Dodgers Pitching Thin Heading Into Finale At Coors

The Dodgers look to win a series at Coors Field on Sunday, but to do so will need a strong outing from Chad Billingsley. The bullpen has been taxed in the first two games in Colorado, specifically on Saturday when all seven relievers on the roster pitched in the 13-inning loss to the Rockies. Billingsley is needed to pitch deep into the game, but to do so he will need to overcome his struggles at Coors Field.

In his career, Billingsley has made seven appearances in Colorado, including six starts. He is 1-5 with a 7.88 ERA (28 runs in 32 innings), with 21 walks and 19 strikeouts. This season, Billingsley has lost both starts at Coors Field, losing on April 6 and June 10, allowing a total of 11 runs in 7 2/3 innings.

The Dodgers have used a reliever on three straight days three times this season:

2011 Dodgers Relief Pitchers On 3 Straight Days, By Pitches Thrown
Reliever Dates Day 1 Day 2 Day 3
Mike MacDougal May 23-25 7 10 18
Javy Guerra Jul 23-25 15 16 4
Kenley Jansen Jul 24-26 10 12 7

The Dodgers have had four different relievers pitch on each of the last two days:

  • Scott Elbert threw 25 pitches after throwing 16 pitches Friday
  • Matt Guerrier threw 23 pitches after throwing 16 pitches Friday
  • Blake Hawksworth threw 13 pitches after throwing 12 pitches Friday
  • Mike MacDougal threw 22 pitches after throwing four pitches Friday

Factor in Javy Guerra throwing 32 pitches on Saturday, and Hong-Chih Kuo pitching in parts of two innings and the Dodgers have the makings of a thin bullpen on Sunday. The one reliever I didn't mention was Josh Lindblom, and even he threw 25 pitches yesterday.

The bullpen is so thin that Hiroki Kuroda has volunteered to pitch in relief today, per Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times. And then this:

Mattingly said he told Loney he could pitch today if the #Dodgers run out of arms.

Kevin Millwood was released by Boston on August 6, and signed with the Rockies two days later. In two starts with Colorado he has allowed seven runs in 13 innings with two walks and nine strikeouts, which don't look too bad on the surface until you notice that Millwood has also allowed a whopping five home runs.

Could be a high scoring affair in the series finale.

Sunday Blues For Colorado

The Rockies have a bizarre streak going with 17 straight losses on Sunday:

Rockies Sunday Struggles
Date Result
Apr 24 Florida 6, Colorado 3
May 1 Pittsburgh 8, Colorado 4
May 8 San Francisco 3, Colorado 0
May 15 San Diego 8, Colorado 2
May 22 Milwaukee 3, Colorado 1
May 29 St. Louis 4, Colorado 3
Jun 5 San Francisco 2, Colorado 1
Jun 12 Dodgers 10, Colorado 8
Jun 19 Detroit 9, Colorado 1
Jun 26 Yankees 6, Colorado 4
Jul 3 Kansas City 16, Colorado 8
Jul 10 Washington 2, Colorado 0
Jul 17 Milwaukee 4, Colorado 3
Jul 24 Arizona 7, Colorado 0
Jul 31 San Diego 8, Colorado 3
Aug 7 Washington 3, Colorado 2
Aug 14 St. Louis 6, Colorado 2

The Rockies' last win on Sunday was a 9-5 win over the Cubs on April 17. Colorado is 2-17 on Sundays this season, and 57-51 on all other days.

Lineups

Dodgers   Rockies
3B
Miles

CF
Fowler
SS
Sellers

2B
Ellis
RF
Ethier

RF
Gonzalez
CF
Kemp

SS
Tulowitzki
LF
Rivera
1B
Giambi
1B
Loney

LF
Smith
C
Navarro
C
Alfonzo
2B
Carroll
3B
Nelson
P
Billingsley

P
Millwood

Game Time: 12:10 p.m.

TV: Prime Ticket

MLB Gameday

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