As of a couple of days ago, the Dodgers were holding out hope that Chad Billingsley might be able to contribute as a reliever later this month. That dream is now dead, as he was transferred from the 15-day to the 60-day disabled list on Wednesday.
Left-hander Steven Rodriguez, a 2012 second-round pick who was pitching for the Florida Gators a couple of months ago, was called up to join the bullpen.
Billingsley was having a nice bounce-back season before his elbow shut him down last month. He won seven straight starts from July 23-Aug. 19, and he was 10-9 with a 3.55 ERA when he went on the disabled list.
Without Billingsley and Ted Lilly, the Dodgers are currently going with a rotation of Clayton Kershaw, Chris Capuano, Josh Beckett, Aaron Harang and Joe Blanton. Lilly, out since late May with a sore shoulder, threw a simulated game Wednesday and is hoping to rejoin the Dodgers later this month, but he lacks the time necessary to get stretched out to start.
2019 has been one long nightmare for the Pirates. They’re in last place in the NL Central, have had multiple clubhouse fights, and can’t stop getting into bench-clearing incidents. The embarrassment continued on Sunday as the club lost 16-6 to the Cubs, suffering a three-game series sweep in Chicago.
One of those 16 runs the Pirates allowed was particularly noteworthy. In the bottom of the third inning, with the game tied at 5-5, the Cubs had runners on first and second with two outs. Tony Kemp hit a triple to right field, allowing both Ben Zobrist and Jason Heyward to score to make it 7-5. The Pirates thought one of the Cubs’ base runners didn’t touch third base on their way home. Reliever Michael Feliz attempted to make an appeal throw to third base, but it was way too high for Erik González to catch, so Kemp scored easily on the error.
The Pirates lost Friday’s game to the Cubs 17-8 and Saturday’s game 14-1. They were outscored 47-15 in the three-game series. According to Baseball Reference, since 1908, the Pirates never allowed 14+ runs in three consecutive games and only did it two games in a row twice before this series, in 1949 and in 1950. The Cubs scored 14+ in three consecutive games just one other time, in 1930.