Peer pressure can be powerful on a pitching staff.
In Chad Billingsley's case, it helped immensely Tuesday night.
Billingsley couldn't quite match Hiroki Kuroda and Clayton Kershaw , who posted nothing but zeroes the previous two games. But the Dodgers right-hander responded with his best performance of the month, getting one out in the sixth before needing help, in a 6-1 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium.
In his three previous starts in June, Billingsley allowed four, six and seven runs, with a 1-2 record and 15.82 ERA to show for his work. In his previous start, last Wednesday against the Reds, he'd been blasted for nine hits and seven runs in four innings.
"Games that he gets (knocked) around, he's leaving too many balls in the middle of the plate," Manager Don Mattingly said.
"Basically he could see what Kersh was able to do (in Monday night's 4-0 win) just by changing speeds, using both sides of the plate. Chad's capable of doing the same type of stuff."
So maybe some of it is trying to outdo the guy before you, and maybe some of it is following his example. Either way, this was an improvement.
Billingsley posts team's third fine start in row
The Press-Enterprise | Jun 22