Billingsley, Herrera rise to occasion as Dodgers stun Phillies again

Philadelphia won’t soon forget Elian Herrera.

For the second straight evening, the Dodgers’ utility star drove in the winning run, delivering a two-out, two-strike, two-run double in the eighth inning to give Los Angeles what it needed for a 2-1 victory over Philadelphia and winless Cliff Lee.

Lee had allowed three baserunners and struck out 12 before the eighth inning — and the Dodgers did him the additional favor of having two baserunners thrown out at third base to begin that frame. (Following a leadoff double, Matt Treanor couldn’t make it to third on a Tony Gwynn Jr. bunt, and then Gwynn himself was thrown out trying to take two bases on a single by pinch-hitter Bobby Abreu.)

But after Dee Gordon singled, Herrera doubled to deep left-center, driving in the tying and go-ahead runs. Josh Lindblom and Kenley Jansen then closed the door on Philadelphia.

Herrera has twin .377 on-base and slugging percentages for the Dodgers now. Lee fell to 0-3 despite a 2.92 ERA on the year.

The Dodgers stayed close thanks to Chad Billingsley, who threw seven innings of one-run ball to set himself up for another blistering critique from the fans the next time he fails to impress. In the first inning, Billingsley allowed a leadoff double, an RBI single and a walk before escaping on a to-the-wall fly to right. After that, however, the righthander permitted only four baserunners over his final six innings, despite striking out only three of 28 batters he faced in the game.

  • http://underdog.typepad.com/ underdog

    Stun is right. They coud’ve had a couple more runs that inning and Lee was left out too long but they sure showed some mettle that inning. Great at bat from Herrera. I don’t know when his magic will run out but sure am enjoying his “underdog” run so far. :)

    Think we’ll see the debut of Tolleson tomorrow?

    • Anonymous

       Probably not unless the Dodgers are way ahead, way behind, or it goes extra innings.

  • Anonymous

    In the end, a satisfying game except that MLBTV fizzled and I missed Herrera’s double. Now waiting for the highlights.

  • KT

    Beautiful write up Jon especially since you couldn’t follow the game

    • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

       Thanks – I appreciate your help.

      • KT

        I was just being an extra set of eyes for those who were temporarily without sight…I’ll do it anytime anyone needs a review or is watching on Gameday…I spent many years overseas waiting for a response (in play run/runs)…That’s for you John_from_aus

        • Anonymous

          Thanks KT, sometimes its slow, sometimes fast. The other day I was watching Abreu’s home run with in a minute or so of it happening

  • http://www.linkmeister.com/wordpress/ Linkmeister

    Herrera = Marlon Anderson? Discuss.

    • Anonymous

      is he a Chone Figgins in the making?

      • Anonymous

         If he matches Figgins’s prime years, I can live with that.

    • Anonymous

       Considerably younger than Marlon Anderson, I believe.

    • Anonymous

       I’m hoping for more of a Manny Mota Jr. even though that is probably pretty unfair of me to hope of him.

    • Anonymous

      As great as Herrera’s been great for us, he would be hitting like Gwynn if his BABIP was .300 instead of .410 BABIP.
      UZR considers him slightly below replacement at every position he’s fielded so far.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Terry-Pruett/1707390003 Terry Pruett

        Far too small of a sample size to make UZR anything close to meaningful for anyone at this time of the year.

        • Anonymous

          It’s still a beep on the screen. If Herrera could field 6 positions and hit like Gwynn, he would be super-valuable. We’ll see if he’s capable of that as the season unfolds.

          • Tycho

            With his age (27?) and versatility he seems like a perfect utility guy.  I don’t expect him to go down barring a trade or large amounts of injuries to one position he does not play.  Speaking of which, has he played shortstop?  Too slow, right.  Everything is a small sample, but I have no expectations of him being a starter.  The eye test tells me he’s staying.  

          • Anonymous

             I definitely like him for his versatility. In that regards, he’s been perfect for us as we weather the storm of injuries.

  • Christopher Staaf

    Herrera is definitely something else. I hope it continues. Good outing by Bills. 

  • Anonymous

    Phillies manager says he left Pierre in the game for the top of the 8th because Pierre was due up first in the bottom of the 8th.

  • Anonymous

    Even Rick Monday was being complimentary of Billingsley. And he complains about Billingsley on off days I think.

    • KT

      I think he does it (complains about Billz) in his sleep

      • Anonymous

        If you call Tony Jackson’s house in the middle of the night, he will answer the phone with “I’ve seen this inning before.”

        • KT

          LOL very funny…brought tears to my eyes

  • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

     From Elias: Cliff Lee,
    despite yet another strong start, will remain winless through 9 starts
    this season. Winless, that is, with an ERA of 2.92.

