Dodgers starting pitcher Chad Billingsley isn't on the trading block. Yet he pitched Sunday like he was auditioning for a perspective suitor.
The right-hander allowed two hits and recorded 10 strikeouts in seven innings as the Dodgers defeated the Washington Nationals 3-1 at Dodger Stadium to win the three-game series.
"It felt good. I felt good today. You don't get that too often," said Billingsley, who was one strikeout short of tying his season-high of 11 against St. Louis on April 17. "I just made pitches. It's as simple as that."
Billingsley appeared headed for a disastrous start when he surrendered a walk, hit batter and single to load the bases with none out in the first inning.
Nationals first baseman Michael Morse then singled on a 2-1 pitch to drive home Roger Bernadina and push Washington ahead, 1-0.
On the brink of allowing a huge inning, Billingsley buckled down and reversed his fortune in striking out Jayson Werth, Rick Ankiel on three pitches and Jesus Flores to end the threat.
"He just seemed like he settled and made pitches. It was a dangerous time and he threw a lot of pitches," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "It could go either way. You could give up a couple of hits right there and we could have been put in a bind really early."
Chad Billingsley kicks out of first-inning jam in Dodgers' 3-1 win over Washington
L.A. Daily News | Jul 25