After recording a season-high run total and matching their highest hit count of the year, the Dodgers hope for another strong showing at the plate against Cook on Tuesday night in the middle game of the NL West rivals’ three-game series at Coors Field.
Cook (3-1, 4.68 ERA) gave up four runs in 1 2-3 innings May 16 before bouncing back and holding Atlanta to four hits in a 9-0 victory Thursday. The right-handed sinkerballer recorded 20 groundouts and said his ability to keep the ball down helped him finish his second career shutout.
“I didn’t need to show up today,” catcher Chris Iannetta(notes) said of his easy task of calling pitches for Cook. “The choice was between a sinker and a sinker. … It was the best sinker I’ve seen this year.”
“When he’s got that sinker with that late movement, it’s every bit as good as it gets in this game,” McCann said.
While that’s high praise for Cook, the Dodgers (31-15) have to feel confident about their chances against anyone after their 16-6 rout of the Rockies on Monday.
James Loney(notes), Russell Martin(notes), Juan Castro(notes) and Matt Kemp(notes) had three hits apiece and Juan Pierre(notes) had a bases-loaded triple as Los Angeles reached 19 hits for the second time this season. The Dodgers first recorded 19 hits in a 14-2 home win over the Rockies (18-26) on April 19.
“When you look at our guys the way they’re lined up, we can score runs,” said manager Joe Torre, whose club has averaged 5.9 runs while going 10-7 since Manny Ramirez(notes) was suspended for 50 games May 7 for testing positive for a banned substance.
“We’re going to make contact for the most part, we’re not going to swing and miss a whole lot. We have a very deep bench and a very deep lineup. We’re going to make pitchers work to beat us.”
Cook, 5-6 with a 4.15 ERA in 20 career games against the Dodgers, is 2-1 with a 2.94 ERA in five starts since the beginning of the 2008 season.
Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier(notes) is 9 for 19 (.474) with two home runs and two doubles in his career against Cook. Second baseman Orlando Hudson(notes), who’s batting .364 during a 15-game hitting streak, is 15 for 38 (.395) against him.
Colorado could use another strong start from Cook as they try to rebound from Monday’s embarrassment. The Rockies gave up seven runs in the fourth inning, then rallied to pull within one run before giving up eight more in the seventh.
Promoted from Triple-A Albuquerque on May 14, Eric Milton(notes) (0-0, 4.50) will make his second start for the Dodgers on Tuesday. The left-hander allowed two runs and two hits while walking four in four innings of Los Angeles’ 6-3 loss at Florida last Saturday.
Milton is 2-1 with a 4.66 ERA in five starts against Colorado, which he hasn’t faced since 2006.