Thursday, July 07, 2011

Preview: 2011 Regular Season Game 88 - Mets at Dodgers - Mets go for Sweep!


New York Mets (45-42) at Los Angeles Dodgers (37-51), 10:10 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: New York - Dillon Gee (8-2, 3.47) Los Angeles - Clayton Kershaw (8-4, 3.23)

The Los Angeles Dodgers are hoping Clayton Kershaw's last start was just an aberration and will send the young lefty to the mound tonight versus the New York Mets in the finale of a four-game series.

Kershaw was 6-0 with a 2.64 earned run average in 11 starts before the LA Angels of Anaheim battered him for seven runs, six of which were earned, over six innings of a 7-1 loss on Saturday. Kershaw struck out 10 batters and has recorded double digits in K's the last three outings. He is 8-4 with a 3.23 ERA in 18 starts and a sizzling 6-1 in 10 appearances at Dodger Stadium.

The southpaw faced the Mets in a 4-2 win at Citi Field on May 8, when he fired 6 1/3 innings of one-run ball with eight strikeouts. Kershaw kept his unbeaten record against the Mets intact, as he is 3-0 with a 1.85 ERA in four career starts.

Los Angeles hopes Kershaw can prevent a four-game sweep after it dropped a 5-3 decision on Wednesday. Hiroki Kuroda was saddled with the loss for giving up four runs and eight hits over six innings of work. Juan Uribe had two RBI and Jamey Carroll posted three hits and a run scored for the Dodgers, who have lost five straight and are 0-3 so far on a seven-game homestand.

"We got beat tonight, we didn't beat ourselves," said Dodgers manager Don Mattingly. "Hiroki wasn't as sharp as he's been. He kept us in the game. We just didn't do enough to win the game."

The Dodgers are last in the NL West standings and will host San Diego for three games this weekend. They have lost 10 of the past 13 games.



New York is aiming for its first-ever four-game sweep of the Dodgers and has won four in a row since a three-game slide.

Jon Niese was solid in the win and allowed three runs and five hits in seven innings with six strikeouts. Bobby Parnell struck out two in a scoreless eighth inning and Francisco Rodriguez closed the door in the ninth inning for his 22nd save.

"[Catcher Josh Thole] and my game plan was to work ahead and mix our pitches," Niese said after New York's 10th win in 14 tries. "The arm felt good. Right now on this team everybody thinks they can do it."

Mets All-Star shortstop Jose Reyes is still bothered by a strained hamstring and will most likely miss another game tonight.

Mets starter Dillon Gee began the season 7-0 with a 2.86 ERA over his first 13 trips to the mound, but has fallen on hard times. Gee will try to right the ship when he takes the hill tonight and is 1-2 with a 5.82 earned run average over his last three starts.

Gee lost to the Yankees in Saturday's 5-2 decision and allowed four runs on seven hits and three walks in seven innings. The right-hander and a product of Texas-Arlington is now 8-2 in 16 games (13 starts) with a 3.47 ERA. Gee faced the Dodgers for the first time in his career during a 4-2 win on May 7 in Queens, as he held LA to two runs in 5 1/3 innings of work.

New York won two of three meetings with Los Angeles from May 6-8 at Citi Field and is 9-4 in the past 13 matchups between the two clubs.
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