Dodgers Welcome Billingsley Back

After last night's game, the all-time series between the Dodgers and Cardinals is tied at 993 wins apiece.  However, it may not seem that way given recent events.  The Cardinals have won four out of five games this season -- although the last two losses were by one run and involved the Dodgers giving up late-inning leads -- and 27 of the last 37 dating back to 2004.

Tonight, the Dodgers get a boost with the return of Chad Billingsley, who missed his last turn in the rotation with a mild left hamstring strain.  Facing St. Louis on July 28, Billingsley cruised into the fifth inning with a one-hit shutout, but came crashing down with a six-run rally filled with bouts of wildness and grounders that found holes.  Since that start, Billinsgley has allowed just two runs in 11 innings over two starts, but both starts were cut short due to injury.

Starting for St. Louis is 25-year old rookie Mitchell Boggs, who has made a few trips back and forth to the Cardinals' Triple A affiliate in Memphis.  In 67.1 major league innings, Boggs has allowed 85 hits and 42 walks, for an eye-popping 1.886 WHIP.  In each of his last four starts, Boggs has allowed at least 10 baserunners, continuing the time-honored association of the name Boggs with getting on base.

I will admit, I was a little surprised when I saw this stat today:  Matt Kemp (1047.0) and Andre Ethier (1019.0) rank first and second, respectively, in the National League in defensive innings in the outfield.  The only other National League outfielder with 1,000 innings is Hunter Pence (1013.2).

The Cardinals are very interested in John Smoltz, who was released yesterday by the Boston Red Sox, and is expected to clear waivers on Wednesday, per Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

The Dodgers are 23-23 at home since starting the season with 13 straight home wins.

The Dodgers are 12-5 on Tuesdays this season, and have won four of their last five Tuesday games, all by at least eight runs.  The lone loss was a 10-0 drubbing by the Cardinals.

Get your guesses in for "Just A Bit Outside" here.

Game Time:  7:10pm


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