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There is no other option for Dodgers: Kershaw and Billingsley must deliver

May 6, 2010 |  8:05 pm
You dance with the one who brought you, but the Dodgers are being left a tad dizzy waiting for Clayton Kershaw and Chad Billingsley to get the rhythm.

They are the young Turks of the Dodgers’ rotation, the promising arms the team’s pitching future -- and present -- are built around. A main reason the Dodgers resisted trading prospects for front-line starters.

Yet five weeks into this 2010 season, they remain too much a puzzle and too little a sure thing.

They have had very good moments, but consistency remains elusive.

Billingsley, 25, is 2-2 with a 5.06 ERA. He has allowed 37 hits in his 32 innings. Kershaw, 22, is 1-2 with a 4.99 ERA and has allowed 28 hits and 24 walks in his 30 2/3 innings.

If the Dodgers are to right themselves, Kershaw and Billingsley (along with the reliable Hiroki Kuroda) will have to lead the way.

``You’re not going to go and find somebody to take their place,’’ said Manager Joe Torre. ``The success is going to have to come from those guys, and it’s going to on a regular basis, trust me.

``I’ve seen guys come and go in this game, pitchers and players, and these two guys care very much and they have the ability to go with it. It’s just a matter of figuring it out. And sometimes it takes a little longer than other times.’’

If you assume that the Dodgers’ offense and defense will be respectable -- not easy to do these days -- it will come down to pitching for the Dodgers.

With Vicente Padilla on the disabled list and a shuffle going on for the fifth spot, it becomes even more crucial to the team’s ultimate success they be able to count on Kershaw, Billingsley and Kuroda to set the pace.

``It’s a lot of untried stuff right now,’’ Torre said.

Which makes it so imperative that Kershaw and Billingsley become more dependable, and less uncertain.

__ Steve Dilbeck