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Dodgers Having Problems When Staying Regular

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The Dodgers look to postpone their elimination for one more night tonight as they face the Padres. It may be out of their hands however, as they will be eliminated with either a loss, or a win by either the Giants or Rockies.

When the bulk of minor league call-ups happened on September 6, it was understood that, because the Dodgers still had several games against teams still in the playoff chase, manager Joe Torre would not make wholesale changes to the lineup, and field a competitive team. It's a fine thought, in theory. But, when your regulars are stinking up the joint, it becomes a problem. The Dodgers have played nine games against NL West contenders since September 6, and are 2-7 during that span.

Here are some stats for the starters in those nine games:

Player
PA
HR
R
RBI
BA/OBP/SLG
OPS
Ethier
31
2
3
3
.250/.419/.500
.919
Kemp
37
1
3
3
.257/.297/.457
.754
Furcal
36
0
3
2
.242/.306/.333
.639
Gibbons
24
0
3
1
.217/.250/.261
.511
Loney
30
0
1
0
.167/.167/.200
.367
Theriot
34
0
2
0
.133/.212/.133
.345
Blake
33
0
0
1
.094/.121/.094
.215

That's not a lot of production from the regulars. Then again, Russ Mitchell, John Lindsey, and Trent Oeltjen are a combined 5-for-40, so perhaps it doesn't matter which players start.

Chad Billingsley has made four starts this season against the Padres. In his first two starts, he didn't give up any runs, and picked up the win each time. In his last two, the Dodgers didn't score any runs, and he was hung with the loss each time. Billingsley has a 2.55 ERA in those four starts against San Diego, but his 2-2 record has been fueled in part by the fact that the Dodgers have scored a total of three runs in those four games.

In his career, Billingsley is 9-6 with a 2.70 ERA in 18 starts against the Padres. Adrian Gonzalez is 11-for-45 in his career against Billingsley, hitting .245/.364/.311. Yorvit Torrealba is 8-for-22 with a home run off Billingsley, hitting .364/.440/.500.

Clayton Richard has faced the Dodgers twice this season, and won both games. He allowed one run in six innings in San Diego on July 28, then got the win allowing four runs in 5 1/3 innings at Dodger Stadium five days later.

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

Game Time:  7:10 p.m.

TV:  KCAL

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