The Cubs didn't face a single left-handed pitcher in last year's NLDS against the Dodgers, and their mostly right-handed lineup were neutralized in a three-game sweep. This four-game series will be almost a polar opposite -- except for Chad Billingsley again starting Game 2 -- as the Dodgers are scheduled to start three LHP in four games at Wrigley Field.
With a 33-15 record, and a 4½-game lead over the Cardinals, the Dodgers, regardless of what happens this weekend in Chicago, will return home with the best record in baseball.
While Juan Pierre and Casey Blake have been the offensive superstars of May for the Dodgers, Orlando Hudson has had another stellar month. Hudson, who has started every game this season and is currently riding a Dodger season-high 17-game hitting streak, is hitting .356/.429/.455 in May.
Speaking of Pierre, here is a comparison of the Dodger outfielders this season:
|Andre Ethier ||202||-0.2||.347||.285||6.5|
Bill Skaikin and Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times reported that Ned Colletti is still searching for pitching help:
"We can't go to the bullpen every day as early and as often as we do," Colletti said.
Chad Billingsley has worked at least six innings in all 10 of his starts and Randy Wolf has done so in eight of his 10 starts. The other starters -- Clayton Kershaw, Eric Stults, James McDonald, Jeff Weaver, Eric Milton and Hiroki Kuroda -- have combined for 28 starts and have failed to last six innings in 23 of them.
One potential solution to the pitching shortage, Hiroki Kuroda, didn't fare too well in his second rehabilitation start for Inland Empire last night -- nine hits and seven runs (five earned) in five innings -- but he did face 24 batters, which has to count for something, right?
Randy Wolf, who has worked at least six innings in eight of his ten starts and each of his last four, gets the ball for the Dodgers. Trailing only Roy Oswalt with seven no-decisions, perhaps Wolf can counsel Cubs' starter Randy Wells, who has managed to achieve a 1.50 ERA in three starts, yet is 0-1.
Get your guesses in for "Just A Bit Outside" here.