How Do You Solve a Problem Like Billingsley?
Remember the days when Dodgers starter Chad Billingsley was that reliable arm? It didn’t matter what happened the night before. It was a given when he was given the ball you could pencil in a win for the Dodgers.
Since August 23 Billingsley in five starts has an 0-4 record with an 5.67 ERA. Opponents are batting .342 against him. Mind you these aren’t World Series caliber opponents. These numbers are against Cincinnati, Chicago Cubs, Arizona Diamondbacks twice and the San Francisco Giants.
“I’m sure he’s frustrated,” manager Joe Torre said of Billingsley’s mindset. “Physically he’s fine which is the good news. It’s just a matter of getting the good feeling back.”
I’m sure no good feelings happened in Sunday’s game when the Dodgers faced the l’enfant terrible Tubby (aka Brad Penny) in San Francisco. Tubby gave up two runs in the seventh inning shutting down the Dodgers all afternoon. Billingsley and Jeff Weaver combined went 5 1/3 innings giving up seven runs.
Now to get the “good feeling” back.
“You pretty much have to feel it,” Torre said. “You know what it is. You know what you have to do. A lot of times when you’re out there you sort of feel your way.”