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The Last Two Were Great, But Dodgers Need Another Win Against Padres For It To Matter

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The Dodgers try to avoid a time-killing split against the Padres tonight by sending their hottest pitcher to the mound. Chad Billingsley has not allowed a run in his last three starts, spanning 21 2/3 innings, and looks to pick up where Ted Lilly and Vicente Padilla left off.

Since returning from the disabled list on June 28, Billingsley is 4-1 with a 2.82 ERA in seven starts, while averaging 6.38 innings per start. He hasn't allowed a home run since Memorial Day, a span of 62 1/3 innings.

Kevin Correia starts for the Padres tonight. He has lost both previous starts this season against the Dodgers, allowing eight runs and 16 baserunners in 11 1/3 innings.

The Dodger offense has benefited from some home cooking this week, with 16 runs in three games. The nine runs last night were fueled partially by Andre Ethier, who had two doubles and a home run. Ethier's game was the fourth this season by a Dodger with three extra-base hits:

3 Extra-Base Hits By Dodgers This Season
Player Date Opp 2B 3B HR
Ronnie Belliard April 8 @Pit 1 1 1
Andre Ethier May 1 Pit 2 0 1
James Loney June 15 @Cin 3 0 0
Andre Ethier August 4 SD 2 0 1

No Run Support, No Problem

Jeff Sullivan of SB Nation noticed a trend about the Dodgers pitchers in games they receive very little run support:

When the Dodgers haven't scored - and this has happened pretty often - the Dodgers' pitchers have buckled down. That .612 OPS against with 0-2 runs of support is by far the best mark in baseball, a full 64 points ahead of second-place Texas. In tight, low-scoring games, LA's pitchers have managed to avoid allowing solid contact, and by avoiding solid contact, they've avoided blowing the game.

This really becomes apparent when you break down the Dodgers' schedule. The Dodgers have scored 0-2 runs 35 times, and they've won 11 of those games. And since you can't win when you don't score at all, the more significant figure is that the Dodgers have gone 11-13 when scoring just one or two runs. The Yankees, for the sake of comparison, have gone 3-11. The Rays have gone 2-19.

Get your guesses in for Xeifrank's game simulation here.

Game Time: 7:10 p.m.

TV: Prime Ticket

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