Max Scherzer was stingy tonight, holding the Dodgers to a single run, and Arizona parlayed a big fifth inning to a 4-1 win at Dodger Stadium. Scherzer did not allow a run through his first seven innings, and ended up allowing just seven hits and a walk to go with his four strikeouts.
The lone Dodger run came courtesy of a Manny Ramirez RBI single in the eighth inning. The Dodgers managed to get the tying run to the plate in the form of Matt Kemp, but Kemp flew out to end the threat.
Chad Billingsley started off great, retiring the first 13 batters of the game. Then, a one out double in the fifth by catcher Miguel Montero ended the perfect game, and it was followed by a titanic home run by Brandon Allen that traveled halfway up the pavilion in right field. After the home run, a series of seeing-eye singles and a missed strikeout call brought home two more runs for the Diamondbacks.
Billingsley's struggles over the last few months can be explained by the big inning:
|Starts||IP||W-L||ERA||FIP||WHIP||BB/9||K/9||HR/9||Inn Started||1-2-3 IP||2+ run IP||3+ run IP|
||92.2||9-3||2.72||2.86||1.230||3.79||9.03||0.29||96||32 (33.3%)||10 (10.4%)||2 (2.1%)|
|Last 14||80.0||3-6||5.18||4.43||1.350||3.71||6.98||1.13||84||34 (40.5%)||14 (16.7%)||5 (6.0%)|
Billingsley's strikeout rate is down and his home run rate is up, but he has still managed more 1-2-3 innings during his rough patch than earlier in the season. The key was that in the first 14 starts, he gave up exactly three runs in an inning only twice, and never more than that. In his last 14 starts, Billingsley has had two innings of three runs, two innings of four runs, and a six-run inning.
Still, with the Dodger offense running on fumes at this point, it really doesn't matter how many runs the pitching gives up.
Andre Ethier did manage three hits tonight, including his team-leading 36th double of the season.
Doug Mientkiewicz made his first appearance since April 16, getting a pinch hit single in the sixth inning to bring his batting average to an even .500 (three hits in six at-bats).
Tomorrow, Jon Garland will make the start that he has been scheduled to make for some time, only now it will be as a Dodger and not a Diamondback. Billy Buckner pitches for the Diamondbacks.
WP - Max Scherzer (9-8): 7.2 IP, 7 hits, 1 run, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts
LP - Chad Billingsley (12-9): 6 IP, 6 hits, 4 runs (3 earned), 1 walk, 5 strikeouts
Sv - Juan Gutierrez (3): a 1-2-3 inning