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Chad Billingsley's meltdown against Reds has to have Dodgers concerned

April 20, 2010 |  6:20 pm
You can open your eyes now.

The continued shrinking of Chad Billingsley continued Tuesday in Cincinnati, though this one was a new low.

Billingsley’s troubled second half last season is looking like good stuff right now. He was as bad as he’s ever been against the Reds, at a time he really needed to make a statement.

Other than, he feels completely lost.

The Dodgers scored three times in the top of the first to give him a quick lead. Billingsley retired the Reds in order in the bottom of the inning, and his night had peaked.

Watching him melt in the second inning was tough. His fastball might as well have been on a tee.

The Reds opened their half of the inning with five consecutive hits, all of them of rockets. Line drive after line drive.

Somewhere in here, Billingsley just might have wanted to brush somebody back and prevent the Reds from sitting on the fastball.

Chin music, however, has never appeared part of his arsenal. It was one of the things he was criticized for in the 2008 NLCS against the Phillies.

There was none again this time, and he just seemed to grow more rattled. When Reds' pitcher Homer Bailey put a sacrifice bunt down, Billingsley scooped up the ball and sailed it over the head of Blake DeWitt for an error.

Billingsley was gone after three cover-the-eyes innings, having allowed seven runs (three earned) on seven hits.

His earned-run average is now swollen to 7.07 and club concern has to be growing. The rotation was on the shaky side to begin with, and it now their All-Star starter from last season continues to shrink.

--Steve Dilbeck