The Dodgers are reeling, having dropped five straight, and they try to avoid a four-game sweep at the hands of the St. Louis Cardinals. Chad Billingsley gets the call today, trying to beat Chris Carpenter. It might not matter if Billingsley can't pitch with a lead, as bizarrely suggested by Tony Jackson of ESPN LA earlier this week, since St. Louis has owned this series, outscoring the Dodgers 29-9 in the first three games.
For today's preview, here is something obscure from each member of today's starting nine:
- Tony Gwynn is second on the club with four doubles
- Jamey Carroll, despite not starting four games, has managed to appear in every game this season
- Andre Ethier had two doubles last night for the 15th time in his career
- Matt Kemp is hitting .480/.536/.800 at Dodger Stadium this season
- Juan Uribe has been hit by a pitch three times this season. Since the Dodgers moved to Los Angeles in 1958, only three other Dodgers have been hit that many times in the first 15 games of the season: Dick Gray in 1958, Brian Jordan in 2003, and Jeff Kent in 2006
James Loney is 1-for-12 in day games this season, but that hit was his lone home run on the season
Rod Barajas has eight home runs in his first 38 games as a Dodger.
Aaron Miles is 2-for-13 at Dodger Stadium this season, but both times he has reached base he has scored.
- Billingsley has retired nine of the 10 batters he has faced in the second inning this season, allowing only a single
Padilla Begins Rehab Assignment Today
Vicente Padilla will begin his rehab assignment today with the Class A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes. Padilla threw bullpen sessions on back-to-back days on Thursday and Friday, and is expected to throw 25 pitches today. The Quakes are home today facing the Lake Elsinore Storm, the Padres' affiliate in the Cal League, at 2:05 p.m. You can listen online here.
Padilla will start today's game, take Monday off, then pitch again for the Quakes on Tuesday. Both outings will be one inning, with Padilla on a 25-pitch limit. If he happens to finish his inning in quick order, Padilla will finish by throwing in the bullpen. If Padilla feels fine after the Tuesday outing, he could join the Dodgers on their upcoming road trip, which begins Friday at Wrigley Field in Chicago.
As far as Padilla's role when he returns, manager Don Matingly said before the game today that he trusts Padilla to pitch in relief "at any time during the game."
In Case You Missed It
Earlier this morning there have been several posts:
- Brandon Lennox recapped Saturday's minor league action
- Chad Moriyama analyzed Hong-Chih Kuo's release point this season
- I recapped news from around the NL West
Game Time: 1:10 p.m.
TV: Prime Ticket