The Dodgers are going through starting pitchers at a historic rate.
When Ted Lilly takes the mound for the Dodgers on Wednesday in the second of a three-game series against the Mets at Citi Field, the left-hander will be the eighth different starter for Los Angeles in 20 games.
It's been 49 years since the Dodgers last used eight starting pitchers in the first 20 games of a season. The Dodgers went through eight starters in just 12 games in 1964, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Josh Beckett, Chad Billingsley, Chris Capuano and Stephen Fife have already started for the Dodgers this season.
Billingsley is out for the year after making two starts and will undergo Tommy John surgery on Wednesday in Los Angeles. Greinke is out until at least June with a broken left collarbone. Capuano pulled his left calf last week and is on the 15-day disabled list.
That's opened the door for Lilly, who began the season on the DL, to make his first Major League start since May.
"Most years you need eight to 10 starters at some point," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "I wouldn't think you'd need them in the first 20 days. ... It happened pretty quick."
The Mets have endured injuries to their rotation as well.
Shaun Marcum has been on the DL since Opening Day due to nerve inflammation in his neck, but he is expected to make his debut on Saturday. Johan Santana had season-ending shoulder surgery on April 2.
The link between the two clubs doesn't stop there, though.
When Matt Harvey starts for the Mets on Wednesday, the right-hander will try to become the first big league pitcher since Fernando Valenzuela in 1981 to begin a season with five consecutive starts of seven or more innings allowing one run or less. Valenzuela did it with the Dodgers in his second season in the Majors.
Harvey, 24, is 4-0 with a 0.93 ERA and 32 strikeouts in 29 innings.
Dodgers: Kemp still searching for first home run
Matt Kemp followed a pair of three-hit games over the weekend in Baltimore with another multihit game on Tuesday, but the center fielder remains without a homer in 19 games.
Kemp belted 10 homers during his first 19 games last season. He had shoulder surgery during the offseason, but Mattingly doesn't think Kemp is dealing with lingering health issues.
"If anything, it's probably bad habits from playing hurt," the manager said. "We found out it was worse than we thought. I think Matt is healthy. He keeps working on his swing to get back on track. He showed a little life in Baltimore."
Kemp went 2-for-5 with a double on Tuesday to raise his average to .247. Over his last 15 games, Kemp is 17-for-55 (.309) with four doubles and six RBIs. The Dodgers are 7-4 when Kemp gets a hit.
Mets: Lagares joins outfield mix
Juan Lagares made his Major League debut on Tuesday after he was recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas. He went 1-for-2 and played five innings in center field after entering the game as a defensive replacement for Collin Cowgill.
Lagares was hitting .346 with three homers and nine RBIs in 17 games with Las Vegas. The Mets optioned Kirk Nieuwenhuis to the Minors after he went 2-for-16 in limited action.
Lagares, 24, is expected to primarily play center field with the Mets. A former shortstop, Lagares transitioned to the outfield full-time in 2009.
"There are people in this organization who think he's a better center fielder than Matt den Dekker," New York manager Terry Collins said, referring to the organization's more-hyped prospect. "That says a lot."
• Mets outfielder Marlon Byrd is 8-for-17 (.471) in his career against Lilly with one home run and eight RBIs.
• The Dodgers took the opener on Tuesday, 7-2, to win for just the third time in their last 10 games.
Austin Laymance is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.