The Dodgers go for their second straight win tonight, and fourth in five games against the Cubs this season. Chad Billingsley, who picked up the win at Wrigley Field on 11 days ago by allowing two runs (one earned) in 6 1/3 innings. Billingsley has allowed three runs in 14 innings in two starts at Dodger Stadium this season, with three walks and 15 strikeouts.
Ryan Dempster has been awful so far this season for the Cubs, with a 9.58 ERA thanks in part to allowing a whopping nine home runs in 31 innings (for what it's worth, Dempster's x-FIP right now is just 4.19). He is coming off the shortest start of his career, as he faced 10 batters last Thursday in Arizona but only recorded one out, allowing seven runs. Nobody in MLB has allowed more runs this season than Dempster.
The Dodgers hit three home runs off Dempster on April 23 at Wrigley Field, a game the Cubs ended up winning with a five-run eighth inning. However, since that game the Dodgers have hit four home runs in 295 plate appearances, spanning eight games.
The Dodgers have scored 32 runs in four games against the Cubs this season, and have averaged 3.23 runs against everyone else. Part of the reason for their offensive success against Chicago has been the Cubs' starting pitchers. The Dodgers have scored 24 runs (23 earned) in 18 innings off Cubs' starters this season, an 11.50 ERA.
In case you were wondering, Andre Ethier, sitting on a 28-game hitting streak, is 7-for-20 with four doubles and a home run in his career against Dempster.
Audio Train Wreck
If you want to listen to Frank McCourt stumble through 30 minutes of non-answers on ESPN 710 with Mason & Ireland, click here. Two memorable moments for me were the first caller telling McCourt, "I'm never going to go to a game as long as you own the team," and when McCourt, who with ex-wife Jamie owns a lot of houses, said, "I don't need a lot of houses."
Game Time: 7:10 p.m.
TV: KCAL, WGN