    That is tied for the 4th-lowest ERA since 1960 through a pitcher’s first
    9 starts of the season in which he failed to record a win in any of
    them.
     

  • Anonymous

    “The Dodgers stayed close thanks to Chad Billingsley, who threw seven innings of one-run ball to set himself up for another blistering critique from the fans the next time he fails to impress.”
    Great line, Jon.

    Pitching, defense, and JUST enough offense to get the job done – in that order. Beautiful game – and the order of importance makes Billz performance #1 – he pitched a hellava game to keep the Dodgers close to be able to snatch the game at the end.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1604610572 Lucas Bauer

    Thanks Jon for the great write up. I was following the game at work and had practically ZERO hope that Herrera would come through. What a great two days for Herrera in Philly. Only in baseball can you have someone that was as irrelevant as you can be only a month ago and now helping a big league club win games. I do have to give Bills some love tonight though.. Looks like he pitched an efficient game after the 3rd inning. Hopefully he can build off this for his next start!

  • Anonymous

    It’s only the second, but the Pads are teeing off on Lincecum with a homer by Quentin and a double by Headley.

    • Anonymous

      Love it.

  • KT

    our old friend Broxton just saved the game with two on and two outs, fly to deep centerfield…same old brox…get’s your ticker going

  • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

    Before he became famous, it would kill me when Carlos Ruiz beat the Dodgers. I think Herrera might be just desserts. 

    • KT

      my cousin who always rib me about Cooch beating us…really got on my nerves

      • Anonymous

        Chooch, cooch is something else

        • KT

          oh you never had a typo in your life Mike…my god…get over yourself

          • Anonymous

            it was funnier before you fixed it

  • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman
    • KT

      good to hear the Dodger version of that play

    • Anonymous

      Tail end of the video is Francisco Liriano striking out four batters in an inning.  Not sure why, but I always enjoy oddities like that.

  • Anonymous

    The Madres roughed up Lincecum for four in the bottom of the second.

    • KT

      they just showed highlights on mlb network Quentin almost put it in the Freeze paint can

  • KT

    Mets just go up 6-5 in the top of the 12th with a HR by Scott Hairston…he’s having a big game today

  • Anonymous

    Not bird or plane or even ..              it’s only me Underdog!!!!!
    Just woke up to the amazing victory. That most volatile Billz. and phenomenal Herrera strike again!

  • KT

    Gnats crawling back into this one now 4-3 with a runner on 1st with 1 out top of 6th after a blown call by the ump on a bunt attempt

    • Anonymous

      Gnats do not crawl. Gnats buzz, even if weakly.

  • Anonymous

    Uribe ready for rehab. As bad as his bat is it will be good to have a real major league glove at 3B

    • Anonymous

       No! His DL time has been the key to the Dodgers’ success.

    • KT

      I don’t think his glove is that good…In my opinion I think Hairston and Herrera have better gloves at third…Keep him on the DL

    • http://underdog.typepad.com/ underdog

      Sorry but I’m with Bruce, Uribe was actually playing well before his last injury and unless you want to still see spot starts by Adam Kennedy (remember that with Ellis out indefinitely the Dodgers need Hairston and Herrera to play 2nd, at times, and Herrera to play CF, at times, with Kemp out), then Uribe will still be useful. I don’t need to see AK start again for a long while.

      • Anonymous

        Agreed.  Uribe was playing at or above expectations, and he will be a HUGE addition to the lineup – especially considering who he’ll be, Lord willing, replacing.

  • Anonymous

    Tonight’s game proved, “If you don’t succeed at first, try, try again”.

    • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

       Or “if you don’t succeed at third …”

      • KT

        Don’t stop…just run past it

  • KT

    Someone ran on the field in the top of the 7th in Petco as MLB network was showing the game

    No win or loss for Lincecum

    These announcer are terrible making many mistakes including Matt Kemp being out for the Gnats

    • http://underdog.typepad.com/ underdog

      Not watching the MLB Network feed, who are these terrible announcers? Yikes.

      C’mon Pads, come back!

      • KT

        not sure one is a retired position player from the reds…the other two never seen before 

      • KT

        HR Quentin!!!

        • KT

          that was off his shoe tops

        • http://underdog.typepad.com/ underdog

          Awesome!!! Can we trade for him yet? ;)

          Man he’s been on fire since coming off the DL.

