Chad Billingsley's great reversal does in Nationals, 3-1
Oddest great game ever pitched by Chad Billingsley. Talking Bizarro great, Alice in Wonderland great.
Billingsley started Sunday as if he was going to work on the shortest outing of his career. He could do nothing right. He walked his first batter, hit his second and then gave up two singles.
That left the Dodgers down, 1-0, with the bases loaded and still no outs. The only question seemed to be how many body parts Billingsley would leave behind before he was dragged off the mound.
Only then, the strangest thing happened. Clark Kent jumped into the phone booth. Suddenly, bullets bounced off his chest.
Billingsley struck out the side, did not give up another hit and retired 21 of the last 22 batters he faced.
And the Dodgers eked out a 3-1 victory against the Nationals before an announced crowd of 36,458 at Dodger Stadium.
He struck out 10, walked two and lowered his earned-run average to 3.92.
After Billingsley gave up that early run, the Dodgers rallied with two runs in the bottom of the first against Jason Marquis (8-5) after Rafael Furcal singled with one out.
Furcal was erased when Andre Ethier bounced into a fielder's choice, but Matt Kemp then singled. Aaron Miles, batting fifth, then laced a hit to center fielder. Ethier scored easily and third-base coach Tim Wallach waved Kemp home.
Kemp would have been out by several feet, but catcher Jesus Flores couldn't hold on to the throw and the Dodgers were up, 2-1.
They added another run in the third after Furcal walked and stole second. He took third on an infield single by Kemp and, after Miles walked to load the bases, scored when the Nationals couldn't turn a double play on a bouncer by James Loney.
The rest was left to the suddenly unhittable Billingsley.
Kenley Jansen shut out the Nationals in the eighth, extending his scoreless streak to 14 innings, and rookie Javy Guerra pitched a scoreless ninth for his seventh save, after earning the victory on Saturday.
-- Steve Dilbeck
Photo: Chad Billingsley delivers a pitch against the Washington Nationals at Dodger Stadium. Credit: Kirby Lee / Image of Sport / US Presswire