Lowe, Billingsley Led in Innings Per Start

Derek Lowe and Chad Billingsley were the only two starters over the six-inning per start mark during the 2008 season, with Penny leading the way with a 6.30 and Lowe close behind at 6.19. However, Lowe boosted his team-leading total to 6.21 in '08.

As a team the 2008 Dodgers increased slightly from 5.66 to 5.72, only the second time in the last 11 years the totals have gone up.

Chad Billingsley increased his numbers from his second major league season, recording 6.13 innings per start compared to his 2007 mark of 5.60.

Lowe led the team in 2006 with 6.32 innings per start and Greg Maddux was second at 6.10. Surprisingly, Greg Maddux finished fourth in 2008, averaging 5.75 innings over his seven starts. Of the 10 starting pitchers used, seven of them finished below the team average of 5.72.

 2008 Innings per start
	        starts	inn	inps
Lowe	        34	211	6.21				
Billingsley	32	196	6.13
Kuroda	        31	183	5.91
Maddux	         7	 41	5.75
Penny	        17	 94	5.51
Stults	         7	 39	5.51
Johnson	         2	 10	5.50
Park	         5	 25	5.00
Loaiza	         3	 11	3.77
Kuo	         3	 11	3.53
 Totals	        162	928	5.72
(Innings rounded to nearest third)

 2007 Innings per start
	        starts	inn	inps
Penny	        33	208	6.30
Lowe	        32	198	6.20
Wolf	        18	103	5.72
Billingsley	20	112	5.60
Wells	         7	 39	5.52
Tomko	        15	 79	5.29
Hendrickson	15	 76	5.07
Stults	         5	 28	5.06
Kuo	         6	 28	4.67
Schmidt	         6	 26	4.22
Loaiza	         5	 24	4.44
	        162	917	5.66
The Dodgers innings per start have cascaded downward like a flight of stairs from 1998 to 2007, following the trend in baseball in general.

Innings per start
 1998  6.44
  1999  6.19
   2000  6.13
    2001 ?6.01
     2002  6.09
      2003  6.08
       2004  5.90
        2005  5.77
         2006 ?5.70
 	   2007 5.66
            2008 5.72 
In the National League, the Dodgers moved from last in the West Division in 2007 to third, with Arizona, Milwaukee and Washington topping their respective divisions.

National League

 West 		gm	inn	inps
Arizona		162	966	5.96
SFrancisco	161	983	5.90
Los Angeles	162	928	5.72
San Diego	162	971	5.64
Colorado	162	985	5.62

 Central 	gm	inn	inps
Milwaukee	162	963	6.07
Chicago		162	955	5.90
St. Louis	161	942	5.90
Florida		162	947	5.69
Cincinnati	162	975	5.66
Houston		162	960	5.64

 East 		gm	inn	inps
Washington	162	979	6.07
Atlanta		162	929	5.73
Pittsburgh	162	928	5.73
Philadelphia	162	921	5.69
New York	162	919	5.67
 Totals		  		5.75
Remarkable record
Don Sutton, listed on nearly every Dodger pitching record chart, holds the club record with a remarkable 8.26 innings per start set during the 1972 season, the best mark since 1942. Only four pitchers, three of them Hall of Famers?, in the last 60 years have worked into the ninth inning? and none since 1972, the short list including Bill Singer (8.18), Sutton, Sandy Koufax in 1965 (8.15) and Don Drysdale in 1964 (8.03).

Starters today rarely work in relief, but it was not uncommon some years ago to use starters for an inning or two between their starts, and a fixed rotation was somewhat of a rare occurrence until doubleheaders became a thing of the past.

In the Dodgers? pennant winning year of 1941, Whit Wyatt and Kirby Higbe won 22 games each for manager Leo Durocher. Higbe started 39 times, had 19 complete games and relieved in another 11. Wyatt started 35 and completed 23.

Los Angeles had four complete games in 2003, with Derek Lowe claiming three of them (two were losses, 1-0 and 3-0) and Chad Billingsley adding the fourth. Arizona led the National League with seven complete games. The all-time low was in 2001 when Chan Ho Park had the only shutout on the staff.

The 1902 Brooklyn staff set a franchise record by completing 131 of 141 starts, a stunning 93%. But complete games have gradually became less and less the norm.

After Dodger Stadium opened in 1962, the figures stayed in the 40?s and 50?s, although the 1974 pennant winners had only 33 complete games.

Bill ?Brickyard? Kennedy set the Dodgers? franchise record with 40 complete games ?out of 44 starts ?in 1893 and Sandy Koufax holds the Los Angeles Dodger mark with 27 accomplished in both 1965 and 1966 before his elbow wore out.

Over Koufax?'s final four seasons he averaged a remarkable 7.9 innings per start. And even with the short season of 1964 that sidelined him with a finger injury, he started 150 times and pitched a total of stunning 1,187.2 innings, including three in relief.

No Dodger pitcher has earned a spot in the top 15 since Orel Hershiser in 1988.

Top 20 All-Time Innings Per Start
 (30+ starts)
 inn                 (starts)
8.26 - ?Don Sutton, 1972 (33)
8.18 - Bill Singer 1969 (40)
8.15 - Sandy Koufax, 1965 (41)
8.03 - ?Don Drysdale, 1964 (40)
7.98 - ?Andy Messersmith, 1973 (40)

7.91 - Fernando Valenzuela, 1986 (34)
7.88 - ?Sandy Koufax, 1966 (41)
7.83 - ?Claude Osteen, 1970 (41)
7.83 - ?Bill Singer, 1969 (40)
7.82 - ?Orel Hershiser, 1988 (34)

7.65? - Don Sutton, 1976 (34)
7.63 - Don Drysdale, 1962 (41)
7.78? - Sandy Koufax, 1963 (40)
7.77? - Don Sutton, 1973 (33)
7.74 - ?Fernando Valenzuela, 1985 (35)

7.71 - ?Don Drysdale, 1968 (31)
7.70 - Fernando Valenzuela, 1982 (37)
7.87 - Don Sutton, 1976 (35)
7.68 - Fernando Valenzuela, 1984 (34)
7.67 - Claude Osteen, 1972 (33)

LA Dodgers Insider Top Stories