The Dodgers have taken part in some low-scoring games at Wrigley Field in the last three regular seasons. They have allowed just 29 runs in their last 10 games in Chicago against the Cubs, and their starting pitchers have thrown seven quality starts and have a collective 2.24 ERA. Yet the Dodgers are just 3-7 in those games, because their offense hasn't done much.
In 10 games at Wrigley Field in the last three seasons, the Dodgers have scored a grand total of 22 runs. However, they have scored two or less runs in eight of those games, with a pair of eight-run outbursts providing the bulk of their Windy City offense. In fact, if you are a fan of likely meaningless patterns, here are the Dodgers' runs scored in their last five road games against the Cubs: 0, 8, 0, 8, 0. I guess we can pencil in the Dodgers for eight runs today.
The beneficiary of that offense today would be Chad Billingsley, who had zero runs scored while he was busy pitching eight scoreless innings on Sunday at Dodger Stadium. Billingsley has made four career starts at Wrigley Field, never giving up more than two earned runs. He has a 2.52 ERA in Chicago against the Cubs with six walks and 27 strikeouts in 25 innings, yet the Dodgers are 2-2 because of that aforementioned lack of run support.
Casey Coleman has never faced the Dodgers, and the only current Dodger to face him is Tony Gwynn, who was 0-for-2 against Coleman last year while Gwynn was with San Diego. Coleman, as Phil Gurnee noted yesterday in the series preview, has four pitches, though Coleman sticks mostly with his changeup (thrown 18.0% of the time in his career) and curveball (thrown 12.5%) as his offspeed weapons. Coleman has a fastball that averages a notch above 89 mph, and has thrown it 62.9% of the time in his career. Coleman has struck out 4.3 batters per nine innings in the majors after punching out 5.2 per nine in the minors, so expect Cubs' fielders to get a workout today.
- Before today's game, the Dodgers activated Vicente Padilla from the disabled list. He last pitched on Tuesday for Class A Rancho Cucamonga.
- Kosuke Fukudome has just four hits in 21 at-bats against Billingsley, but those four hits include two doubles and a home run
- Alfonso Soriano is 4-for-18 with a walk and eight strikeouts against Billingsley
- Marlon Byrd has three singles in seven at-bats off Billingsley
- The Cubs have been 1-1, 2-2, 3-3, 4-4, 5-5, 6-6, 7-7, and 8-8 this season, and are now 9-9, setting a new franchise record for most consecutive stops at the .500 mark to start a season. The 1930 team almost matched this year's squad, stopping at the .500 mark every two games through 8-8, but then went on a hot streak, starting 15-8 on their way to a 90-64 record.
- Robert Baly of Vin Scully Is My Homeboy was at Thursday's throwback day game at Dodger Stadium, and has plenty of pictures and videos to show for it.
Game Time: 11:20 a.m.
TV: Prime Ticket