Pitching is the Dodger topic du jour. The bullpen has been under the heat lamp lately (and will likely continue to be so after throwing 6 2/3 innings in yesterday's extra-innings affair). Some think the bullpen is overcooked; some think it's still fresh. And now, from ESPN.com's Jayson Stark, comes some surprising news about Dodger starters at home:
The Phillies have gotten just 16 starts all year in which their starting pitcher got at least one out beyond the sixth inning. Only the Nationals (15) have fewer. And only nine of those starts have come at home, tying the Phillies with the Dodgers for the fewest in the big leagues.
(Emphasis mine.) We were hopeful when Clayton Kershaw and Hiroki Kuroda turned in back-to-back pièces de résistance, but Randy Wolf and Chad Billingsley failed to continue the trend. With the team back eating home cooking this weekend, the Dodgers would be well served if their starters could break their prix fixe pattern by consistently pitching deep into games. And that's something everyone can agree on.
UPDATE: Context is everything. From an excellent post by Jon Weisman at Dodger Thoughts:
But the next person who asserts that Dodger starters don't throw enough innings needs to look at the league-wide numbers for starting pitchers and the bullpen issues for other teams, and then explain how this really constitutes a noteworthy disadvantage for the Dodgers.
Weisman shows the Dodgers are in the middle of the NL pack, with their starters averaging 6.04 innings per start. (The Cubs lead the league at 6.63.) I wonder what the AL numbers are.