December 18, 2014

The Saga of Chad Billingsley and the Dodgers


Well, if I told you that the Dodgers lost again you probably wouldn’t be surprised. If I also told you that there weren’t a lot of runs scored by the Dodgers you also wouldn’t likely be shocked. If I told you the starting pitcher threw a solid game and lost thanks to his relief, that probably wouldn’t surprise you either. Unfortunately, the remarkable comeback of Chad Billingsley has been spoiled by another collapse thanks to his teammates.

You all remember ol’ Chad, don’t you? He was the one that started 0-3 with a 6.53 ERA through his first six outings this season. He managed to turn things around and over his last seven starts (going back to April 30) he’s managed to deliver a 4-2 record with a 1.80 ERA (9 ER/45.0 IP). This means his earned run average has dropped to 3.29 – quite an improvement for the team.

Unfortunately, this good work has not gone unpunished. Today, Johnathan Broxton was the culprit, giving up a lead-off double to Wright and then sacrificing a home run to Carlos Beltran, eliminating the tidy 2-0 lead that the Dodgers had amassed over the first seven innings. The Mets scored the winning run thanks to a single by Fernando Tatis that drove in pinch-runner Nick Evans.

Take a look at Billingsley’s last four starts and you’ll see why I am so frustrated at the losses that come on his watch – 27 IP, 15 Hits, and 3 Earned Runs. This is SOLID performance but the middle and late relief just can’t deliver the way Chad can. Combine this with the lack of offense that L.A. is putting up and you have a recipe for the type of give-back we saw today in New York.

On a side note, Dodgers manager Joe Torre seems to be warming up to the idea of switching up the lineup further to try to increase run production. Said Torre, “I think with the personnel we have, we could interchange pieces…I had the situation in New York. The experience is different, but we had a number of different guys who could hit 3, 4, 5, 6 — those are the power spots and those are the production spots.” Let’s hope some change will result in more offense from the team.