Last night we got a glimpse of the speed of Dee Gordon, who made his MLB debut as a pinch runner in the ninth inning. Tonight, we get to see the rest of his game, as Gordon will make his first start, as the Dodgers battle the Phillies in the second game of the series. In fact, Gordon gets thrown right into the fire, batting leadoff. The last Dodger to bat leadoff in his first major league start was Jose Offerman on August 19, 1990.
Also making his first MLB start is one Rubby De La Rosa. There have been 16 Dodgers to make their first MLB start in the last ten years:
|LA Dodgers Making Their First MLB Start 2001-2010
|Totals: 16 starts, 3.31 ERA||84.1||57||31||31||32||67||55.6||6-4||11-5|
De La Rosa is quickly becoming one of the most quotable Dodgers. The 22-year old allowed no hits in four innings against San Francisco during spring training, then said of the Giants, "Champions last year, not this year." Then on Monday, De La Rosa said he wasn't nervous about tonight, per Cash Kruth of MLB.com:
"No, I'm not excited," De La Rosa said. "It's what starters do. They start. I'm not nervous. I never get nervous. I don't feel butterflies when I pitch; I don't feel anything. I grew up in the streets. How can I be scared of anything compared to that?"
The question is, just how long will De La Rosa be able to pitch tonight. He has pitched out of the bullpen with the Dodgers, and his last start in Double A was a planned two-inning stint to give his arm a rest. His last "regular" start was May 15. Here are is pitch counts of the last three weeks, with a little help from Tom Tango's pitch count estimator (for the two minor league outings):
|Rubby De La Rosa's Last 5 Outings|
|May 15 (AA)||96|
|May 21 (AA)||31|
|P||De La Rosa
Game Time: 4:05 p.m.
TV: KCAL, MLB Network