The Los Angeles Dodgers lost yet another extra-innings game on Friday night against the Colorado Rockies. Both starting pitchers were impressive, but the Dodger relievers once again fell apart in extras. With apparent issues with their bullpen, the Dodgers look to re-stabilize tonight as they head into game two of a three-game series against their NL West competitors.
Paul Maholm starts and will look to follow Josh Beckett’s impressive outing last night as he allowed just two runs over eight solid innings. Although being utilized as a reliever in the beginning of the season, Maholm has been forced to take on a starter’s role with Clayton Kershaw still on the disabled list.
The 32-year-old left-hander has had a wide array of results in his three starts on the season so far. Maholm’s most impressive outing came against the San Francisco Giants over a week ago where the left-hander gave up just one run and five hits over six innings. On the other side of the spectrum, Maholm has given up a combined nine runs in over nine innings of work in his other two starts.
Although Kershaw is making strides in his rehab, Maholm needs to prove to the Dodgers tonight that he can be an effective starter on the mound as he faces the Rockies right-hander Juan Nicasio. The 27-year-old has accumulated a 4.30 ERA over four starts on the season. In his three starts at Dodger Stadium last season, Nicasio is 2-0 with a 1.65 ERA.
Don Mattingly is again going with Dee Gordon as his leadoff man tonight, with Yasiel Puig batting right behind him and Adrian Gonzalez in the clean up spot. Batting third is Hanley Ramirez, who is has a career .545 average against Nicasio. Andre Ethier is back in the lineup, hitting sixth, and he too has had success against Nicasio. In 14 at-bats against the Rockies’ starter, Ehtier has a .571 average with one home run.
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