Nathan Eovaldi (1-6, 4.33) vs. Jon Niese (7-4, 3.58)
Mark Ellis 2B
A.J. Ellis C
The Dodgers are seeking a bit of revenge against the Mets today as they hone in for the three-game sweep at Citi Field. Last time at Dodger Stadium, the Mets came away with wins in three of the four games played against the Dodgers. Today will be the rubber game of the season series if you will since both teams have won three games apiece against each other going into this final matchup of the year between the two clubs. The 47-47 Mets have lost eight out of their last nine games, and their pitching is surely to blame. After another disappointing start on Saturday, the Mets placed Johan Santana on the disabled list. Miguel Batista, who they have been looking to for rotation help, wasn’t getting the job done yesterday either as the Dodgers’ offense came alive for the second straight game in New York. Even R.A. Dickey served up a homerun to the most unlikely candidate in a rare relief appearance. Yes, Juan Uribe hit a homerun yesterday. That’s how bad the Mets’ pitching has been.
disabled, but his win-loss record doesn’t reflect the low run support he has had from his teammates. In his nine starts, he has only garnered 11 total runs in support. Eovaldi is still crafting his pitch repertoire, and I feel he is only going to become better as he gains experience. In his last start against the Phillies, Nate picked up the loss after only making it through 5 innings while allowing 3 earned runs on 6 hits. The youngest current Dodger lost June 30th to New York at Dodger Stadium when he gave up 5 earned runs. His ERA is 8.44 against the Mets thus far in 5 1/3 innings pitched against them. The right-hander will need to keep the ball in the park and go deeper into the game in order to notch the win today.
The Mets will look to Jon Niese, the lefty, to stave off the Dodgers who are in sweep mode. Last time out against Washington, Niese pitched well but wasn’t rewarded for it in the no-decision. In 7 innings, he allowed just one homerun and two other hits. In his career against the Dodgers, Niese is 1-0 with a 4.26 ERA in 12 2/3 innings pitched against us. Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier both have done well against Niese in their few at bats they’ve had versus the southpaw. Neither Juan Uribe or Jerry Hairston Jr. have ever been able to get a hit off Niese in the past. Niese will also need to go deeper into the game so that the Mets won’t have to use their league worst bullpen.
A.J. Ellis will be back in the lineup today after missing a couple of games due to knee inflammation. We learned yesterday that A.J.’s knee has been bothering him for the past ten days. It became more swollen after the 12 inning game on Wednesday. His MRI came back negative thankfully, so he may just need some extra days of rest here or there.
For the second day in a row, the game will be televised at 10:10 am on Prime Ticket. After the Dodgers wrap up the series in New York, they will continue their road trip by commencing a four-game series in St. Louis where they will battle the Cardinals.