After a pair of rather punchless losses in the first two games of their series at Dodger Stadium, the Rockies now face the task of taking on the reigning NL Cy Young Award winner in Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw.
Thanks to a DL stint in April, Kershaw will be making just his 10th start of 2014 tonight. He has posted a 2.93 ERA so far this season in 55 1/3 innings. Amazingly, that 2.93 ERA would be the highest Kershaw has had since his rookie year in 2008. Kershaw has faced the Rockies this season, giving up a run on three hits in five innings with nine strikeouts in a rain-shortened game on June 8.
As you would expect against Kershaw, the Rockies have loaded the lineup with right-handed bats, giving both Charlie Blackmon and Justin Morneau a day off. Corey Dickerson leads off and plays left field, and he is joined in the outfield by Drew Stubbs and Brandon Barnes. Josh Rutledge also gets his first career start at third base and bats sixth.
Getting the call in place of Morneau at first base will be Kyle Parker, who will be making his first major league start, batting seventh in the Rockies lineup. Talk about being thrown into the fire, "Welcome to the show, kid, here's Clayton Kershaw, have fun."
The Rockies will send Jorge De La Rosa to the mound to face Kershaw and the Dodgers. The veteran southpaw has struggled so far in June, posting a 5.87 ERA in 15 1/3 innings so far this month. This will be De La Rosa's third start of the season against LA, as he has split a pair of decisions against the Dodgers this year with a 4.38 ERA in 12 1/3 innings.
The Dodgers will have a similar lineup to last night's, with Hanley Ramirez playing despite the hand injury he suffered last night. The only change for Don Mattingly's team is that Scott Van Slyke bats sixth and plays center field in place of Andre Ethier.
First pitch tonight is at 8:10 p.m. mountain time.
#Dodgers lineup vs. Rockies: Gordon 2B Ramirez SS Puig RF Gonzalez 1B Kemp LF Van Slyke CF Ellis C Rojas 3B Kershaw P— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) June 18, 2014