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

April 10, 2013 at 8:45 pm | Posted in Game Threads | Leave a comment

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:

[table id=5 /]

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