Dodgers @ Mets June 22, 2018: Utley returns to troll the Mets

(Via)

After an off day, the Dodgers (38-35) are looking to right the ship after their first series loss in a few weeks in Chicago. The Dodgers struggled against Jon Lester, and Ross Stripling allowed more than two runs for only the second time this season in a 4-0 loss on Wednesday. Today, they begin a three-game set in New York to face the struggling Mets. The Mets are the anti-Dodgers, starting the season 12-2 before falling back and now sit 10 games under .500 at 31-41. They’re coming off a road trip full of sweeps. They were swept in four games in Atlanta, then swept three games in Arizona before being swept again in Colorado.

Dodgers
Mets
4:10 PM
Queens
CF
Pederson
LF
Nimmo
2B
Muncy
3B
Frazier
3B
Turner
2B
Cabrera
LF
Kemp
1B
Flores
1B
Bellinger
CF
Conforto
RF
Puig
RF
Bautista
SS
Hernández C Mesoraco
C
Barnes
SS
Rosario
P
Wood (L)
P
Wheeler (R)

Alex Wood gets his team-leading 15th start of the season for the Dodgers today. He’s coming off a solid start against the Giants, allowing a run and four hits in 5 2/3 innings for his second win of the season. Hopefully that’s the beginning of a bounceback, as he allowed 15 runs (13 earned) in 12 innings over the three starts prior. He’s only struck out two batters in two of his three starts in June after striking out at least four in each of his first 11 starts.

Chris Taylor is not in the lineup after being removed from the finale in Chicago with a hamstring issue. He’s reportedly available to pinch hit. Yasmani Grandal is also out of the starting lineup as Austin Barnes makes a rare start against a righty.

Zack Wheeler is finally healthy again, but he’s struggled for the Mets this year. Wheeler was a prized Giants prospect that was traded for half a season of Carlos Beltran in 2011. Wheeler was solid in 2013 and 2014, but injuries kept him away until last season, when he made 17 starts and posted a 5.21 ERA. He made one Minor League start this season before capturing a rotation spot. He’s completed six innings or more in nine of his 13 starts, but has allowed six or more runs three times already this season. He’s coming off a six inning start in Arizona, where he held the Diamondbacks to two runs and three hits while striking out eight. Wheeler averages 95.2 on his fastball and mixes in a fastball with some sink and throws a 90 MPH slider, so like many Mets pitchers his velocity is good.

The offensive standout for the Mets is Brandon Nimmo.

With Yoenis Cespedes, David Wright and Jay Bruce all on the DL, it’s a bit of a younger Mets team. Nimmo, Michael Conforto and Amed Rosario are all young exciting talents that could become stars if the Mets don’t Met it up.

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He’s not starting, but Chase Utley has been activated from the DL after missing 19 games with a thumb sprain. Yesterday, Kyle Farmer was demoted to Triple A-OKC.

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Kershaw-watch is getting wild.

Clayton Kershaw will officially return tomorrow. This will be less fun when he comes back throwing 82. Weather in New York could be suspect, so Caleb Ferguson will reportedly remain with the team in New York and back up Kershaw if things go poorly.

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The Dodgers also set the rotation for next couple days.

Rich Hill will make his second start off the DL on Sunday. Kenta Maeda will open the homestand Monday against the Cubs.

About Alex Campos

Alex Campos
I'm a writer that has blogged at a whole bunch of places about a whole bunch of sports. I was most recently writing for Chavez Ravine Fiends, but was also the former editor at Dodgers Way. I graduated from California State University, Long Beach with a degree in Journalism and a minor in Marketing. At Long Beach, I covered the Dirtbags in the 2014 season as an assistant sports editor at the Daily 49er.