Preview: Alex Guerrero A Late Scratch, Ian Thomas Replaces Zack Greinke

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Picking up their 22nd win on the road yesterday with Clayton Kershaw tossing his second shutout of the season, the Los Angeles Dodgers look to duplicate that same success in the second of a four-game series against the New York Mets at Citi Field.

The Dodgers enter Friday’s contest with a 55-42 record and hold a three-game lead in the National League West over the second-place San Francisco Giants. Meanwhile, the Mets are currently in second place with a 49-47 record in the NL East.

With Zack Greinke back in Los Angeles for the birth of his first child, left-handed pitcher Ian Thomas (0-1, 7.20 ERA) makes the first Major League start of his career. Having faced the Mets in five previous relief appearances, he holds a 2.45 ERA and 1.64 WHIP in 3.2 innings against them.

Since joining the Dodgers after being acquired from the Atlanta Braves in May, Thoams has posted a 7.20 ERA and 1.60 WHIP in five innings pitched. His counterpart, Jon Niese (5-8, 3.36 ERA), is slated to make his 19th start of the season. After posting a 3.61 ERA in 104.2 innings during the first half, he has yet to allow a run in 7.2 innings since the second half began.

Digging deeper, Niese has been much more effective over the last 30 days, allowing just four earned runs in 29.1 innings pitched (1.23 ERA). In his career against the Dodgers, he has pitched to a 3.79 ERA and 1.35 WHIP in 35.2 innings. Coincidentally, Niese taking the mound was also in question due to his wife being in labor.

Dodgers shortstop Jimmy Rollins, who is very familiar with the Mets from his days with the Philadelphia Phillies, hit his 31st career home run against them on Thursday. Additionally, he owns a .278/.342/.443 slash line with 92 extra-base hits in 1,107 plate appearances against the Mets.

Searching for any offense they can find, the Mets promoted one of their top offensive prospects, Michael Conforto, hoping he could produce better than their current options. In 403 combined plate appearances for High-A and Double-A, he has posted a .854 OPS with 12 home runs, three triples and 24 doubles.

Alex Guerrero was slated to make his first start since July 10, but was a late scratch due to back stiffness. Kiké Hernandez, who started at second base Thursday night, replaces Guerrero in left.

Dodgers Lineup:

CF: Joc Pederson

2B: Howie Kendrick

3B: Justin Turner

1B: Scott Van Slyke

RF: Yasiel Puig

LF: Kiké Hernandez

SS: Jimmy Rollins

C: Austin Barnes

P: Ian Thomas

Mets Lineup:

RF: Curtis Granderson

SS: Ruben Tejada

3B: Daniel Murphy

2B: Wilmer Flores

1B: Lucas Duda

CF: Juan Lagares

LF: Michael Conforto

C: Kevin Plawecki

P: Jon Niese


Zack Greinke On Pitching With Scoreless Streak

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