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At least Chad Billingsley takes baby steps in Dodgers' 7-3 victory over Diamondbacks

Billingsley_300 Let’s call that progress. Guess it’s glass half-full time. Call me weak.

Chad Billingsley could not follow Clayton Kershaw with an inspiring performance. He could not, once again, pitch out of the sixth inning.

But he was very good for five innings, and if he wavered in the sixth, overall it was still a nice performance. Not as quite good as the Dodgers would like, but good enough to lead them to a 7-3 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Monday.

Billingsley gave up two runs, three hits and four walks in 5-1/3 innings. He struck out seven.

For five innings, he looked a lot like the starting pitcher who was an All-Star last season.

Billingsley has looked like that in spurts this season, but at least it’s become more frequent in his last four starts. The previous three, he made it through six innings.

Something about that seventh inning …

His earned-run average was a swollen 7.07 after his first three starts, but he has slowly lowered it to 4.82. At least he’s getting closer to the pitcher who was 9-4 with a 3.38 ERA at the break last season.

Monday he gave up a solo home run to Chris Young in the second inning, then retired 12 of the next 14 Diamondbacks.

In the sixth inning he gave up a leadoff walk to Adam LaRoche, and one out later, a run-scoring double to Stephen Drew. Joe Torre, having seen all this a few too many times, quickly went and got him.

Billingsley (3-2) threw 90 pitches, 52 for strikes. Not exactly Kershaw shutting out the Colorado Rockies for eight innings, but good enough. Small steps.

--Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Dodgers starting pitcher Chad Billingsley works against the Diamondbacks on Monday night. Credit: Matt Kartozian / US Presswire

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Torre's quick hook tonight rivaled Sparky Anderson at his peak. Except Chad Billingsley is a better pitcher than Jack Billingham.

Ever since getting bombed in his second and third starts of the season, Billingsley has been quite a different pitcher. Look at his pitch counts and the context for why he was taken out. If Torre wanted him to go seven at some pont in the last four starts, he could have, but Torre didn't let him for a variety of reasons, mainly to pinch hit for him.

Let's be honest, he was in trouble in the first inning just like the sixth inning and he got out of it back then. The fact that he wasn't allowed to continue was Torre's call, not Billingsley's fault.

Billingsly got pulled too soon. He threw a lot of first pitch strikes, and he only gave up three hits. He'd earned the right to finish that inning.

Once again Torre shows how to mismanage his bullpen. There was nothing that indicated a problem with Billz. If he had walked a batter in the second and then gave up a double he wouldn't go running out there to remove him. When has 90 pitches been an indicator that the pitcher is on empty? Show some nerve and make Billz work out of the problem.

nothing that indicated a problem other than about a year worth of starts.

Where have you people been? The Billingsley meltdown was coming, happens everytime. Torre finally gave him the hook before it became another loss!

So you guys don't count last year before the All Star break? I


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