After a disappointing series loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Los Angeles Dodgers have rebounded and are one win away from sweeping the three games against the New York Mets. The Dodgers received solid outings from Josh Beckett and Hyun-Jin Ryu, and now send arguably the hottest pitcher to the mound in Thursday’s game.
With a 7-1 record, Zack Greinke will toe the rubber for the Dodgers. Greinke began the season 5-0 before suffering his first loss, which he followed with two more wins. The right-hander has only made two career starts against the Mets and is 1-1 with a 3.21 ERA. With the majority of his career spent in the American League, Greinke suffered a loss to the Mets in 2004 and earned his lone win in 2012.
Greinke’s gone at least seven innings in his last two starts and has a combined 14 strikeouts. He’s also allowed two earned runs or less in 24 consecutive starts, a streak that dates back to last season.
Taking the mound for the Mets is Jonathon Niese. The 27-year-old has pitched at least five innings in seven of his eight starts and holds a 2-3 record. Niese began the year 0-2, bounced back with consecutive wins, then suffered his third loss in a start on May 16. Prior to the loss, Niese had two no-decisions and is in search of a win for the first time since his start on April 29.
The left-hander is 1-0 in four lifetime starts against the Dodgers, with his win coming in 2011. In the outing, Niese pitched seven innings and allowed three runs on five hits, and he picked up six strikeouts.
For the Dodgers, they start Scott Van Slyke in the outfield, along with Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp. This all right-handed outfield has gotten a majority of the starts against left-handed starters. Also receiving a day off is second baseman Dee Gordon. Chone Figgins gets the start and will bat leadoff for the Dodgers. Turner gets the nod at third base for the second straight night since Juan Uribe went on the disabled list. Kemp has had the most success against Niese in his career with four hits in 10 at-bats.
LF Van Slyke
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