Here we go again with Derek Lowe...
For the 3rd time in a row, Lowe was awful as the Dodgers got creamed, 7-1. After starting the year with 3 great starts and a 1.80 ERA, he now is 2-3 with a 4.43 ERA after giving up 6 runs in 5.1 IP last night. Since going 8 innings in an 11-1 rout of San Diego on April 12, he has yet to get out of the 6th inning.
This is the thing that is so maddeningly frustrating about him. He does this stuff ALL THE TIME. Over the past 3 full seasons as a Dodger, he ends up with an ERA in the upper 3's, which would suggest that he's done pretty well. The down side is that he's prone to getting bombed in way too many starts, just like last night. One day, his stuff is nasty enough to justify Derek Jeter once saying he had the best stuff in the game. Other days, it's batting practice. Very frustrating.
It's not like he got any help, though, as the Dodgers could only muster 1 lousy run, just like Wednesday's game vs. the Mets. And, just like Wednesday, the run came in the 9th inning, when the game had well been in hand. They had 7 hits, only 2 walks, and left 8 men on base. Not going to get it done.
Of course, it's no surprise that the offense has struggled with Rafael Fucal out. They're 1-2 without him, and could very well be 0-3 if Blake DeWitt hadn't played the game of his life on Tuesday. Thank God Furcal is supposed to be back today, because they really need him. His value has gone up even more by sitting out these last few games.
If the Dodgers are going to beat the Astros, they're going to have to figure out Lance Berkman, who is playing out of his mind this year. He's hitting .380 with 12 HR and 35 RBI. Can you even imagine the Dodgers having someone like that? Oh wait... Andruw Jones was supposed to. Ya, that's really worked out well for them. At least his 1-3 raised his average to a staggering .173. That's All-Star quality right there.
With Furcal back (we hope), Chad Billingsley will look to get the Dodgers back on the winning side tonight. He's given up only 2 runs in his last 13 innings, winning 2 games in the process. They need a big start from him as their starters (Kuroda, Penny, Lowe) have all sucked royal lately.