After Tuesday's blunders, I had asked that the Dodgers reexamine what they are doing and have a plan. Even though I know Chad Billingsley probably doesn't read blogs, I wanted to ask him or any other Dodger for relief. He came to the Dodgers' aid.
After being flummoxed by the Jack Taschner call-up and the six-game skid, I was already nervous. Now that O am on the East Coast, I don't watch too many Dodgers games live anymore. I tuned in until CBillz walked Torres, the second batter he walked in the inning. He would walk no more batters in the game. Throwing 85 strikes out of 125 pitches, Chad Billingsley recorded his third complete game and second shutout of his career. Though he only struck out 3 batters, he gave the entire bullpen a rest and picked up a Manny-less offense that struggles against left-handed hitters.
I want to be careful not to be too high or too low on CBillz. He had a great start but the game before he gave up the most earned runs he had given up in his short career (7). He can still give you a lot of bad along with some dominant stuff. Though he hasn't thrown as many strikeouts this year (7.62 K/9, half a K/9 below career average), his walk rate is the lowest this season that it has been in his career at 3.15. He can be frustrating at times but I believe he will be worth the investment of patience and opportunity.
Russell Martin is slow. Juan Uribe hopped in the air, prepared to get the second out of a DP, didn't throw, came down, collected himself and threw Martin out by a couple of steps. I know he's a catcher and whatever speed they have goes after a couple years in the bigs but it is GONE!
Four-spot with the Mets coming up. The Dodgers will have to take care of Takahashi because Johan Santana, Mike Pelfrey and R.A. Dickey are pitching after him. The Dodgers are going to have to find a way to score some runs because the Mets' pitching, though it seems all they have, may be enough to make it a rough weekend for the Dodgers.
Kuroda goes today, then Padilla, and from there we do not know yet. If I understand correctly, Kershaw has appealed his suspension and could go on Sunday. James McDonald should get another start. He wasn't great but I still favor him over Carlos Monasterios. Getting 3 or more from a Mets team that just got swept by the D-bags and are coming off of a 14-inning game would be nice. I am pessimistic but I still expect 3 wins this long weekend.