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Chad Billingsley shows everything he has in a single game Dodgers rally to win, 5-4

Billingsley_300 For all those mystified at the otherworldly highs and lows of right-hander Chad Billingsley, he offered Monday night as a neat, little one-game capsule that the Dodgers managed to wrap into a 5-4 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Billingsley started this season 2-2 with a 5.06 earned-run average. In his next four games, he went 4-0 with a 1.50 ERA.

This fairly mirrored last season’s effort, when he went 9-4 with a 3.38 ERA in the first half and then 3-7 with a 5.20 ERA in the second.

Anybody suspect a pattern here?

So comes Monday, when in a single game, he managed to be both positively brilliant and look-away awful.

Billingsley gave up four hits in the first two innings against the Diamondbacks, three for home runs and the other a double off the wall. Rockets that put Arizona out to a quick 4-0 lead.

He also struck out the side in each inning.

Indeed, by night’s end, he had struck out a season-high 11. He had gone a season-high eight innings. He did not walk a batter. And did not allow another run, and only two hits, after the second inning.

Anybody got him all figured out?

Billingsley can be remarkably efficient, stunningly inconsistent and occasionally maddening.

Somehow it fit into a game the Dodgers rallied to win, 5-4, scoring two runs to tie it in the eighth when Kelly Johnson committed two errors on one play, and then won it in the ninth on a balk by Esmerling Vasquez.

That Billingsley sure knew how to set a tone.

When you saw balls fly out of the park in the first and second innings, you wondered if he’d make it into the third. When you saw him shut down the Diamondbacks over the next six innings, you wondered how they ever scored off him in the first place.

Somehow, it was perfectly Billingsley.

Stretches when he looks like he could be an ace, and other stretches -- admittedly less frequent -- when you’re hoping he can be a fourth or fifth starter.

And if you’re wondering how he pulls it off, Billingsley offered it all in one simple game Monday.

--Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Dodgers starting pitcher Chad Billingsley works against the Diamondbacks on Monday night at Dodger Stadium. Credit: Jeff Gross / Getty Images

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Chad can get in trouble when he gets too aggressive and starts pounding the strike zone. His fast ball does not have a lot ,if any movement.Any major league hitter can hit a flat fast ball.....Chad started mixing pitches and fooling hitters pitching slightly out of the zone....It was great to see him recover.This experience will allow him to reach another level.

They found a way to win!

Billingsley became the first Dodger pitcher since Hideo Nomo to strike out at least 11 batters while giving up at least three home runs in a game. Nomo fanned 13 on August 20, 1995 at Shea Stadium against the Mets, but lost the game 5-3.

Bills gets into trouble when he nibbles and falls behind then throws one down the middle. He has a plus fastball that moves too much, he flattens it out when he and the batter know he has to throw a strike. Arizona hits more HR's than any one in MLB but even they aren't going to hit 3 every time. It was awesome to see Bills committed to throwing strikes early and often. The reason we stayed close enough to win with the balk was because he had command of the fastball and didn't walk anyone. His blowout loss HRs have been of the 3 run variety, usually one or more of the runners getting a free pass. Nice also to see Torre letting a pitcher throw 120 pitches. A little confidence from the skip leads to alot of positive motivation for any player let alone a younger pitcher having a rough start. Loved the way Bills hustles down the line on ground balls. He may never become the ace fans had hoped but he showed alot of heart last night. Kids got sand.

Both Billingsley and Kershaw seem to need about 30 pitches to get up to speed. Maybe the Dodgers should institute some way for them to get those 30 pitches in under game conditions before they start the game. Sure it would cut down on the number of pitches they could throw in the actual game but at least they wouldn't be down by 2(Kershaw) to 4(Billingsley) runs to start the third inning.

I must disagree with Steve. This Chad was nothing like the Chad of the early going, even when he got hit. He threw strikes and challenged hitters, and ZERO walks. True, a number of hits went yard, BUT with only limited damage with no extra men on base due to walks. Finally, instead of imploding, he kept himself and his team in the game. This performance was yet another example of "ace in the making" development.


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