Surging Dodgers open homestand against Mets
LOS ANGELES -- After capping a six-game road trip with a sweep of the Cincinnati Reds, the Los Angeles Dodgers kick off a nine-game homestand Monday against the New York Mets at Dodger Stadium.
Mets right-hander Zack Wheeler (3-4, 4.48 ERA) will oppose Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw (9-2, 2.23 ERA) in the opener of a four-game set.
The Dodgers (44-26) are on a roll, finishing 5-1 during their swing through Cincinnati and Cleveland. They completed their run with an 8-7 decision over the Reds on Sunday at Great American Ball Park. That allowed Los Angeles, which has won nine of its past 10 games, to finish 6-0 against Cincinnati this season and beat the Reds for the eighth consecutive time.
"It got a little close for us," said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, whose club allowed six straight runs before hanging on for the win. "Our bullpen has been lights out all year. Like I've been saying, (the Reds) have a really good offensive club. They put together some good at-bats. To get out of here with three (wins) is huge."
Kershaw remains a huge part of the Dodgers' attack. In his last outing, Kershaw gave up two runs on six hits in seven innings with four strikeouts and two walks in a 7-5 win over the Indians on Tuesday.
Kershaw hasn't faced the Mets since May 29, 2016, when he struck out 10 with no walks and yielded two runs on four hits in 7 2/3 innings in a 4-2 win by the Dodgers. Kershaw did not factor into the decision.
In 13 career starts against New York, Kershaw is 8-1 with a 1.49 ERA.
Wheeler endured the shortest outing of his career in his last start, getting battered for eight runs in 1 2/3 innings in a 14-3 romp by the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday. Wheeler said his command betrayed him.
"I don't know where it was but I tried to find it and I couldn't," Wheeler said. "They laid off what I thought were a bunch of pretty good pitches, velocity wise. If you can't locate, you really can't set guys up."
Wheeler, though, has been solid away from home. In 34 career road starts, Wheeler is 13-6 with a 2.84 ERA. He is 1-0 with a 2.76 ERA in five starts this season.
This will be Wheeler's first contest against the Dodgers.
The Mets (31-37) ended a three-game skid with a 5-1 victory over the Washington Nationals on Sunday behind Jacob deGrom, who fanned six, walked two and did not allow an earned run on three hits. DeGrom also hit his first career home run.
The win prevented the Mets from suffering a four-game sweep by the National League East-leading Nationals.
"It's a huge win for us because of who we've got to play (Monday) and who we've got to face," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "But this is the excitement about playing in this league, you know? You go from the Nationals and (Max) Scherzer and (Stephen) Strasburg and Gio (Gonzalez) to Clayton Kershaw tomorrow night. So you better not feel sorry for yourself or you're not going to have much of a chance. We've just got continue to go out and play the game right."
Updated June 18, 2017