From the site of the greatest individual offensive game in MLB history...
The Dodgers roll into Milwaukee having won each of their last three series, led in July by this offensive trio:
The club has scored 40 runs in the six games since Manny Ramirez returned from suspension. Tonight, the hot offense will be supporting their ace, Chad Billingsley. Billingsley has had four chances to claim his 10th victory, but each time he was denied:
- June 19 @ Angels: Billingsley took a 4-1 lead into the bottom of the 6th, but allowed three runs in a game the Dodgers would eventually lose, 5-4. Billingsley was even wilder than usual, walking a season-high five batters in his six innings.
- June 25 @ White Sox: Up 4-0 heading into the bottom of the 5th, Billingsley allowed a pair of runs to cut the lead in half, then allowed three more on a shocking, two-out home run in the 6th by A.J. Pierzynski. The Dodgers eventually tied the game, but would lose in the 13th inning.
- June 30 vs. Colorado: Billingsley actually pitched very well on this night -- he struck out 11 while allowing three runs in 7.2 innings. However, the Dodgers ran into the buzz saw that was Jason Marquis, who pitched a two-hit shutout. Marquis even had a two-run single in the seventh inning to put the game out of reach.
- July 5 @ San Diego: On the day Billingsley heard he was an All-Star, he had a great day against the Padres. He hit his first career home run, and pitched into the 9th inning with a 6-1 lead. After a home run and a double to start the inning, Billingsley handed the ball to fellow All-Star Jonathan Broxton. Big Jon uncharacteristically gave it all back, allowing the Padres to tie the game at six. However, the Dodgers did manage to win this game in the 13th inning on a James Loney home run.
Braden Looper starts for Milwaukee, losers of six of their last eight games. Looper has three straight quality starts, and has pitched six or more innings in nine of his last 11 starts. Perhaps he has pitched well enough to avoid the ire of Ryan Braun.
For the Brewers, All-Star Prince Fielder has reached base in 16 straight games, and is hitting .368/.471/.719 over that span.
Orlando Hudson, who was hit by a pitch on the left knee, forcing him to leave last night's game early, has declared himself fit to play, and is expected to be in Friday's starting lineup, so says Matt Chaprales of MLB.com.
Get your guesses in for "Clogging The Bases" here.
Game time: 5:05pm