "I guarantee it. That's who's going to beat out X number of other clubs because they do all those things."
Dodgers catcher Russell Martin is expected to have his broken right hip rescanned next week to see if his fracture is healing properly. ... Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki has a nine-game hitting streak entering Sunday. ... Rockies outfielder Dexter Fowler leads the big leagues with 10 triples this season, despite not spending the entire year in the Majors. ... The Rockies haven't lost two straight home games since their first two home games after the All-Star break, July 27-28 against the Pirates. ... Rockies second baseman Eric Young recorded another stolen base on Saturday, upping his total to seven in 13 games.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.