Today's game was delayed at the start by roughly 70 minutes by rain, but patience has not been a problem at all for the Dodgers of late. The sent 11 men to the plate today in the top of the third inning at Wrigley Field, plating six runs, propelling them to a blowout 12-2 win in the opening game of a series with the Cubs. While the Dodgers did their damage in the third inning -- their six runs on six hits were season highs for the Dodgers in one frame -- the groundwork was laid from the start. Just like it has been during their three-game winning streak.
Today, the Dodgers saw 31 pitches from Casey Coleman in the first inning. While they didn't score in the opening stanza, Coleman was toast the second time through the batting order, as he threw 51 pitches in the fateful third inning and was lifted before completing the frame. The Dodgers have worn down the opposing starting pitcher in each of their last three games, all wins:
|Date||Opp||Pitcher||1st Inn. Pitches||Pitches Thru 3|
The Dodgers didn't end their selectivity there. They saw a whopping 230 pitches in the game. Baseball-Reference.com doesn't have full pitch-by-pitch data for the entire period of the Dodgers' time in Los Angeles, but of the games they do have there are 19 other games in which the Dodgers saw 230 or more pitches, and none of those games were shorter than 12 innings.
Jeff Stevens fared no better in relief, throwing 89 pitches in his 3 1/3 innings of taking one for the team. No relief pitcher has thrown that many pitches against the Dodgers since Francisco Oliveras of the Giants threw 96 pitches in relief on April 26, 1991.
Chad Billingsley was given a lead, a big lead in fact, and pitched just fine. He allowed two runs (one earned) in 6 1/3 innings, walking three and striking out three. Billingsley even helped himself at the plate, with an RBI single and a walk. The walk was his second of the season, making him the only pitcher in the league with two walks while batting.
Just about everyone got involved on offense, as all nine starters either scored or drove in a run. Jerry Sands was the only starter without a hit, and he had a bases loaded walk. Among the offensive highlights:
Andre Ethier extended his hitting streak to 19 games with an RBI single in the third inning. During the streak he is hitting .417/.488/.597. Matt Kemp was the last Dodger with a 19-game hitting streak, in 2008. The last Dodger to have a longer hitting streak was Nomar Garciaparra, who had a 22-game streak in 2006.
- Juan Uribe had a home run among his two hits, and drove in four runs for the second time in three games.
- Marcus Thames, who didn't start, got into the act with a pinch-hit home run off Marcos Mateo, a right-hander, in the top of the ninth inning. It was the second pinch homer for Thames this season.
- A.J. Ellis, with the specter of the Dioner Navarro's return looming, had two hits and a walk
- The 10 total walks by the Dodgers today were not only a season high, but also more than they have had in any two games this season.
Kenley Jansen had a nice game in relief, striking out four of the five batters he faced. He entered the game with one out and the bases loaded and the Dodgers up 9-2 in the seventh inning, and proceeded to strikeout Tyler Colvin and retire Carlos Pena to end the threat.
The Dodgers go for another win on Saturday, with Ted Lilly facing his old mates. Ryan Dempster will start for the Cubs.
WP - Chad Billingsley (2-1): 6 1/3 IP, 7 hits, 2 runs (1 earned), 3 walks, 3 strikeouts
LP - Casey Coleman (1-1): 2 2/3 IP, 6 hits, 6 runs, 4 walks, 4 strikeouts