National League Preview from The Sports Network|
Tuesday, April 23rd
(All times eastern)
Los Angeles Dodgers (8-10) at New York Mets (9-8), 7:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Los Angeles - Clayton Kershaw (2-2. 1.88)
New York - Jon Niese (2-1, 3.80)
(Sports Network) - The Los Angeles Dodgers were able to get off the schneid
their last time out and will try to string consecutive wins together Tuesday
in the opener of a three-game series against the New York Mets at Citi Field.
The Dodgers ended a season-high six-game losing streak with Sunday's 7-4 win
over the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards. Matt Kemp had three hits, an RBI
and a run scored, while Mark Ellis ended with three RBI, including a two-run
single in a four-run fifth inning.
"We've lost six straight games, so any win is good for us at the moment," said
Kemp, who batted cleanup after hitting third. "We have to continue to grind
Adrian Gonzalez, the third batter in the lineup after the order change, went
2-for-4 with a run scored and also knocked in a run for the Dodgers, who
dropped both games of a doubleheader at Camden Yards on Saturday. Friday's
game was postponed due to inclement weather.
J.P. Howell picked up his first win of the season in relief of Stephen Fife,
who started the first 4 2/3 innings and was reached for four runs and seven
hits with five K's and one walk.
Los Angeles has a good chance at opening this series at New York on a high
note with ace and 2011 Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw on the mound.
That hasn't been the case, however, in his previous two starts -- both L.A.
losses. Kershaw, who opened the season 2-0 with a 0.00 earned run average over
16 innings, suffered his first loss on April 12 at Arizona, allowing all three
runs in seven innings of a 3-0 loss.
Kershaw got the call again last Wednesday, only to give up five runs -- three
earned -- and seven hits in 5 1/3 frames of a 7-2 home loss to San Diego. His
ERA is now 1.88 through 28 2/3 innings. Kershaw did record the 1,000th
strikeout of his career in that one.
The young left-hander has a perfect 5-0 mark in six career starts against the
Mets to go along with a 1.37 ERA. Kershaw is 2-0 with a 2.76 ERA in three
career road starts against the Mets.
New York began a nine-game homestand by taking two of three matchups with the
Washington Nationals over the weekend. After the Nationals evened the series
with Saturday's 7-6 triumph, the Mets took the set with Sunday's 2-0 victory
behind a strong performance by Dillon Gee and the bullpen.
Gee threw 5 2/3 scoreless innings and scattered three hits with six strikeouts
and three walks. LaTroy Hawkins closed out the sixth inning before Brandon
Lyon, Scott Rice and Bobby Parnell each hurled a scoreless innings of relief.
Parnell tallied his second save of the season.
The Mets' offense was powered by John Buck's seventh homer of the season and
a sacrifice fly from Mike Baxter.
"These guys are obviously one of the best teams in the National League, and
rightfully so," Mets third baseman David Wright said of the Nationals. "So to
take two out of three was good for us, especially early in the year for
confidence. You've got to take care of business at home. You've got to take
care of business within the division, and we accomplished both."
New York will also host rival Philadelphia on the homestand.
Taking the mound for the Mets on Tuesday will be Jonathon Niese, a left-hander
who dropped his last outing Thursday at Colorado. In an 11-3 drubbing at the
hands of the Rockies, Niese allowed three runs and nine hits in six innings to
fall to 2-1 with a 3.80 ERA in four starts.
Niese has faced the Dodgers three times in his career, going 1-0 with a 4.12
ERA in 19 2/3 innings.
New York was 3-4 against the Dodgers a season ago and has lost the last four
meetings between the two clubs.
04/23 10:32:15 ET