Dodgers vs. Mets: Is eight enough?

USA TODAY Sports

Ted Lilly makes his first major league start in 336 days on Wednesday night at Citi Field.

The Dodgers went into the season with eight starting pitchers under contract, so it's only right that they are the first major league team this season to have eight different pitchers start a game. The only other teams to even use seven starters are the Indians and Red Sox.

Ted Lilly gets the honor of being starter number eight, in the Dodgers' 20th game.

In 2012 the Dodgers didn't use their eighth starter until Joe Blanton started their 108th game of the season. In 2011 the Dodgers didn't use their eighth starter until Nate Eovaldi started their 112th game of the season.

In 2010, it was much closer to this season, but that comes part and parcel with 'Vicente Padilla, opening day starter.' Ramon Ortiz was the eighth starting pitcher used, and his first start was May 14, in the Dodgers' 35th game of the year.

Lilly faces a Mets squad hitting .260/.321/.419 against southpaws this season, the fifth best OPS against left-handed pitchers in the National League.

Lilly, making his first start on a major league mound since last May 23, had an average fastball of 87.6 mph in 2012, a sharp contrast to his mound opponent on Wednesday night.

Matt Harvey has averaged 94.6 mph on his fastball this season and, as Bill Petti noted at FanGraphs, has been getting abnormally high whiff rates on his high fastball this season. He has started his 2013 season with four consecutive starts of at least seven innings with one or no runs allowed, the longest streak to open a year since Tim Hudson in 2007.

Dating back to last season, Harvey has five consecutive starts of seven innings or more with one run or less, and in his brief major league career has allowed more than three runs just once in 14 starts.

Game info

Time: 4:10 p.m.

TV: KCAL, ESPN

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