Dodgers @ Padres April 10, 2013: Welcome Back, Chad Billingsley

petco_park_opener2013In 2006, Chad Billingsley was a 22-year-old rookie breaking into the Dodger rotation. On September 16 of that year — the second game of a four-game series that would end in the famous “4+1” game — he faced the Padres in his 15th career start. Facing a lineup that included Mike Piazza, Mike Cameron, Dave Roberts, & Adrian Gonzalez (yes, this was a long time ago) he lasted a single 40-pitch inning, allowing three runs before getting yanked by Grady Little. That’s right, Grady Litlte. I did say this was a long time ago.

Billingsley was relieved by another rookie, 26-year-old lefty Eric Stults, making his third career appearance. (And eventually also by Tim Hamulack, Mark Hendrickson, Elmer Dessens, and Giovanni Carrara, because 2006 just blew on up in here.) Stults was even worse, allowing four earned runs in 1.2 innings as the Dodgers would end up losing 11-2.

Dodgers
Padres
LF
Crawford
SS
Cabrera
2B
M.Ellis
RF
Venable
CF
Kemp
LF
Denorfia
1B
Gonzalez
1B
Alonso
RF
Ethier
3B
Gyorko
3B
Cruz
2B
Amarista
C
A.Ellis
CF
Maybin
SS
Sellers
C
Hundley
P
Billingsley
P
Stults

Seven seasons later, fate has brought the two back to the same mound as Billingsley returns from the disabled list to make his first start of 2013. He’s opposed by old friend Stults, who has somehow become one of the better San Diego pitchers despite a long journey which has taken him from Los Angeles to Colorado, Japan, Chicago, and now Petco.

Despite the lefty on the hill for San Diego, Andre Ethier remains in the fifth spot for the Dodgers. I’m not sure if that’s more an indication in Don Mattingly‘s confidence in Ethier against lefties — four hits in 10 plate appearances at this ridiculously early juncture — or a total lack of confidence in the still hitless Luis Cruz. It’s probably a little of both; either way, I think we’d all prefer to see A.J. Ellis hitting behind Ethier.

Don’t forget, the local television schedules are all sorts of messed up due to the amount of Southern California sports tonight — and, let’s face it, FOX’s total disdain for the team after losing them — so the game will be broadcast on a variety of alternate channels, which the Dodgers have helpfully compiled here.

Thanks to last night’s debacle, only Kenley Jansen & Brandon League come into tonight’s game fully rested:

Fri 10/11Sat 10/12Sun 10/13Mon 10/14Tues 10/15Wed 10/16Thurs 10/17
RR. Belisario9105
LJ.P. Howell152026
RK. Jansen51626
RC. Marmol26
RB. Wilson281411
RC. Withrow2544
RE. Volquez
2274 comments
Professor Towel
Professor Towel

Billingsley must be pitching two consecutive nights. I'm a bit worried about his elbow, but I'm sure Mike would have mentioned it by now if it were a problem. Funny how the Padres have Stults going again, too.

*VND*
*VND*

welp, i guess im gonna jump in my canoe and go rescue Mike

HiiiiEVERYBODY (HiiiiEVERYBODY)
HiiiiEVERYBODY (HiiiiEVERYBODY)

@plaza234 That's the Dodgers. Is it not? Is that not what they do to us EVERY YEAR? It's always good pitching followed by no offense or the other way around. But usually good pitching.

EephusBlue
EephusBlue moderator

@HiiiiEVERYBODY I am imagining goat looking at Harang's tears and saying "they taste like victory"