Ryan Vogelsong fractured his pitching hand

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And he did it while batting:

Vogelsong was in the middle of easily his best start of the season when he swung at an inside pitch from Craig Stammen. The ball appeared to hit him squarely on the knuckles of his right hand, and Vogelsong was in obvious pain. He left the game and was replaced by pinch hitter Nick Noonan.

The damage: a dislocated joint in the pinky finger of his pitching hand and breaks above and below the finger. He’ll have surgery today and pins will be inserted. He’s going to be out at least six weeks.

Sadly, this came as Vogelsong was in the midst of his best start of what has been an otherwise awful season, having shut out the Nationals, allowing only three hits in five innings. Now it’s awful again.

Also awful: it looks like Chad Gaudin is the only real option to replace Vogelsong in the rotation. Barring a trade, of course.

Dodgers look to join the Red Sox in the World Series

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One team has punched its ticket to the Fall Classic. Two teams are looking to join them, with the Dodgers carrying the distinct advantage. Los Angeles needs only a split in the final two games of the NLCS while Milwaukee needing to win both games at home. Doable? Absolutely. But to do it, the Brewers are going to have to wake up their sleepy bats.

NLCS Game 6

Dodgers vs. Brewers
Ballpark: Miller Park
Time: 8:39 PM Eastern
TV: FS1
Pitchers:  Hyun-Jin Ryu vs Wade Miley
Breakdown:

The Dodgers will give the ball to left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu, who tossed seven shutout innings in Game 1 of the NLDS but allowed two runs and tossed 72 pitches, failing to get out of the fifth inning, in Game 2 against Milwaukee. Even if he again turns in a short outing Dave Roberts should feel pretty confident, however, as the Dodgers’ bullpen — considered a question mark coming into this series — has allowed only three runs in in 21 and two-thirds innings of work.

For Milwaukee it’s once again Wade Miley, who was the Game 5 “starter,” but who pitched to only one batter. I suppose it’s possible that Craig Counsell will burn him like that again, but it seems more likely that Miley will actually pitch in this game rather than be used as a decoy.

As I noted the other day, though, the Brewers’ pitching gamesmanship has not really been a factor in this series. The real problem for them has been their offense. They’ve scored only 16 runs in five games while batting .219. That’s actually identical to the Dodgers’ run total and average overall, but L.A. has been better at distributing that meager offense. Milwaukee has been cold at the worst times, too, going 5-for-35 with runners in scoring position in the series, including one for their last 11. If that doesn’t change, their season ends tonight.