While their struggles against a formidable opponent such as the Arizona Diamondbacks were understandable, the Los Angeles Dodgers enter play Friday night 1-3 against the Miami Marlins and Cincinnati Reds, two of the worst teams in all of baseball.
A win would not only guarantee the Reds at least a series split at Dodger Stadium, but also extend their winning streak to four games. Meanwhile, the Dodgers have lost four of the last five and are reeling in the National League West standings.
They’ll look to get back on track against Matt Harvey in his Reds debut. His tenure with the New York Mets came to a rocky close after a demotion to the bullpen and rejected Minor League assignment.
That prompted the Mets to designate the former franchise hero for assignment, and Harvey was subsequently traded to the Reds in exchange for Devin Mesoraco.
The 29-year-old is looking for a fresh start after going 0-2 with a 7.00 ERA in eight games (four starts) with the Mets. Harvey last pitched May 3, when he allowed three runs on five hits over two innings out of the bullpen.
He’s a lifetime 1-2 with a 4.50 ERA in four starts against the Dodgers, including an 0-2 mark and 5.73 ERA in two starts at Dodger Stadium. He last pitched there in 2013.
Harvey is opposed by Kenta Maeda, who has been one of the Dodgers’ better starters this season. He enters 2-2 with a 4.02 ERA, 2.94 FIP and 1.40 WHIP in seven games (six starts).
Maeda had a bit of a rough outing his last time out, allowing three runs on four hits in five innings against the San Diego Padres. Friday’s game is just Maeda’s second this season in which he will not face an NL West opponent; the other being the Marlins.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts decided to make some changes to his lineup, moving normal leadoff man Chris Taylor down to the No. 6 spot, and leading off Chase Utley in his place.
Utley had one of the better Dodger at-bats in Thursday night’s game, hitting a single up the middle with the bases loaded in the first inning. Taylor, on the other hand, has struggled to get on base this season.
2B: Chase Utley
CF: Joc Pederson
C: Yasmani Grandal
LF: Matt Kemp
1B: Cody Bellinger
SS: Chris Taylor
3B: Max Muncy
RF: Yasiel Puig
P: Kenta Maeda
LF: Jesse Winker
SS: Jose Peraza
1B: Joey Votto
2B: Scooter Gennett
3B: Eugenio Suarez
RF: Scott Schebler
C: Tucker Barnhart
P: Matt Harvey
CF: Billy Hamilton