LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers welcome the Pirates to town for a four-game series beginning Thursday night at Dodger Stadium, looking to continue their mastery over the Pittsburgh in Los Angeles. The Dodgers have won their last nine home games against the Pirates and have beaten Pittsburgh in 17 of their last 19 meetings at Dodger Stadium, dating back to 2008.
They have won 31 of their last 38 meetings in Los Angeles, dating back to 2003. Here is a look at the pitching matchups for the four-game series, half of which can be seen by substantially more people than usual in and around Los Angeles.
Thursday, 7:10 p.m. PT (SportsNet LA)
Former UCLA Bruins pitcher and No. 1 overall draft pick Gerrit Cole made his major league debut last June 11. Dan Haren had three more starts before hitting the disabled list then beginning his second-half run with the Nationals that earned him a $10 million contract for 2014 with the Dodgers. The two have reasonably similar numbers since then:
Haren: 29 games, 28 starts, 164⅔ innings, 21.3 percent strikeout rate, 4.8 percent walk rate, 19 home runs, 3.77 ERA, 1.190 WHIP
Cole: 29 starts, 182 innings, 21.5 percent strikeout rate, 6.6 percent walk rate, 15 home runs, 3.41 ERA, 1.225 WHIP
Friday, 7:10 p.m. (SportsNet LA)
Dodgers catcher Drew Butera has caught two no-hitters in his career, and both pitchers happen to face off on Friday night. Josh Beckett, fresh off his Sunday masterpiece, will try to tie Johnny Vander Meer against the Pirates. Francisco Liriano, who threw a no-hitter for the Twins on May 3, 2011, is winless in 11 starts with a 5.06 ERA this season though he does have 58 strikeouts in 58⅔ innings.
Because Beckett pitched the 11th no-hitter for the Dodgers since the franchise moved to Los Angeles, the Dodgers are offering $11 seats in the reserve and left field pavilion sections for Friday's game.
Saturday, 4:15 p.m. (Fox)
Hyun-jin Ryu is coming off a gem of his own, taking a perfect game into the eighth inning on Monday. Ryu has made it through five innings before allowing a run in six of his nine starts this season. Brandon Cumpton made his major league debut against the Dodgers, allowing three runs in five innings last June 15. He has only allowed 13 runs in 44⅓ major league innings since (a 2.23 ERA), with 27 strikeouts and six walks.
Sunday, 5:05 p.m. (ESPN2*)
Zack Greinke and Edinson Volquez are both 0-for-1 with a strikeout against each other at the plate, but Greinke also has two walks against Volquez. Advantage, Greinke.
*If the Heat eliminate the Pacers before a possible Sunday Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals, the Dodgers-Pirates Sunday Night Baseball game will be moved from ESPN2 to ESPN, and ESPN Deportes will also televise the baseball game instead of basketball.