June 3, 2012; Denver, CO, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Nathan Eovaldi (50) delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-US PRESSWIRE

Last Series Before Break Sets Dodgers Against Snakes

Nathan Eovaldi (0-5, 4.61) vs. Wade Miley (9-4, 2.87)

Dodgers Lineup: vs. Arizona

Herrera7

M.Ellis4

Hairston5

Rivera3

Cruz6

A.J. Ellis2

Van Slyke9

Gwyn8

Eovaldi1

Last night the Dodgers collected a series win versus the Cincinnati Reds, but it also may have cost them their starting shortstop in the process. Dee Gordon dislocated his right thumb while sliding head first into third base for his 30th stolen base of the season. He was immediately removed from the game for a pinch-runner, and the next inning we saw him sitting in the dugout with a fat bandage wrapped around his hand. X-rays revealed that there is no fracture, but he will have a MRI today to determine the extent of his injuries. Hopefully it will not sideline him too long since the options at short are few and far between. With Gordon out, the Dodgers will be forced to use Elian Herrera, Luis Cruz, or Jerry Hairston Jr. in the meantime. While a lot of Dodger fans have complained about Dee’s shortcomings at the plate and his Major League leading 17 errors, the fact is that the Dodgers are thin at the position. Gordon is our best option at the moment, and if he is disabled we also lose his game-changing speed in the lineup.

The Dodgers will now wrap-up the first half of the season before they take some much-needed rest at the All-Star break. The four-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Arizona could determine who sits in first place in the NL West going into the break. There’s nothing that the Dodgers would like more than to be positioned in first going into the break. Then when Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier return from disability on July 13th, the Dodgers will finally have all guns a blazing.

Tonight will feature a battle of the rookie pitchers. Both Eovaldi and Miley made their MLB debuts within weeks of each other, and both have replaced injured starters. Nathan Eovaldi will once again vie for his first win of the season. The hard luck young right-hander has filled in for the injured Ted Lilly admirably this season, but he has little to show for it. Eovaldi has had the lowest run support in the Majors in his seven starts (1.1 runs per start). During his last two outings he has struggled, and he has allowed 13 earned runs in 10 1/3 innings. Last time out against the New York Mets last Saturday, Eovaldi took the loss after going 5 1/3 innings and allowing 5 runs on 7 hits. He has only pitched 7 1/3 innings against the D-backs in his career, and he has a 1-0 record against them with a 6.14 ERA. He does have 7 strikeouts in that small span though.

The Diamondbacks will counter with lefty Wade Miley who has also taken over a rotation spot for the D-backs when Daniel Hudson got hurt. The rookie All-Star had a tough outing last time on the mound versus the Brewers where he allowed 8 runs and only lasted 3 2/3 innings in the loss. Miley will be going for his 10th win, although the young southpaw has only made 20 starts in his career. Like Eovaldi, Miley has had limited experience against the Dodgers. He is sporting a 1-0 record in 7 1/3 innings pitched against them, and has a 3.52 ERA in those innings. Mark Ellis, who will be making his first start since returning from the disabled list, has one homerun against Miley. We all know how the Dodger offense has fared this season against young (especially left-handed) rookie pitchers.

The Dodgers have now won two in a row, and they sit 1/2 game ahead of San Francisco and 6 games ahead of Arizona in the standings. The Diamondbacks have been struggling of late, and they are deep in a five-game losing streak. We will still have to watch out for Ryan Roberts who is hitting .375 against the Dodgers and Willie Bloomquist who is hitting .435 against L.A. this season.

Tune it to Prime Ticket at 6:40 pm for first pitch and stick around after for our postgame coverage and injury updates.

Tags: Arizona Diamondbacks Dee Gordon Los Angeles Dodgers Nathan Eovaldi Wade Miley

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