This just in. Chad Billingsley has been scratched from his scheduled start today due to an undisclosed injury. Chris Capuano will start in his place. We will keep you updated to the nature of Billingsley’s injury.
Last night’s shocking loss was part and parcel of this 2012 Dodger season. Kenley Jansen was caught with his back turned on the mound with runners at second and third with two outs in the top of the ninth. Everth Cabrera went for it, and Kenley’s throw to the plate went sailing high past A.J. Ellis which allowed yet another run to score. Yes, it was a double steal of home. It’s hard for me to be angry at Kenley since he’s so good, but that lack of concentration was bewildering. Jansen looked dazed as he sat in the dugout after “the incident.” The Giants, who also ironically blew their lead in the top of their ninth inning with two outs, ended up coming back to win it in the bottom of the twelfth inning in walk-off style. That means that the Dodgers are now 1/2 game back of the Giants and in second place again. This seesaw between San Francisco and Los Angeles is par for the course with these rivals. I can expect this battle will continue down the stretch.
With the trade deadline approaching there has been many rumors of the Dodgers dealing for Ryan Dempster. The most recent trade talk cited that the Dodgers had a deal on the table for Dempster in exchange for Garrett Gould and Chris Withrow. Speculation has also brought up the idea that Chad Billingsley may be moved into the bullpen. I have been extremely frustrated with Chad’s season thus far like everyone else, but I’m not sure that moving him into the bullpen is the answer. He’s a starting pitcher. Demoting him may not yield positive results. Perhaps moving Eovaldi into the pen would be the more appropriate shift which would also lessen the amount of innings he pitches this season. Either way, acquiring Dempster is not going to solve the main problem with this team which is our inept infield corners.
Chad Billingsley has lost five straight games. He hasn’t won since June 10th versus the Seattle Mariners. Last time out against Arizona, he
pitched 6 innings and allowed 4 earned runs on 6 hits. He’s allowed 20 earned runs in his last 5 games. In his career against San Diego, Bills is 12-8 with a 2.62 ERA and 132 strikeouts over 140 2/3 innings pitched. Bills will have to fend off Carlos Quentin and Mark Kotsay, and Chase Headley has hit one homerun against Bills in the past. While I haven’t totally given up on Bills, because he has been one of my favorite Dodgers in recent years, his meltdowns have been excruciatingly frustrating. Whether it’s a mechanical issue, a crappy cutter problem, or a mental weakness, something needs to click for him to return to his power pitcher prowess.
Jason Marquis is looking for his second win of the season, and last time out he allowed 3 runs on seven hits including two homeruns in the loss against the Reds. The right-hander is 5-4 with a 2.55 ERA against the Dodgers in his career. James Loney, who is starting today, has had much success against Marquis. Loney is hitting .471 with a homerun and 6 RBIs against him. Interestingly Andre Ethier is only hitting .067 against him and Matt Kemp .118.
The Dodgers will need another big game from their dynamic duo. Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier both had three hits last night and they have combined to go 8-for-16 in their first two games back since coming off of the disabled list. Oh by the way, Chase Headley has nine homeruns this season, and four of them have been hit off the Dodgers. Can we please just trade for him already? There’s no way that a merry-go-round of Juan Uribe, Jerry Hairston Jr., and Adam Kennedy at third base is going to work or yield any production.
The series rubber match will start at 1:10 pm and be broadcast on Prime Ticket. Can Bills and the Dodgers seal the deal on this series? Can they flip-flop back into first place?