  • Anonymous

    The Dodgers have used 15 pitchers so far this season.  12 of them have an ERA less than 4.  (The others are Coffey, Wright, and the now-departed MacDougal.)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=713935344 Jason Ungar

    Bot 9th: San Diego

    – L. Forsythe homered to deep left

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Terry-Pruett/1707390003 Terry Pruett

    Billingsley pitched well tonight, obviously, as he occasionally does. However, Jon, he has largely been mediocre this year and much of last year. The “blistering critiques” of Billingsley have largely been justified, yet you apparently think they are irrational in some fashion. Look, when a guy pitches consistently poorly, he earns criticism. I hope Billingsley can use this start as a springboard to a great run…it would be a massive boost to the team. I’ve never rooted against him. But, let’s not pretend that he has been any more than stunningly average for over a year, and really for much of the last TWO years. Billingsley has not been criticized unfairly…though his apparent legion of fans seem determined to turn him into Joan of Arc. Here’s to him pitching his best ball the rest of the year.

    • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

      It’s not that Billingsley shouldn’t be critiqued. It’s the heat of the criticism.  There’s way more anger directed toward a bad Billingsley performance – heck, toward when he simply gives up a hit or walks someone – than there is for any other Dodger pitcher (since Broxton left).  He gives up a leadoff double to Rollins, and Twitter goes nuts.  That doesn’t happen when Aaron Harang pitches or when Ted Lilly pitches. People react to Billingsley like he’s the weaker cousin of Adam Kennedy. 

      Look at even what you’re saying.  ”when a guy pitches consistently poorly.”  That’s not Billingsley – in fact, as Chad Moriyama showed in his blog post yesterday, that’s the opposite of Billingsley.  He is sometimes good and sometimes not.  That adds up to average.  There’s way too much anger at Billingsley for being average. Average still means something, when he pitches 200 innings a year.  

      You didn’t see me going nuts about Billingsley in April, when he emphatically pitched well. I figured a slump was probably still around the corner.  I feel pretty strongly that I have a better perspective on Billingsley than most people.  I am not turning him into a martyr.  I make about one comment about Billingsley a month. But on Twitter, people freak out with every bad pitch he throws.  

      Criticism of Billingsley is rational.  The level of anger at Billingsley is not.  I’m not saying you’re doing it, but you’re turning a blind eye if you’re not seeing other people do it.  

      • Anonymous

        FWIW, last year – which was not Billingsley’s best – 15 of his 32 starts were quality starts.  This year he has 6 out of 12. (By comparison, in 2009 he had 22 out of 32.)

      • Anonymous

              I’m with Terry on this one, Jon. I don’t know how you differentiate between “anger” and “criticism”. But your comparison in using Lilly or Harang to Bills isn’t valid- nobody on planet Earth would put the ability of those two in the same room as Bills. What we are getting from them is gravy.
             Bills has ALL the tools, yet cannot, for whatever reason, put them together. For every outing he has like last night, when he was truly spectacular, he comes back with a 3 inning, 4 walk, 5 earned run, bases-loaded double to the opposing pitcher effort. That’s what creates the anger/criticism, because his tools are too doggone good to be doing that! I have said before and will say again- he is Bobby Witt reincarnated. He gets the brunt of criticism/anger because most fans recognize how good he can be and are ever frustrated that he cannot take that next step to be the dominant pitcher he should be, where last night’s effort should be the consistent rule, not the occasional exception. He is, I think, very fairly seen by many of us as a guy who simply is not getting the max out of his ability. Whether it’s him, the coaching or what, I don’t know, but he has not achieved all that his ability would indicate he should and that causes a lot of us to grade him a lot harsher (if that’s a word) than we would garde someone like Harang who doesn’t have a fraction of that ability.

        • Anonymous

          Regardless of my feelings towards Billingsley, on what basis can the statement be made about Harang that he “doesn’t have a fraction of that ability.”

          • Anonymous

            It’s not a slight against Harang, but seriously, are you comparing a 34 year old journeyman, with a .500 career record (99-97), whose been through 4 teams in 10 years with a 27 year old former #1 draft pick and All-Star selection whose career record puts him 16 games above .500 with a career ERA that’s more than a half run lower than Harang’s? I guess, more to the point- if you polled every GM in MLB right now and said who would you prefer, Bills or Harang, what do you think the response would be?

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=713935344 Jason Ungar

            that answer might be Harang. Not cause he is better, you have clearly shown he isn’t. But he isn’t owed 30 something million between now and and 2014..and right now for 3 million Harang has an ERA+ of 96 and for 9 million Billz is sitting at 98

          • Anonymous

            Before Baker ruined him, Harang was a much better pitcher than Billingsley at his peak.

          • Anonymous

            Obviously we are comparing them and your facts are there, but the statement fraction of the talent makes Harang sound like a washed out High Schooler. 

          • Anonymous

                 To address you both, I am simply speaking of the here and now, and am not considering the finances at all. I can’t judge HARANG on what he was 7 years ago, only where he is now. Were he still 27, the conversation would be potentially very different. My point is, at THIS time, would you take a 27 year old Bills or a 34 year old Harang and the ability they possess at this very moment?

