LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 03: Chad Billingsley #58 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches against the Chicago Cubs in the second inning at Dodger Stadium on May 3, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Last Memorial Day, Chad Billingsley took the mound against the Diamondbacks, a 6:10 p.m. start at Dodger Stadium. Eight batters into the game, three Diamondbacks had hit home runs, and Arizona led 4-0. However, Billingsley was able to recover, retiring 19 in a row at one point, and struck out 11 in eight innings of work. The Dodgers clawed their way back as well, and won 5-4 on a walk-off balk by Esmerling Vasquez.
Billingsley after that second inning last May 31 allowed just one home run the rest of the season. Since that game, including this season, Billingsley has allowed just four home runs in 175 innings over 28 starts. Billingsley has a 3.60 ERA during that span with a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 2.3-to-1, and opposing batters have hit just .237/.311/.320 against him. However, Billingsley has a record of just 8-11 in those 28 starts, and the Dodgers are 12-16.
This is thanks in part to the Dodgers scoring just 89 runs in those 28 games, an average of 3.18 per game (the Dodgers have scored 3.88 runs in their other non-Billingsley games during that span). They have scored three runs or fewer in 17 of Billingsley's last 28 starts.
Billingsley faced Arizona three more times after Memorial Day last year, allowing just four runs in 20 1/3 innings (a 1.77 ERA), with three walks and 30 strikeouts. Billingsley is 9-5 in his career against Arizona, with a 3.48 ERA in 21 games (19 starts). Stephen Drew has faced Billingsley the most among the Diamondbacks, with 58 plate appearances, and Drew has had the most success, hitting .358/.414/.528. Chris Young has three home runs in 47 PA, hitting .238/.298/.524, while Justin Upton has hit just .185/.250/.370 in 32 PA against Billingsley.
Josh Collmenter makes the start today for the Diamondbacks, the first major league start for the rookie right-hander. Collmenter has pitched out of the bullpen so far this year, and has been effective, with one walk and 11 strikeouts in 14 innings, allowing just two runs. Collmenter understandably hasn't been stretched out yet this year, and will be on a pitch count today of about 75-80 pitches, per Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic.
Game Time: 4:10 p.m.