The world is coming to an end! The Dodgers have lost two games in a row! The no-names stopped hitting!
Sure, those thoughts have crossed our mind. Losing to the Diamondbacks and Astros (with Kershaw on the mound no-less) doesn’t help, but I’m here to tell you it’s not time to panic in Dodgertown quite yet.
For one, it’s not like the Dodgers didn’t have chances last night. With runners in scoring position, the Dodgers were just 1-for-9, despite a .272 season average coming into the series.
On Saturday night, the Dodgers send the struggling Chad Billingsley to the mound to face the Astros Bud Norris. After a 2.64 ERA in the month of April, Billingsley has more than doubled that in May with an ERA of 5.85. Unfortunately for the Dodgers, Norris is headed in quite the opposite direction.
In the month of May, Norris has allowed exactly one earned run in 26 innings, good for an ERA of 0.35.
Houston Astros (22-23) at Los Angeles Dodgers (30-15)
7:10 PM PST, May 26, 2012
Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, California
TV: Prime Ticket
Radio: 570 AM (English), 1020 AM (Spanish)
Game-Time Weather: 57 degrees, Mostly Cloudy
For more information on the Astros check out our pre-series report.
Dodgers Last 10: (6-4): L vs HOU, L @ ARI, W @ ARI, W @ ARI, W vs STL, W vs STL, W vs STL, W @ SD, L @ SD, L vs ARI.
Astros Last 10: (7-3): W @ LA, W vs CHC, W vs CHC, W vs CHC, L vs TEX, W vs TEX, L vs TEX, W vs MIL, W vs MIL, L @ PHI.
- In nine Norris Starts this season, the Astros are 8-1, averaging 5.55 runs per game.
- Chad Billingsley has lasted more than six innings in just two starts this season.
- In 67 career at bats, the Astros are hitting just .209 against Billingsley.
Keys to a Dodger Victory:
– Take advantage of opportunities
With a lineup like the Dodgers have, there aren’t going to be an abundance of opportunities, and the biggest reason they had been winning was simply because they were better than capitalizing on them than anyone else. The way Norris is pitching there won’t be many opportunities, so the Dodgers need to maximize their runs.
– Chad limits the free passes
After allowing just seven walks in April, Bills has already allowed 13 in May – part of the reason for his recent struggles. While the Astros have a poor career batting average against Chad and the game is at home, tonight is the perfect opportunity for him to get back on track against the woeful Astros.
Best-Case Prediction: Dodgers 4, Astros 2
Worst-Case: Astros 6, Dodgers 1