Fresh off a series loss to the Marlins in Miami, the 20-24 Phillies come back home to kick off an 11-game homestand at Citizens Bank park tonight, when they take on the 25-23 Los Angeles Dodgers.
Normally, an 11-game homestand would be fantastic news. Unfortunately, the Phils are 8-12 at home this year, and that's counting their current two-game mini winning streak. They'll play the Dodgers, the Colorado Rockies and New York Mets over the next couple weeks.
It won't be easy improving upon that home record tonight, as Clayton Kershaw takes the mound for the Dodgers. And he probably ain't too happy, either. In his last start, he lasted just 1 2/3 innings in an 18-7 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Kershaw missed the first month of the season on the disabled list, and in four starts this year is 1-2 with a 4.43 ERA. He has had mixed results against the Phils in the past, 1-4 with a 3.70 ERA in nine career starts, but last August he threw eight scoreless innings of three-hit ball against the Phillies and struck out eight.
Facing Kershaw will be a new Phillies lineup, albeit a strange one. Darin Ruf gets his first start of 2014 in place of Domonic Brown in left field. John Mayberry gets the start in center, and Cesar Hernandez gives Cody Asche a blow at third base. Interestingly, Ryan Howard remains in the lineup against one of the toughest left-handers on the planet.
For the Phils, it'll be Roberto Hernandez (2-1, 3.98 ERA) on the bump. Hernandez has spent much of the past couple weeks in the bullpen with the Phillies seemingly having an day off every other day for the last week and a half. He last pitched on May 16 in a 3-0 loss to the Reds in which he pitched an inning of scoreless relief.
The Dodgers will also be looking for a bit of revenge over the weekend, after the Phils took three out of four from them in Los Angeles last month. The Dodgers are 6-1 in their last seven games in Philadelphia.
|LOS ANGELES DODGERS||PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES|
|Dee Gordon - 2B||Jimmy Rollins - SS|
|Chone Figgins - 3B||Carlos Ruiz - C|
|Yasiel Puig - RF||Chase Utley - 2B|
|Adrian Gonzalez - 1B||Marlon Byrd - RF|
|Andre Ethier - CF||Ryan Howard - 1B|
|Carl Crawford - LF||Darin Ruf - LF|
|A.J. Ellis - C||Cesar Hernandez - 3B|
|E. Arruebarrena - SS||John Mayberry - CF|
|Clayton Kershaw - LHP||R. Hernandez - RHP|