Roberto Hernandez’s week and remaining summer just got a whole lot more interesting.
The right-hander, who will debut for the Los Angeles Dodgers Friday night in Milwaukee, was scheduled to start Thursday for Philadelphia against Houston in a matchup of teams that were a combined 32 games under .500.
After being traded Thursday for two players to be named later or cash considerations, the 33-year-old now takes on the Brewers as two first-place clubs open a three-game series.
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"I’m happy," Hernandez told MLB’s official website through former Phillies teammate Wil Nieves. "It’s the first time that I’ve been traded. Obviously, it’s a nice feeling going to a team that has a chance. I’m really nervous right now. I wasn’t expecting this. So yeah, I’m excited, but at the same time, I’m nervous."
Hernandez (6-8, 3.87 ERA) replaces Josh Beckett, who had been pitching through a left hip injury, and could ultimately contend with Dan Haren for starts at the back end of the rotation if Beckett doesn’t land on the disabled list.
A recent run of success likely put Hernandez on the Dodgers’ radar. He’s 3-0 with a 1.88 ERA and .170 opponents’ average over his last four starts, and limited Washington to an unearned run and five hits over eight innings in a 2-1 win last Friday.
Hernandez enjoyed similar success on July 9 in Milwaukee, yielding a run and three hits over eight innings in a 4-1 victory.
Kyle Lohse will try to spoil his arrival and end a two-start skid. The right-hander was tagged for a career high-tying nine runs – seven earned – and nine hits in four-plus innings of Saturday’s 9-7 loss in St. Louis.
"He’s been so consistent that it surprises you when his command is off by that much," manager Ron Roenicke said.
Lohse (11-6, 3.40) has been tough to beat at Miller Park with a 4-2 record and 2.32 ERA in nine starts. In as many starts against Los Angeles, he’s 2-4 with a 4.75 ERA.
Milwaukee (63-52) heads into the series still with a one-game lead in the NL Central after Thursday’s 3-1 victory over San Francisco gave the Brewers their first series win in four tries.
Aramis Ramirez went 2 for 4 to extend his hitting streak to nine games with a .472 average.
Roenicke is gaining confidence in the lineup as a whole, which is a good thing with Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw following Hernandez. The Brewers are batting .289 over their last seven after a five-game stretch with a .157 mark and nine runs scored.
"We’ve got a lot of good pitchers we’ve faced and we’re going to face," Roenicke said. "That’s why it’s so nice to have the offense feel like we’re coming around. We’re starting to swing the bat again. Those guys are going to shut you down if they’re on, so you need to figure out how to get some runs."
The Dodgers (66-50) have won three straight and nine of 12 after defeating the Los Angeles Angels 7-0 on Thursday.
Adrian Gonzalez went 2 for 4 with two RBIs after going 1 for 17 over his previous five games, but the first baseman is 1 for 19 in his last five against the Brewers.
Matt Kemp went 1 for 2 with two walks and an RBI. The outfielder is batting .391 with six home runs and 13 RBIs in 13 games. He also has an 11-game hitting streak in Milwaukee.
The Dodgers and Brewers both play six of their next 10 against each other. The Brewers are 14-6 against the NL West while the Dodgers are 11-13 against the Central.