If there is a positive after losing the series to the Nationals, it's that the pitching staff pitched well, allowing nine runs in 29 innings. Even with the extra inning game Saturday, the bullpen heads to New York reasonably well rested to face the Mets. Ramon Troncoso threw 28 pitches Sunday, so he is likely unavailable for tonight's game, but he was the only reliever to pitch yesterday. Outside of Troncoso, Joe Torre should have a full compliment of relievers -- including Jon Link -- at his disposal tonight.
That is, if the game gets in. Rain is in the forecast all night -- a 90% chance in the 8pm and 9pm hours. Mike Petriello of Mike Scioscia's Tragic Illness had the weather-related line of the day, tweeting the following:
I don't have a great feeling about tonight's #Dodgers / #Mets game getting in. It's blacker than Bud Selig's soul in midtown right now.
Torre might not even need to use those relievers. Hiroki Kuroda has been the horse of the Dodger rotation so far, throwing 20 2/3 innings in his three starts. However, in his career Kuroda has made three starts against the Mets and has yet to complete five innings in a start:
|Hiroki Kuroda Career Starts vs. Mets|
Oliver Perez is just 28 years old, but he's been around forever. He has made 12 career starts against the Dodgers, including at least one in each of the last eight seasons. In those games against the Dodgers, Perez is 6-5 with a 3.86 ERA in 74 2/3 innings.
Overall, Dodger pinch hitters have performed well in the early season, with an .897 OPS. So far, the right-handers have outdone the lefties:
|2010 Dodger Pinch Hitters|
- There is reason to be concerned about Vicente Padilla, who was scheduled to have an MRI on his sore forearm this morning. Molly Knight of ESPN caught up with Padilla today, who didn't sound like someone ready to pitch any time soon: "In the past I've been able to throw through this, but I can't even do that. Never had pain this bad before."
- James Loney has a .325 batting average this year, including nine multi-hit games. But after setting a career high with 70 walks in 2009, Loney has just two walks in 82 plate appearances this season. He has had only one longer stretch in his career with only two walks, a run of 91 PA in August-September 2008
- The Dodgers were 27-20 in games started against southpaws last year, and are 2-2 this season. They are in the midst of a three-game stretch against left-handed starters, with Scott Olsen Sunday, Perez today, and Johan Santana Tuesday.
- Four of Blake DeWitt's 11 career home runs have come against the Mets, including one off of Perez in 2008.
- Hong-Chih Kuo has allowed one run in 26 career innings against the Mets. Opposing Met batters are hitting .149/.213/.161 against Kuo.
- The Dodgers need to win four of five games this week to avoid a losing April. In the last 16 seasons, the Dodgers have had a losing record in April in only 1994 (11-12) and 2006 (12-13)
Here are the lineups:
Xeifrank's simulation of today's game is here.
Game Time: 4:10pm
TV: Prime Ticket, ESPN