Tonight, for the Dodgers! 24-year-old future megastar Chad Billingsley! Already one of the top young starters in baseball, Billingsley improved for the third year in a row in 2008, cementing his position as the ace of the Dodgers. (Seriously, dig that 2.75 ERA in 28 starts from April 30 to the end of the season.) Billingsley’s good enough to take down just about any lineup in the game, but in 13 career games against San Diego (9 starts) he’s got a 2.37 ERA with 61 K in 57 IP. And some of those Padre games may have even come against major league hitters, which San Diego is clearly in short supply of this year.
Chad Billingsley: awesome.
Tonight, for the Padres! 32-year-old future waiter Walter Silva! Hey, 32 isn’t too late to throw your first professional pitch in America, is it? Not when you didn’t start pitching until 27! That’s right, Silva’s a four-year Mexican League veteran who, if I didn’t make this clear enough, didn’t start pitching until 27. In 21 Mexican starts last year, he was 7-8 with a 4.21 ERA and a 1.448 WHIP, striking out just 3.7 per 9. That’s hardly tearing up the Mexican League, so what’s that going to look like in the bigs? Well, Baseball Prospectus took a guess, and they’re saying a 5.85 ERA with a -12.1 VORP.
Walter Silva: giving me hope that since I’m 27, I could start pitching today and still make the big leagues.
Oh, and just to add on, Billingsley gets to face guys like David Eckstein, Luis Rodriguez, and Edgar Gonzalez, while Silva gets Manny Ramirez, Matt Kemp, and Rafael Furcal. Because that’s fair. Seriously, what a mismatch. I can’t remember anything as egregious as this since DJ Houlton vs Roger Clemens, back during that catastrof*ck of 2005.
So, with all that in mind, be prepared for something incredibly ugly tonight:
Padres 5, Dodgers 1. Yeah, you heard me – this always happens. The goggles! They do nothing!