Wow! What a fantastic start by Chad Billingsley yesterday for the Dodgers. He went 8 1/3 innings, 3 hits, 0 runs and 11 strikeouts. But was it real?
Was I actually asleep? Intoxicated, maybe? Well no to the former, yes to the latter. Drunk on Dodger baseball! I’m a huge proponent of a good outing being a good outing regardless of the opposition, so the “it was the Padres” line won’t work on me.
Even if Billingsley was facing the Yankees yesterday, he would have been successful. I can say that confidently – his fastball was exploding, the curve ball was biting, and he only made a couple location mistakes all day.
So yes, it was a fantastic start. But we need him to keep it up if the Dodgers are going to truly contend this season. We don’t know what we are going to get with Chris Capuano, Aaron Harang and Ted Lilly yet. But Clayton Kershaw can’t shoulder the whole load.
If Billingsley is the real deal in 2012 and finally lives up to his potential for a full 30+ starts, the Giants, Rockies, and D’Backs need to watch out.
BUT, color me skeptical. Props for the big start, but it’s going to take a full slate of good starts for me to buy in. Not because I don’t believe in Bills’ talent. That’s never been a question. But because he has a tendency to overthrow and start missing location.
Missed location leads to walks, which leads to base runners, which leads to runs. And not to mention he’ll start forcing pitches that get rocked. But Bills has always been good for a few brilliant starts a season. Prove to me that this wasn’t just one of those fluky starts.
He didn’t have a great Spring, and while I’m not one to buy into Spring Training numbers, it does worry me. I’m going to go ahead and say while Bills’ start wasn’t a fluke, per se. But we’ll need a little more proof. I’m definitely impressed with start number one. If he continues to hit location and have good break on his curve in start number two, I may start to believe!
Either way, you know things are going well when A.J. Ellis hits a home run for the Dodgers. Let’s go blue, keep up those winning ways!