The Dodgers have returned home after an ok road trip, but finished the trip strong with a series win over the Blue Jays in the final game on Mother’s Day. The Dodgers played five games on artificial turf and came away clean as a whistle. They won three out of the five games, didn’t embarrass themselves as much as we thought they would, and even Carl Crawford survived and didn’t end up getting hurt. That in itself is quite the miracle. I’m sure the Dodgers are glad to be back on natural grass this week.
Tonight the boys in blue will kick off a nine game home stand that begins with a huge four game series with the New York Mets. The series is the first time the two clubs have faced each other since their epic 5-game NLDS last October. Of course the memories are still painfully fresh in our minds, but the Mets pulled out the series win as they ended up going all the way to the World Series.
Dodgers Lineup vs. Mets
Game Time – 7:10 PM – TV-SNLA
The Dodgers are back in first place (16-15) after their late rally win in Toronto. Colorado defeated the Giants last night so both clubs are tied for first place in the NL West. The Dodgers are technically one percentage point ahead of the Giants. Colorado is one game behind and Arizona sits two games back. Meanwhile the Mets are good again. They are back in first place themselves after the Cubs swept the Nationals over the weekend. The Mets (19-11) have a half game le over Washington in the NL East.
The faces have changed a bit for the Mets. Ruben Tejada is gone and Daniel Murphy is now with the Nationals. The Mets traded Jon Niese for Neil Walker in the offseason and they also have Asdrubal Cabrera at shortstop. Their primary catcher is now Rene Rivera. However they still have Yoenis Cespedes, Curtis Granderson, and Juan Lagares in the outfield. Their pitching staff is still dominant with Jacob DeGrom, Noah Syndergaard, and Jeurys Familia. Of course Captain David Wright is still there, and Matt Harvey has been having problems. Remember Chase Utley is still a Dodger too, so there is bound to be some old blood remaining. Oh and Bartolo Colon is still really really fat. He also just recently hit a home run. Watch his blubber fly.
Tonight’s pitching match-up features a battle of left handers as Steven Matz counters Scott Kazmir. The last time we saw Matz was in game 4 of the 2015 NLDS. He was defeated by Clayton Kershaw and lasted just 5 innings after surrendering 3 runs. The 24-year old looked frustrated and uneasy in that game. He is rarely that frustrating because he is a very solid pitcher. In his first MLB season last year he finished with a 4-0 record and a 2.27 ERA in 6 starts. This season he is 4-1 with a 2.83 ERA in 5 starts. He’s struck out 30 and walked 7 in 28.2 innings pitched. He keeps the ball in the ball park and limits base runners well.
He’s made just one career regular season start against the Dodgers which was at Dodger Stadium. He won that start going six innings allowing just two hits and striking out eight. He is 4-0 with a 2.04 ERA away from Citi Field. The Dodgers are hitting just .233 (8 for 35) against Matz with only one extra-base hit.
Matz vs. Dodgers
Scott Kazmir is trying to turn his season around. So far in his first season in the National League he has been atrocious. In 6 starts with the Dodgers he is 2-2 with a 5.68 ERA. He’s allowed 9.9 hits per nine innings, including seven home runs in 35 frames. He has struck out 30 and walked only eight. His control has been good. The problem is he’s getting lit up like a Christmas tree every time. I am beginning to think that it’s possible he could just suck. I guess we’ll have to wait and see if he can turn things around. However this doesn’t look like a favorable match-up for the Dodgers.
In his last start he got bombed again when he was in Tampa Bay. He allowed four earned runs over 6.2 innings pitched. Kazmir has made three career starts against the Mets. He’s 2-1 with a 4.80 ERA. The Mets have had trouble hitting Kazmir in the past though. He’s limited the Mets to a .656 OPS and .232 (16 for 69) average. Curtis Granderson is hitting .273 (3 for 11) with two extra-base hits against him.
Kazmir vs. Mets.
|Alejandro De Aza||5||5||3||0||0||0||0||0||0||.600||.600||.600||1.200||0||0||0||0||0|
Yasiel Puig is still sucking like no tomorrow. We’ll see if he’s back in the lineup, but hitting .243 just isn’t going to cut it. Somehow he needs to figure it out. So does Justin Turner, who hasn’t been hitting much either. With a left hander on the mound I am sure Roberts/Friedman will use the all righty lineup again. Yuck.
Tonight is the beginning of the retired pin series. All Dodger fans in attendance will receive a pin of Pee Wee Reese. If you are a Mets fan you don’t get anything. You’ll get a scowl ad get to leave with your bad reputation.
Let’s see if the Dodgers can hang with a very good club. My heart hopes they can, but my brain knows that they probably won’t.