Dodgers win 13 of Billingsley's 19 starts

The Dodgers have won 13 of Chad Billingsley's 19 starts at the break for the all-star game. Wolf's starts have resulted in a 12-7 record and Kershaw is close with an 11-7. In addition, Kershaw has received the most run support from the offense among the regular starters, with Billingsley and Wolf ranking two and three.

This essay is about team won-lost record per start, not the actual record the pitcher put in the official guide and the runs each pitcher is supported with in each of his starts.

The theory is, if he pitches well enough to keep the opponents close and the team wins, even if he does not get the victory, he is credited with a "win."

2009 run support at All-Star break:

 pitcher	w-l	RS	wins	loss	in gm
McDonald	3-1	7.22	8.71	2.00	3.25
Stults	        7-2	7.22	8.71	2.00	3.11
Kershaw 	11-7	5.50	6.55	3.00	2.61
Billingsley 	13-6	4.68	5.54	2.83	4.16
Wolf 	        12-7	4.63	4.58	4.71	2.58
Milton	        3-2	4.60	6.33	2.00	3.00
Weaver	        3-2	3.80	2.67	5.50	2.80
Kuroda 	        4-5	3.33	4.50	2.40	2.56
-----------------------------------------	
 Totals	        54-32	5.17	6.33	3.22
(w-l= the team record in for each starter;
RS= run support; wins=runs in team wins;
loss= runs in team losses' in gm, runs
scored while starter is still in the game.)
As can be seen, Clayton Kershaw received the most run support among the regular starters, 5.50 per game and he had the most in wins. 6.55.

Hiroki Kuroda was last on the chart with only 3.33 runs per game and he received only 2.40 runs per game in losses

In 1987, at the advice of Rick Honeycutt, we began recording the runs scored while a pitcher was still in the game, getting a realistic view of how hard a starter had to work in relation to his run support.

Honeycutt knew what he was talking about after being given only 2.60 runs per game while in while the team average was 3.92.

Chad Billingsley worked with 4.16 runs on the average in each of his starts before the exited the game and Randy Wolf, as expected, was given only 2.58. Dodger pitchers received just over three runs per game while on the mound, well below the team average of over five runs over the entire contest.

2008 Run support: 
  	        wins  	losses  
Kuo 	        11.00	1.00
Stults 	         8.25	2.33
Penny 	         7.88	2.44
Loaiza 	         7.50	3.00
Lowe 	         6.42	1.67
Kershaw 	 6.17	2.11
Park 	         6.00	2.67
Billingsley 	 5.71	2.53
Kuroda 	         5.67	2.50	
Maddux 	         3.50	1.20
  Totals         6.31	2.20
  2007 	         6.18	2.70
As a whole, the 2009 starters are enjoyed a 5.17 runs per game and 6.33 runs per win, a tick above the final 6.31 mark in 2008, up from 6.18 in 2007 but well below the 6.45 runs per win enjoyed in 2006.

In addition, the 2006 starters had an average of 3.30 runs in each of their losing starts, while the '07 staff were given 2.70 runs and the 2008 team received only 2.02 -- making for a number of long nights for manager Joe Torre.

But in 2009, with some 74 games left in the regular season, the team's runs in losses sets at 3.22.

Run support is certainly not an exact science. It records the number of runs each pitcher receives per start but the runs each starter gets are the teams final total, not runs scored while the starter was in the game.

It is obvious that the more runs a pitcher receives, the more chance the team has to record a win. They might fluctuate from season to season but, for the most part, a pitcher who gets an abundance of runs, obviously finishes the season with an abundance of team wins.

The 2008 disparity between winning run support (6.31) and losing run support (2.02) is the largest since we began tracking this statistic more than 20 years ago.

Koufax Tops Won-Lost Charts
Sandy Koufax

It is no surprise that Koufax holds the all-time won-lost record with an unbelievable 34-6 record during his 1966 starts. Drysdale posted a 31-10 mark in 1962 and Koufax's 31-10 in 1965 is third overall.

Tom Lovitt of the 1890 Brooklyn Dodgers was 32-12, the only Brooklyn player to crack the 30-win mark. Kirby Higbe (29-9, 1941) and Jeff Pfeffer (29-12, 1916) won 29 times in their starts.

Koufax holds three of the top four marks, only Don Drysdale's superb 1962 record breaks the string, and the Dodgers won 93 during his super seasons.

  Los Angeles winning starts

34- 6  Sandy Koufax, 1963
31-10  Don Drysdale, 1962
31-11  Sandy Koufax, 1965
28-13  Sandy Koufax, 1966
28-11  Andy Messersmith, 1974

26-14  Don Sutton, 1974
25- 9  Orel Hershiser, 1985
25- 9  Hideo Nomo, 2002
25-17  Don Drysdale, 1965
24- 9  Orel Hershiser, 1988
23-15  Claude Osteen, 1966
23-10  Brad Penny, 2007 

  Los Angeles Run Support 
5.71  Kaz Ishii 2004 (19-12)
5.62  Orel Hershiser 1991 (16-5)
5.59  Darren Dreifort 1999 (14-15)
5.42  Brad Penny 2005 (20-13)
5.38  Ramon Martinez 1994 (15-9)

5.38  Luke Prokopec 2001  (13-10)
5.33  Darren Dreifort 2000 (20-12)
5.33  Eric Gagné 2001 (11-13)
5.27  Chan Ho Park (17-16)
5.23  Ramon Martinez (15-7)

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