on Comcast SportsNet
On the hill: Chris Rusin (1-0, 2.93 ERA); Ricky Nolasco (6-9, 3.72 ERA)
Rusin at home (Career): 1-0, 6.30 ERA, 8 K's, 3 Walks, 10 IP
Nolasco vs. Cubs: 1-0, 3.86 ERA, 2 K's, 2 Walks, 7 IP
Dodgers at at a glance: 57-49 (1st in National League West, 2.5 games ahead of Arizona)
Puig mania: The Dodgers have Yasiel Puig to thank for much of their climb to No. 1 in the NL West. The 22-year-old Cuban rookie has played in 50 major league games, recording a 71 hits, 36 runs and 10 home runs. This will be his first career game against the Cubs.
Dodgers pitching leaders: Wins - Clayton Kershaw (10); ERA - Kershaw (1.87); Strikeouts - Kershaw (161); Saves - Kenley Jansen (14)
Dodgers batting leaders: Average - Adrian Gonzalez (.298); Home runs - Gonzalez (15); RBIs - Gonzalez (65); On-base percentage - Gonzalez (.350)
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David DeJesus chatted with Theo Epstein on the day No. 2 overall pick Kris Bryant had his press conference with super-agent Scott Boras and took batting practice at Wrigley Field.
DeJesus was still on the disabled list on July 12, rehabbing the shoulder he sprained crashing into the wall at New York’s Citi Field a month earlier. That hard-charging style of play – and easy-going personality off the field – has made him popular within the clubhouse.
The first free agent signed by the Epstein administration didn’t know what the team president was going to do at the non-waiver deadline or if he’d fit into the future plans. But DeJesus saw it from a different perspective while he was injured.
“It’s cool to see how their mindset is growing,” DeJesus recalled. “From the outside, you can start to see these little pieces start to fit together and I was telling (Theo) that. I was just complimenting him. When you’re not playing, when you’re not on the field, you can take a step back and look at it and be like: ‘OK, well, these guys are starting to come together. These guys will come up at the same time together and blossom together.’ And that’s how winning teams stay winning teams for a long time.”
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The future sounds nice, but there are still almost two full months left in this season. There were no seismic shifts in the clubhouse after Wednesday’s non-waiver deadline and the Cubs went out and beat the Milwaukee Brewers 6-1 at Clark and Addison.
This shouldn’t become a Triple-A Iowa product. DeJesus went 2-for-3 with a walk and three RBI. Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro combined for two homers, three RBI and four hits. Edwin Jackson worked around a rain delay that lasted more than an hour, allowing only one run across eight innings.
“It was relieving that we don’t have to answer any questions anymore,” said Jackson, who improved to 7-11 with a 4.65 ERA. “There were a lot of questions being asked about trades and we don’t really have those answers. Now everything’s done.
“We’ve made every trade we’re going to make – at least before the deadline – and now we can get on with playing baseball and concentrate on what we need to concentrate on.”
The Cubs (49-58) didn’t find a market for closer Kevin Gregg, who would have been a setup guy on a contending team.
Disappointed you won’t be joining a pennant race and getting the chance to play in a World Series?
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“There’s positives and negatives to both directions,” Gregg said. “Right now, all I got to do is take the positive out of being here.”
Dioner Navarro had been mentioned earlier as part of a potential package deal with Matt Garza, and then emerged as a possible short-term replacement for Yadier Molina when the St. Louis Cardinals catcher went on the disabled list on Wednesday with a knee injury. But it was all talk for the Cubs at the deadline.
“Me and Yadi got the same agent, so he called me up to say there was a lot of rumors about me going to St. Louis because of Yadi’s health situation,” Navarro said. “It’s a tough position to be in. (But) I love it here. I want to play here. I love the city. I love this ballpark. I love my teammates. I love the coaching staff. I love everything about this town. I’m just glad I will stay here the rest of the season, hopefully, and try to turn this organization around.”
DeJesus, whose family has a place in suburban Wheaton, feels the exact same way. So does his wife, @KimDeJesus9, who took the celebration to Twitter and social media.
The Cubs hold a $6.5 million club option for next season. As much as DeJesus wants to be a veteran presence for the kids, he also doesn’t want to be typecast as the old guy.
“I can still help them out…but still play the game,” DeJesus said. “Don’t get me wrong. I still know that I can play the game, that’s for sure."