          • Anonymous

            FWIW, Harang will get paid $17 million for 2012-2014.  Not as much as Billingsley, but not the one-to-three ratio of their 2012 salaries, either.  And that’s for his age 34-36 seasons, when he might be expected to decline, vs the age 27-29 seasons for Bills.

          • Anonymous

            Even if you were to consider Harang at 34 years old and Bills at 27, what GM would choose Bills with a big 3 year contract and declining performance over Harang, who will give you basically the same performance at less than half the cost? Fact is, Harang at his peak was significantly better than Bills at his peak, and Harang at 34 is not much worse than Bills at 27.

      • Anonymous

        Then we really should not expect a repeat performance any time soon because Bills’ history is inconsistency? I expect him to go out there and prove he can pitch like last night on a regular basis. That is his responsibility. We all want him to improve. I don’t think we should lower our standards and accept mediocrity.

      • Anonymous

        I read here. I stopped reading comments at dodgers.com and another team supported site when I discover your site, Jon. I don’t read twitter comments unless linked by a person I respect. I believe your comments are accurate; however, Pruett makes a contribution.
        Billingsley is overpaid, he was overpaid when his contract was announced to many,many comments of extreme approval here at DT. The corrective comments of Pruett would have been received as if they came from a troll that day. 

  • Anonymous

    Thoughtful of the Madres to splatter the Gnats.

  • foul tip

    “wow! Steve Lyons just said that since 2008, Bills has pitched in games
    where the team has scored 1 run or less for him…..50 times.”

    Lyons could hardly afford to have this wrong. (Surely….)  So it should give more perspective to Bills’ detractors, some of whom don’t seem terribly interested in perspective.

    That extreme lack of support would get any pitcher in the habit of thinking he had to be perfect, or lose.

    No pitcher is perfect.  Talk about extra pressure, not necessarily all self-imposed.

    • Anonymous

      Since 2008, the correct number is 37 starts by Billingsley where the Dodgers scored one run or fewer. However, it wasn’t like he was losing a lot of 1-0 or 2-1 games in those instances.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=713935344 Jason Ungar

        I find it pathetic then that on TV they would say 50. I mean if you know the right number and it’s not your job then how do they not know. Don’t they fact check? Scully would never give wrong info like that…Does he just make it up??? Ah screw it i’ll just say 50..and even the other guy in the booth (not Lyons) was like wow….I mean I definitely believe you over him and I shouldn’t (no offense to you of course)

        • Anonymous

          Perhaps both numbers are correct – that the Dodgers scored 1 run or less FOR HIM – i.e. while he was still in the game – 50 times, and in 37 of those games, they still had scored only 1 run or less by the end of the game (while in 13 others, they scored more than that after he had come out of the game).

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=713935344 Jason Ungar

             He said (and you may very well be right BTW) games in which Billingsley has started the dodgers have scored 1 run or less 50 times…

          • Anonymous

            Your quote is slightly different from the quote from foul tip above, which sounds like a reference to runs scored while he was still in the game.  I don’t know exactly what he said, since I was watching the MLB Network cablecast featuring the Fillies homers.  But yes, it’s possible to come up with two different numbers based on those two slightly different calculations, regardless of which words he actually used.

          • foul tip

            I don’t know who posted it, but the quote I cited was lifted from DT comments.

            I thought the commenter had heard it verbatim.  I don’t have any access other than Gameday, so I can’t speak to exact wording.

  • foul tip

    Since I couldn’t comment when Jon’s post on Lasorda’s heart attack was current…

    Good to see that it was minor–if there’s such thing as a “minor” heart attack.  Also good to see him joking about bleeding Dodger blue…totally in character..  Since he joked about it, so will I–

    Did someone cause it by asking his opinion of Kingman’s performance?

    Also, analysis of the blockage clogging the artery reveals it was a very large clump of lasagna.  ;-])

    • Anonymous

      Like surgery, only minor when it’s someone else.

  • Anonymous

    Wednesday Notes:
    ….
    1.  All our best to Tommy…. (hang in there skip)
    2.  Over the weekend…I posted about this club needing to make a deal or two… and, I must admit I was a bit snarky about how I conveyed that opinion.
    While I still think they could benefit from a move or two in the long run, I’ll kindly just shut my pie hole on this because they keep finding ways to win…. so, I’m going to do my best to stop complaining and just have a little faith.   :-)

    • Anonymous

      I am still driving the trade fro Youk bandwagon JT

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=713935344 Jason Ungar

         my concern on him is not ability but ability to stay in the lineup. He has never played a full season. 147 games, 145, 145, 136, 102, 120..and this is the last year of prime year as he is 33 and has already been on the DL this year.  A rental for this season without giving up too much sounds good, but a top prospect or two..I don’t know about that!

