No Need To Fear, Chad Billingsley Is Here

Chad Billingsley looks to continue the trend of his last two starts tonight.

If I were a worrier, I might be concerned about the state of the Dodger pitching staff right now.  Not necessarily because of Clayton Kershaw's outing last night against the Brewers, although allowing seven runs in under two innings certainly didn't help.  I might be worried because the current rotation is just three deep, with the final two spots filled by rookie John Ely and the rubber-armed TBA.  The candidates to fill that TBA slot Saturday are essentially all pitchers who pitched yesterday; Carlos Monasterios (31 pitches last night), Charlie Haeger (67 pitches), and Ramon Ortiz (28 pitches) seem the likeliest to pitch against the Rockies.  That they would all be on three days rest suggests that Saturday could be a bullpen game. 

UPDATE: Joe Torre announced today that Haeger would start Saturday

Essentially, until Vicente Padilla comes back, and while current Isotopes James McDonald and Scott Elbert squander their best opportunity to seize a rotation spot, the Dodger rotation is what we would call in flux.  This might have me worried, you know, if I were a worrier.

However, tonight Chad Billingsley continues his image rehabilitation program, seeking his third straight quality start.  They way Billingsley is throwing right now makes me worry free.  He will record an out in the seventh inning tonight, for the first time in 20 starts, or I will write the entire game recap in Pig Latin.

Doug Davis, taking the hill for Milwaukee tonight, started his career with great success against the Dodgers, but has struggled since:

Doug Davis Career Starts Against the Dodgers
Starts IP IP/GS H ER BB K ERA WHIP
1st 4 starts 30.0 7.50 18 0 7 22 0.00 0.833
Last 8 starts   
36.2 4.58 50 26 23 24 6.38 1.991

Seven Heaven

Tomorrow, John Ely (current ERA: 7.50) will have an opportunity to be the third Dodger starter in as many days to lower his ERA below 7.00.  Last night, Haeger pitched four innings of relief, lowering his ERA from 7.45 to 6.56.  Today, Vicente Padilla lowered his ERA without throwing a pitch.  A first inning single by Chris Dickerson of the Reds on April 22 was changed to a throwing error on James Loney, changing one of Padilla's runs allowed from an earned run to the unearned variety.  As a result, Padilla's ERA dropped from 7.06 to 6.65.

Baby steps.

Lineups

The left field start breakdown since Manny Ramirez went on the disabled list (including tonight):  Reed Johnson five, Xavier Paul four, Garret Anderson three.  Ramirez is expected to be activated Saturday.  He has one more rehabilitation game scheduled, tomorrow night in Lake Elsinore with the Inland Empire 66ers.

Brewers      Dodgers
2B Weeks
LF
Johnson
CF Gomez C Martin
LF Braun    
RF Ethier
1B Fielder
CF Kemp
3B McGehee 1B Loney
RF Edmonds  
3B Blake       
SS Escobar 2B Belliard
C Kottaras SS Carroll
P Davis P Billingsley 

Xeifrank's simulation of today's game is here.

Game Time: 7:10pm

TV: Prime Ticket

Baseball Reference Preview | Box Score | Gameday

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