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Dodgers Pitchers Haven't Let Astros Liftoff

Chad Billingsley has been off to a great start this season.
Chad Billingsley has been off to a great start this season.

The Dodgers have not only beaten the Astros six straight times, but they have completely shut down the Houston offense during that span. Chad Billingsley gets the start Sunday afternoon for the Dodgers looking to continue a great trend for Dodgers pitchers against the Astros.

Dodgers 6-Game Winning Streak Vs. Astros
Date Location IP H R BB K Starter
4/21/12 Minute Maid Park 9.0 4 1 5 10 Kershaw
4/20/12 Minute Maid Park 9.0 5 1 7 11 Lilly
8/14/11 Dodger Stadium 9.0 5 0 1 7 Kuroda
8/13/11 Dodger Stadium 9.0 6 1 1 9 Kershaw
8/12/11 Dodger Stadium 10.0 3 0 4 8 Eovaldi
6/19/11 Dodger Stadium 9.0 3 0 2 6 Kuroda
Totals: 6-0, 0.49 ERA 55.0 26 3 20 51

During those six games, the starters have a 0.44 ERA and have averaged 6.83 innings per outing, while the bullpen has allowed just one run in 14 innings (that run scored on Saturday night) while striking out 16.

Billingsley has been great so far this season with a 1.33 ERA and 17 strikeouts against just one walk. All three of his outings have been quality starts so far this season, and he hopes to continue his success at Minute Maid Park. Billingsley has made four starts in his career in Houston, and he is 4-0 with a 1.78 ERA (he has allowed eight total runs in four starts, six of them earned), with 25 strikeouts and nine walks in 30 innings.

Wandy Rodriguez has been pretty good so far for Houston, at 2-0 with a 1.96 ERA through three starts, but he has also allowed four unearned runs in addition to his four earned runs and has struck out only 10 in 18 innings. Five days ago in Washington Rodriguez allowed just one run on five hits to the Nationals in seven innings.

Matt Kemp is 5-for-18 with two doubles and a home run in his career off Rodriguez (.278/.391/.556), but the way Kemp is hitting right now I'm not sure the opposing pitcher matters very much. Juan Uribe, back in the lineup on Sunday after missing four games with an injured left wrist, is 2-for-10 with three walks off Rodriguez but one of his two hits was a home run.

Mother Nature Doesn't Want Kershaw Vs. Strasburg

The Washington Nationals had their Sunday series finale with the Florida Marlins rained out on Sunday. Today's scheduled Nats starter, Gio Gonzalez, will now pitch Tuesday instead, which pushes the entire Washington rotation back one day, per Mark Zuckerman. That means no Stephen Strasburg vs. Clayton Kershaw matchup Friday night at Dodger Stadium. Instead, Ross Detwiler will start Friday, with Strasburg and Chad Billingsley battling Saturday, and Chris Capuano and Gio Gonzalez on Sunday.

That is, unless that 30% chance of rain Wednesday causes the first rain out at Dodger Stadium in 978 games.


  • Mark Ellis so far this season has scored 14 runs despite totaling just 12 hits. No Dodger with as many as 10 hits has finished with more runs than hits in a single season.
  • Scott Elbert has been the forgotten man in the bullpen as he hasn't pitched since April 13, a mere nine days ago.
    "We've run into two lineups in a row that have called for right-handed relievers," manager Don Mattingly said before Saturday's game. "They've got three lefties on the bench to pinch-hit."
  • The Dodgers have played 138 innings of baseball so far this season, and have trailed at the end of 18 of them.

Starting Lineups

James Loney sits for the fourth time against seven left-handed starting pitchers this season. Juan Rivera moves to first base today, with super sub Jerry Hairston Jr. getting the start in left field.

Dodgers Astros
SS Gordon CF Schafer
2B Ellis SS Lowrie
CF Kemp LF Martinez
1B Rivera 1B Lee
RF Ethier RF Bogusevic
LF Hairston
3B Johnson
3B Uribe C Castro
C Treanor 2B Altuve
P Billingsley P Rodriguez

Game Time: 11:05 a.m.


MLB Gameday