Dodgers Lineup vs. New YorkCrawford 7M.Ellis 4Kemp 8Gonzalez 3Hairston 5Ethier 9A.J. Ellis 2Sellers 6Kershaw 1
Clayton Kershaw-2-2 vs. Jonathon Niese-2-1
Start spreading the news, the Dodgers are leaving LA. Our beloved Boys in Blue flew into the Big Apple, because if they can make it there, they can make it anywhere. Ok, ok, enough New York puns.
The Dodgers fly into New York to take on the Mets in a three game series that starts tonight. The series will feature Ted Lilly’s first start on Wednesday, and the Dodgers will also get their first look at the Met’s super prospect, starting pitcher Matt Harvey in tomorrow’s game. The last time the Dodgers were in New York at Citi Field, was last July, and that ended in a Dodger sweep. Let’s hope we get the same results.
The Dodgers come into the Big Apple after having finally snapped their six game losing streak with a win on Sunday in Baltimore. The Dodgers are on the final leg of this six game road trip, and are hoping to at least split the trip before coming back home on Friday.
The main story for the Dodgers other than their constant losery over the last two weeks, has been the injuries to their pitching staff. So the Dodgers have a million injuries to the pitching staff again. What else is new? The latest to fall prey was Chad Billingsley. He’s scheduled to have an MRI later today, and as soon as we hear anything we’ll pass it along to you. Right hander Stephen Fife has replaced him in the rotation for the time being.
Clayton Kershaw-Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
The Dodgers will send their ace Clayton Kershaw to the mound tonight. Kershaw had a rough start against the Padres in his last outing. Kershaw gave up three home runs, and walked four, in 5.1 innings pitched last time. That’s obviously not the Kershaw we all know and love. Kershaw has never lost to the Mets. He is 5-0 with a 1.37 ERA, in six starts. He’s 2-0 with a 0.71 ERA in two games at Citi Field. The Mets are batting .270 (17 for 63) against Kershaw, without a home run. Nobody has any success off of Kershaw. Superstar David Wright is hitting just .167 (2 for 12) against Kershaw. John Buck, the catcher they got in the mega trade with the Blue Jays, has gotten off to a great start, but is only batting .125 off Kershaw. Buck has certainly gotten off to a hot start. The veteran backstop has slugged seven home runs, driven in 22 runs, and is batting .290, so the Dodgers will have to watch for him as well. Kershaw os 2-2 on the season with a 1.88 ERA.
The Mets will counter with left hander Jonathon Niese. The lefty is certainly a familiar foe for the Dodgers, as they have seen him many times over the years. In Niese’s last start he allowed three runs in six frames to the Rockies in Denver. Niese has made 50 starts at Citi Field, and has posted an 16-18 record, with a 3.88 ERA. Against the Dodgers he has limited the Boys in Blue to a .227 (15 for 66) batting average against, with a .484 OPS. He has not allowed a home run, and nobody has any real past success off of Niese. Matt Kemp, and Andre Ethier are both 4 for 9 off the left hander. Niese is 2-1 with a 3.80 ERA in 2013, and is 1-0 in his career versus the Dodgers.
New York Mets starting pitcher Jonathon Niese (49) throws a pitch against the Miami Marlins during the fourth inning of a game at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
The Mets have gotten off to a fairly decent start. They are 9-8, and 6-3 at home. They just completed a series win over the Nationals, and are third in the National League in runs scored. The Mets have scored 99 runs. By comparison, the Dodgers have only scored 54.
Speaking of the Mets, I was a guest on the Rising Apple’s third episode of their Podcast called the Rising Apple Report yesterday afternoon. We discussed the upcoming Dodgers/Mets series, the pitching match-ups, the Grienke incident, The injuries to the Dodger pitching staff, and more. You can check it out here, Risingapplereport/2013/04/22/nats-series-wrapup-dodgers-preview.
First pitch is at 4:05 PM, and you can catch the game on KCAL 9. Check in with us after the game for our usual postgame recap. Let’s hope the Dodgers are in a New York state of mind tonight. Go Blue.