        • Anonymous

          Would not take a top prospect. They have no room for him. Have a kid tearing it up at 3rd, and Gonzales at 1st. B pitching prospect gets him.

          • Anonymous

            Even if there was no room in Boston for one of the best hitters in the league–which I doubt–that would not represent leverage for us as Boston is not obliged to trade him to the Dodgers. We are competing against other teams who would want Youk, who would presumably offer a more fair package than a B pitching prospect.

          • Anonymous

            Who else is the competition, besides the Gnats? And that was an opine from an ESPN pundit, can’t remember if it was Olney, Stark, or Kirkjian.

          • Anonymous

            Giants, Sox, and a suitor can always emerge through injury or performance concerns, etc. Lastly, the Sox can always choose to not trade him, as it’s a pretty good bet that Youk will sign for more than $12 mil. and bring back a compensation pick.

    • Anonymous

      welcome news

  • Anonymous

    Yeah… Youk would certainly give the Dodgers a different look over there at 3B…
    ….
    But, come to think of it, the Dodgers have a different look each night with their 3B rotation of Kennedy, Hairston, Herrera….. etc.   :-)

    • Anonymous

      And first as well, making Loney the LIDR

      • foul tip

         ”LIDR”…??

        Does it stand for Loney In the Doghouse, Really?

  • Anonymous

    My daughter’s ballet class and subsequent dead car battery forced me to miss the heroics. Applause for Bill’s performance. Great at- bat for Herrera because he had two strikes. But after seeing one replay I thought that ball was very catchable. But too bad Philly!

    • Anonymous

      Perhaps catchable, but not an easy play, especially if you’re Juan Pierre.

    • Anonymous

      Appeared Lee left that ptich about 8 inches higher than he’d hoped to.

  • Anonymous

    RIP Mr Ray Bradbury.

  • Anonymous

    I guess we won’t get a D-Day speech during the game tonight since Vin won’t be at the game. Maybe he’ll just make his grandkids listen to him.

    • Anonymous

      Lucky kids

    • Anonymous

       Every day is Dodger Day.

    • Anonymous

      The annual D-Day lecture, ah yes.  Maybe they’ll run last year’s before the top of the 5th.

  • Anonymous

    As much as I worship Vin Scully, and as much as there sometimes is to bemoan about Steve Lyons, I gotta say he was really on top of Elian Herrera’s 9th inning AB last night.  He pretty astutely noted that on that 1-1 (or 2-1?) big curveball he hacked at and missed, Elian actually was right on it and had it timed perfectly… but just missed it.  And then he noted that on that series of 2-strike foul balls, he was still hacking and looking to really drive one – mighta been obvious, but that’s what an anaylist is there to say.  That all came to a head on the next curveball he saw.  Fantastic AB by Herrera, and solid analysis by Lyons, and let’s be honest – this all would have happened while Vin was telling a story about how Papelbon raises x number of chickens on his farm back in Mississippi.  

    Weird, but or some reason, I just felt moved to give Steve props for that analysis.  Okay, flame away.

    • Anonymous

      (even though, oops, Cliff Lee was pitching)

    • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

       No reason not to give credit where credit is due.

      My only observation is that the final pitch was such a hanger, any player would have salivated at getting it.

  • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

    If you can’t distinguish between “anger” and “criticism,” this might not be the right website for you. To me, the distinction is self-evident. It is possible to criticize a player without being angry at him.  I highly recommend it, in fact.

    Ability to execute pitches on a consistent basis is a tool. He doesn’t have pinpoint control.  He doesn’t have, I think most would agree, the same stuff that he had three years ago. So it’s a lie to say that Billingsley has all the tools. He clearly doesn’t.

    I’m not saying you have to not want him to do better. But it’s just tiresome to see the hatred that pours out every single time someone reaches base against him – before anything has even gone wrong, in fact, just as it was with Broxton. It’s tiresome to see in so many places all the focus on what he doesn’t do and all the ignorance of what he does do. And yes, I think it’s valid to compare that to other players, even guys for whom the expectations might not be as high. 

    I’m disappointed by the arc of Billingsley’s career. But why should I be angry at him.  He’s human, and there’s no guarantee that being a No. 1 draft choice at age 18 entitles you to being a staff ace.  I’m sure research would show that Billingsley has had a better career than the average player in his draft slot.

    Billingsley, for all his faults, has a career ERA of 3.68 and a 2012 ERA of 3.80.  And yet people treat him as if he were garbage. It’s not right.

