Mark Ellis 2B
A.J. Ellis C
The Dodgers look to right the ship after two tough losses to the Atlanta Braves blemished their temporarily perfect home record. Things don’t get much easier since the Washington Nationals have a slightly better record of 14-4 compared to the Dodger record of 13-6. The two first place teams will be battling each other for the best NL record bragging rights. The Dodger bullpen has faltered in late innings. Wednesday’s loss to the Braves was painful to watch as Javy Guerra was hit in the face with a Brian McCann line drive. Don Mattingly didn’t take him out right away, and he ended up blowing the save in the ninth. After a much-needed off day, hopefully the Dodgers are recharged and ready to rumble with Washington.
Juan Rivera will be sitting out again today, and Jerry Hairston Jr. will be taking his place in left field.
Clayton Kershaw is looking to build on his lone win of the season, and in Houston he was back in form. The flu had drained him of his Cy Young powers there for a bit. Last time out at Minute Maid Park, Kersh pitched seven scoreless innings, and he only allowed 3 hits while whiffing 9 Astros. In his career against Washington, Kersh is 2-2 with a 4.61 ERA. Ryan Zimmerman and Ian Desmond have hit him decently in the past, but the only National with a homerun against Clayton is Xavier Nady. The Nats just announced that they are placing Zimmerman on the 15-day DL Saturday, and they are recalling Bryce Harper who will make his MLB debut at Dodger Stadium. The 19-year old top prospect outfielder will get the call-up since Morse is currently disabled.
The Nationals will counter with a lefty as well. Ross Detwiler is pitching very well for Washington, and his last time out he went six shutout innings while only allowing 3 hits and whiffing 7. In his first three starts Ross has only allowed one run. He’s only pitched a little more than 8 innings against the Dodgers in his career, and he has no record with a 3.24 ERA against us.
Matt Kemp will try to break the Dodger record for the most homeruns in the month of April. Right now he shares the record of 10 homeruns with Gary Sheffield who hit 10 in 2000. Matt Kemp has 23 RBI and Andre Ethier has 22 RBI on the month so far. Ron Cey holds the Dodger record of 29 RBIs in a month. There is four games left in April.
Juan Rivera‘s strained left hamstring is improving. He suffered the injury on Tuesday night after running to first base on an infield single. He is not expected to land on the DL.
*This just in* The Dodgers have called up Nathan Eovaldi from AA Chattanooga, and they have optioned Michael Antonini back to AAA. I guess Antonini will have to wait a bit longer to make his MLB debut.
The first pitch will be at 7:10 pm, and the game will be televised on Prime Ticket. Go Blue!