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Offense shows life, but Chad Billingsley struggles in Dodgers' 7-5 loss to Rockies


And on the seventh day, they discovered a little offense. Alas, it was too little.

A day after being shut out for the second time in their first five games, the Dodgers used solo home runs from James Loney and Rod Barajas -- doubling their team total -- to take an early 4-2 lead.

Yet with Chad Billingsley struggling throughout, and reliever Blake Hawksworth doing more of the same, it hardly proved enough as the Rockies rallied for a 7-5 victory Wednesday in Denver.

Billingsley lasted three innings, throwing 86 pitches -- including 42 in an excruciating third inning. He gave up five runs on six hits and three walks. It is in Denver, of course, where Billingsley has enjoyed about as much success as the Winter Olympics.

The Dodgers have seen this three-inning performance routine before and now can only hope that things turn around for Billingsley in the same way that they have in the past.

The last time he lasted three innings was a year ago in Cincinnati, where the Reds knocked him out with seven runs on seven hits. Afterward, Billingsley met with then-manager Joe Torre and pitching coach Rick Honeycutt.

That meeting was viewed as a turning point for Billingsley, who recovered to finish with a solid season, pitching particularly effectively in the second half (3.05 earned-run average).

Billingsley (1-1, 8.00 ERA) recently agreed to a three-year, $35-million contract extension. He is only 26, so it’s not as if anyone is going to get too worked up over a bad outing in Denver. But Wednesday’s effort did waste a 10-hit game by the Dodgers.

If the Dodgers are going to make any decisions based on the early going, then it might be time to give up on the Hector Gimenez experiment when Jay Gibbons returns. Gimenez struck out as a pinch-hitter in the ninth with two runners on, did not look good doing it, and is one for six this season.

-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Dodgers starting pitcher Chad Billingsley works the first inning against the Rockies on Wednesday afternoon in Denver. Credit: Barry Gutierrez / Associated Press

Comments () | Archives (16)

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It's time for Dodgers (.500) baseball!

Only the Dodgers can turn back to back doubles into back to back singles. Donny, why would you not pinch run for Rod-B?? Also, Gimenez was a spring fluke, send him back to the minors.

People...Loney now shares the team lead in HR's. You asked for it and you got it!

After the encouraging 3-1 start I took time to reflect on the train wreck that is Frankie's ownership of the Dodgers. I also took in the fact that it would be the last day the Dodgers were 2 games over .500 this season.

nail...hammer.... direct hit!

The highlights: dudger hitters get lucky, pass 1st base, finally score on 2nd date with Colorado.

The lowlights: dudger pitching staff hums like Patsy Cline & 'falls to pieces', allowing seven runs.

Turn out the lights... the season's over.

Had this game been played at an neutral site, subtract those 4 routine fly balls (outs everywhere but Mile High, home runs auspices Denver's rarefied air), calculate aerodynamic drag hitters & pitchers - then call it another loss, 2-0.

They already look (and play) like they're exhausted and in need of a day off; fortunately they get one tomorrow, their second in three days.

"If the Dodgers are going to make any decisions based on the early going, then it might be time to give up on the Hector Gimenez experiment"

- naw, Hector 'Jim' and his tomahawk .167 is just pacing himself (like the rest of the dudgers). He's trying to show the dudgers that in the battle for a roster spot as backup catcher between him & the DL'd Navarro, the choice is clear - AJ Ellis.

bilz is & always shall be a mjor doooooooooosh.....
& highly unlikely that gibbons is any answer whatsoever

I thought Gimenez was just getting ready to become a hero. Imagine him hitting a 3 run homer in that spot. He would've been the talk of the town. Well even Ethier couldn't do it. The Dodgers had a chance to score even more than 5 runs against a shaky Jason Hammel. I bet he's happy he faced them today, the way he pitched. I was happy to see Loney hit a homer, I wonder how much he has left in that bat. Overall it was a good day for the offense. It was fun watching them score runs. It almost felt like a win. Billingsley can't afford to pitch like that. Not with this offense.

give up 3 and lose, score 5 and lose

get used to it ... though wish it could be so much different

one key at-bat late, Ethier fails
another key at-bat late, we've nobody to pinch-hit

ridiculous fielding miscue by my choice, Blake, at 3B in front of Furcal today ... still good to see him back, especially with his stick

could be a woefully long road trip void of many, if any, wins...won't be surprised if we return home 3-8 but sure am hoping we turn it around, maybe win half of the six in SD and SF (lot to ask I know)

with so many holes, so many question marks, it'd be good to string together some wins and maybe find a way to stay competitive for a few months - if we do that, you never know...but today's situationals at Colorado, we were poor..Bills was what, 19 batters and 10 of them had at least a 3-ball count, including five in one inning alone?... not expecting mid-season form but we're having to play too close to fine with no margin for error in all areas to win a game...need a few things clicking at the same time, not just one thing, and another day something else clicks.

beat the padres

For all those who can't wait for Jay Gib to replace Hector G, i can't believe a 35 year old will be any team's savior. Which means, if he isn't, he won't hit a lick.

Hey LA Denver's got your number! In baseball and basketball!

As for Billingsley, that may have been a personal record. I don't think he's ever thrown that many pitches in that short of an outing...or in one inning. Wow, 42...that's impressive. Well, that's what happens when you have that many three-ball counts (I think it was 10).

Billingsley just flat-out SUCKS.

Billingsley's extension from Ned "Bernie Lomax" Colletti was a really, really bad idea. But then again, all of the team's signings/extensions have been disasters for 20+ years.

Dodger baseball!!

Just three more years - four if you count this season - of this scared little man-boy who refuses to work inside and has no intestinal fortitude or intensity to shut an opposing team down. Billingsly needs to grow a set and knock some people on their behinds. He pitches in fear. He goes down 2-0 in five minutes of a game. We come back miraculously with 4 and he gives up three in three minutes the following inning. It is soooo hard to watch this guy - just 4 more years. Sounds like a political slogan.

Saw too much of last season's Waddling Wuss for my taste, yesterday. But I'm willing to give Billingsley a pass just to see if he can turn it around. If not, I'll be on him and his big candy-ass before you can say Ned Colletti really screwed up with this one.
Like I said before the club broke camp, Gimenez is a minor leaguer, and will continue to be. He's a certifiable stiff.
Ah, we're at .500. That's more like it. But I don't expect we'll be able to stay in this rarified atmosphere once the Pads and the Jints are done with us. skyharbor hit it right on the head.

Awesome! Great article.


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