    The idea that he should be great every time out – and I think Terry Pruett would agree with me on this – is a complete fiction.  So the people who can’t understand why he isn’t great every time out, I believe, do need to get over it.  You can hope that he’s great, but being angry that he’s not is just ridiculous.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Terry-Pruett/1707390003 Terry Pruett

      I do agree with you that he cannot be expected to be great every time out…and I hate nitpickers as much as the next guy. However, I have been assailed in the past for asserting that Billingsley is “average”. Last year at the trade deadline, after St. Louis had acquired Edwin Jackson for Colby Rasmus, I suggested on this blog that the Dodgers should have offered Billingsley for Rasmus. I was excoriated for that…but I believe I was right. Who among us wouldn’t like to see Rasmus in the Dodger outfield every day? But what I read then was that Billingsley was a number 2 starter with ace stuff, and after all, you don’t trade those guys, right? So…while I do not agree with those who assert that Billingsley’s a gutless bum, or “doesn’t have heart” (a ridiculous statement; lazy way of saying you have no facts and can’t explain events)…my argument has always been with the folks who claim that Billingsley has this mysterious “greatness” in him. Never saw it…never understood it.

      • Anonymous

         He was a 4 win pitcher for 3 seasons. In 2011, it was easier to believe Billingsley would bounce back to his 2008-2010 performance. It’s harder to do that now, but there was nothing mysterious  about Billingsley’s talent as shown in his 2008-2010 performance.

    • Anonymous

           I think your post is uncharacteristic, Jon- you seem incredibly agitated over this, and I’m sure I don’t know why.
           I can’t speak for everyone else here, but I don’t get “angry” at a ball-player- they don’t affect my personal world in any meaningful way, and I have too may real concerns right now (an 82 year old father who just had a pace-maker/defibrillator installed, a neighbor with 6 year old triplets and a nine year old daughter who is being slowly but steadily consumed by the great coward known as Cancer, etc) that have a direct effect on my world. I enjoy this site immensely because the writers here are incredibly insightful and knowlegeable, and in some instances, extremely witty (whoever wrote the post, several years ago, that they wouldn’t “take Tony Abreu seriously as a major league hitter until he stopped swinging at pick-off moves” still holds a place in my heart as one of the funniest posts ever). I’m done with this discussion on Bills, because, quite frankly, it isn’t worth all the emotion it’s creating. His performance, and that of the Dodgers, is only entertainment for me, nothing more, nothing less. 

      • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

        I’m not agitated at all.  And if you don’t get angry, great – but you yourself said you didn’t understand the difference between anger and criticism, so perhaps you can understand my thinking there was something to say about that.

        • Anonymous

          Perhaps I should clarify- what I meant was in the “posting realm”, I’m not sure how to differentiate between anger and criticism. Person to person, the difference is generally quite obvious.

          • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

            The news about your family … leaves me speechless. I can’t express how sorry I am. 

          • Anonymous

            Jon, while speechless is most appropriate for any child in danger, I am concerned that you mis-read his post.

  • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

    And so to get back to my original point in the post – Billingsley’s performance last night will have the side effect of reinforcing the idea that he should be great every time out.  And so then people will be shocked, shocked, when he isn’t.  It’s a vicious cycle, that could be avoided with just the simple acknowledgment that he is who he is – an inconsistent but overall decent pitcher.

    The irony is that Billingsley struck out only three of 28 batters last night, so he probably wasn’t quite as good as his final totals appeared. His control was above-average, which helped a lot.  But he probably got more luck in this game than he normally gets, such as those games when he gives up seeing-eye singles. 

    • Anonymous

      At one point, in my eyes, Bills was significantly better than he is now. I have always wondered whether that broken leg he suffered one winter has caused a decline.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=713935344 Jason Ungar

    I’d prefer to focus my “criticism” at Loney :)

    • Anonymous

      The same argument could be made for Loney!

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=713935344 Jason Ungar

        No.. the last 4 years in a row he has been among the worst hitting (agree there is 2 sides of the ball) 1b in the game over the course of each season(using OPS). Bills over those 4 years has been just below avg, avg, pretty pretty good, pretty pretty good (reverse order using ERA+)…

  • Anonymous

    I can’t say that I haven’t had my frustration moments with Billingsley over the past few years (one vs. Houston really sticks in my mind), but I would rather have him pitching for the Dodgers than against them.

  • Anonymous

    Hey, can I also add that the bullpen has been AWESOME lately?  Jansen has been terrific, so have Belisario and Lindblom in the setup role, Elbert too (despite starting the season poorly), and Guerra was doing well since being replaced as closer.  Coffey and Wright, not so much, but they (and Tolleson) probably won’t appear in close games unless they go extras.

    • Anonymous

      Remember, the generally-held opinion at the start of the season would not have mentioned any expectation of greatness from Belisario, Lindblom, Capuano, or Lilly on the mound, or from Abreu, Herrera, Hairston, Treanor, DeJesus, Ellis, or Ellis at the plate.  We’ve had a lot of pleasant surprises this year!

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Terry-Pruett/1707390003 Terry Pruett

      I agree. I’m comfortable with everone out of our bullpen, except for Coffey.

    • http://underdog.typepad.com/ underdog

      Indeed. And now we have Tolleson!

  • http://underdog.typepad.com/ underdog

    Attention: Get your questions ready on Twitter:

    Dylan Hernandez ‏@dylanohernandez: Tomorrow at 3:00 p.m. PT, Stan Kasten will participate in a Q&A session with fans via the #Dodgers’ Twitter account, @Dodgers.

  • Anonymous

     AndrewJacksonsson…..our thoughts and prayers are with your ailing family members.  :-)

    Jon Weisman… I really like the way you’re just lettin’ it fly today. 
    “Fly baby fly!” …. Dom Delouise from Cannonball Run II.

    • Anonymous

      there was one family member and a neighbor’s child; wouldn’t want your prayers misdirected

  • Anonymous

    i think what is going on (i hope i can articulate it correctly) is that Jon is looking at it from a purely analytic point of view & what he sees is a pretty decent pitcher, were as us (some of us, me included) get upset because he doesn’t pitch like he did yesterday on a more consistent bases.

  • Anonymous

    I think the biggest single reason why Bills receives the level of criticism he does, is quite simply the fact that he came up through the Dodger ranks, and many of us want to think that this organization puts out great MLB players….
    ….
    Remember the excitement of “Fernandomania?” …….and so,so many others….
    ….
    Bills looks like an athlete….strong, stout, handsome…. (per my wife who loves his baby-face)
    You just look at the guy, and as Dodger fans, we remember when he (at one point) was what we were told to be the best the Dodger organization had to offer in terms of a young, MLB-ready arm.

  • Anonymous

    the Dodgers scored an average of 4.0 runs last year, & Yankees scored an average of 5.35 runs last year. Chad Billingsley has a career 3.68 ERA at age 27.

  • foul tip

    Wonder what it is about certain Dodgers that draws such ire…

    To hear some it, Bills, along with JD Drew, Broxton, and maybe some others never ever did or do much right. The record may say otherwise. Their perception doesn’t.

    Or if these guys ever did anything right, it was unforgivable that they didn’t do it a lot more often–like every single time on the mound or every single AB.

    Obviously, there have been quite a few Dodgers who were little more than replacement level, maybe not quite even that good.   So maybe expectations weren’t high enough for them to make people mad when they failed, which usually was pretty often.  People who weren’t happy with them had good reason.

    But is there a common denominator for Dodgers who fall out of favor and can’t seem to get back in–but whose numbers say they don’t deserve such scorn?

     

  • Anonymous

    Nomar Garciaparra……..
    ….
    He sure livened things up for a couple of years…. Why don’t we hear more about this former Dodger?

    • Anonymous

      Because he’s retired!

      • Anonymous

         :-) …. nsxtasy.

    • KT

      He’s a talking head on one of the baseball shows/networks

  • Anonymous

    I kinda like tonight’s lineup.  Gordon leading off is questionable, but he seems to be improving lately.  I like Herrera in the two-slot, and I love AJ batting fifth behind Andre.

  • Anonymous

    billz fast start in april may have been because of competition.  his best games were against sd, pit, and wash…3 teams at the bottom of their divisions in offense.  he had a bad may facing slightly better offenses.  

    been a big billz fan since his jax days and seems like i’ve had to temper my expectation of him for awhile now…to the point of in my mind now a 6ip/3er 1.25whip is a “good” day.  that’s sad.

  • KT

    Nice Eye Elian
     
    Sure could use a NPUT…this one is getting long in the tooth

    • Anonymous

      It’s a lucky thread! The Dodgers have not lost since it’s been posted.

      • KT

        Ok BT but once it hits 150 then you have to click to get more responses

  • KT

    Nice play by Galvis to take a hit away from AJ

  • Anonymous

    Looks like this ump has a small strike zone.

  • KT

    Tony!!!!!

    • KT

      pence is hurt on that triple off the wall by tony

  • KT

    Nice Chris!!

  • Anonymous

    ball was hit hard by Capuano but Mayberry would tell you he should have cought it. 2-1 Dodgers.

    • Anonymous

       Even Olmedo Sáenz would have made that play.

  • Anonymous

    0-1 down then 2-1 up, I see a pattern developing!!

  • Anonymous

    Some of these umpires expand there strike zone as the game goes on, it’s like just give us a consistent strike zone please. Sorry, i just needed to do that. Feel better now.

  • Anonymous

    I like the line up and particularly the order tonight (except 7 can be improved by Jerry H)(mind you Kennedy is hitting at the moment)

  • KT

    Herrera couldn’t get the bunt down but still moved the runners over on a hit to the 2nd baseman

  • Anonymous

    I can’t believe not sending Capuano on that.

  • KT

    couldn’t score on noodle arm Pierre

  • Anonymous

    Bases loaded with 1 out and we couldn’t cash in any more. Might come back to cost us big.

    • Anonymous

      They now have 4 runs, yep it cost us.

    • Anonymous

      Luckily they got a mulligan and capitalized, nice

  • KT

    Good inning Chris

  • KT

    Gwynn had a gripe on that 3rd strike

  • Anonymous

    Maybe I missed it, but worth a small mention that with the 1046 pick in the draft, the Dodgers took Jordan Hershiser.

    • Anonymous

       Looking over his records, he’s been really injury-prone. How did he do this year?

  • Anonymous

    Wow, I guess this is prime. I listened to this broadcast team in the background for several innings while I was doing other things—and actually assumed they were Phillies guys. Interesting and does anyone know what this means.

    • Anonymous

      I’m just watching it scroll on the web.  Isn’t Prime using Collins and Lyons?

  • KT

    Hate to see someone hurt but he’s been a pest against us…get better after we leave Galvis

    • Anonymous

      Well said

  • Anonymous

    3 homers may kill us but you never know, lately we have been the comeback kids!

    • Anonymous

      3 homers are more than we hit in 2 weeks lol

      • Anonymous

        walks and singles will do!!

  • KT

    Why stop ellis…that is twice

  • KT

    Over Kennedy’s head almost

  • Anonymous

    Wow Kennedy and his minor league swing, DFA DFA DFA

    • Anonymous

       Kennedy’s swing is ideal for slow pitch.

  • KT

    Come on tony

  • KT

    Coffey’s up in the pen..are we waving the white flag

  • Anonymous

    Why did Kennedy’s AB not surprise me?

  • KT

    Great At Bat JERRY!!!

  • KT

    DEE-DOUBLE RBI

  • Anonymous

    Oh no, it’s coffey

    • KT

      I warned you he was up in the pen

  • KT

    Come on Dodgers/Kings let’s make this another LA night

  • KT

    Coffey for two?

  • KT

    Soooo Close

  • KT

    Not a bad outing Mr. Coffey and I don’t mean Joltin Joe

  • KT

    Come on Scott

  • Anonymous

    Very respectable outing for Coffey.

  • KT

    Start it off James

  • KT

    There you go james!

  • KT

    Come on Tony

  • Anonymous

    Is it just me, or have ALL of Castellanos’ AB’s started with him immediately going 0-2?

    • KT

      2-1 count this at bat

  • KT

    Come on Josh

  • KT

    Come on DP

    • KT

      Great play Deee!!

  • Anonymous

    Nice play by DG. I was surprised to see Pence choking up two or three inches on the bat.

  • KT

    Elian!!

  • KT

    Come on Juan

  • KT

    Not what I was expecting Juan but it will do

  • KT

    Come on Dre hit it in the outfield

  • KT

    come on wild pitch

  • KT

    Good at bat AJ

  • KT

    Wild pitch please

  • KT

    YES BGJ with the Bases loaded walk!!

  • KT

    Come on Alex more insurance runs please

  • KT

    Let’s go Kenley shut them down

  • KT

    NJ up 1-0…Come on Kings

  • KT

    Didn’t realize Dre is 0-17…hitless in last 5 games

    • Anonymous

       I bet he, and Kenley, get the day off tomorrow. Kenley should probably get two days off.

      • KT

        Your right….It would definitely be a good move for both to sit

  • KT

    Kings score now 1-1

  • KT

    He swung at that pitch

  • KT

    Come on DP

  • KT

    Is Kenley tiring?
     
    tough at bat by Chooch

  • KT

    Way to track it tony
     
    2 more Kenley

  • KT

    Come on AJ you need to get in front of those

  • Anonymous

    Overworking jansen

    • KT

      I agree…chooch wore him out

  • KT

    Nice Kenley 1 more

  • KT

    Oh where was that pitch Blue

  • Anonymous

    this is getting tense

    • KT

      It’s been there….I’m warming up the defib machine

  • KT

    infielder need to talk to him so he can get a break

  • KT

    He’s overthrowing

  • Anonymous

    I would pull him now.

  • KT

    Whew…that looked good off the bat

  • KT

    YES!!!!!

  • KT

    Another 1 run win
     
    love this mini streak
     
    time for a sweep tomorrow

  • KT

    Devils up 2-1

  • Anonymous

    So what problems do we have? I have forgotten!! (great win)

    • KT

      right problems what problems…winning fixes all

  • KT

    Night all

    • Anonymous

      Afternoon from me :)

  • Anonymous

    32 pitches for Kenley, I wonder if someone else will close tomorrow if it is needed

    • Anonymous

       I expect Kenley will have two nights off, at least.

  • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

    NPUT