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Dodgers close it down in Arizona as Chad Billingsley struggles

April 01, 2012|By Steve Dilbeck
  • Dodgers starter Chad Billingsley, shown in an early March exhibition game, gave up four runs on Sunday, finishing spring with a 5.91 earned-run average.
Dodgers starter Chad Billingsley, shown in an early March exhibition game,… (Paul Connors / Associated…)

They call it getaway, which is not to be confused with what the too-cool dude hears in the nightclub at 2 a.m., but what teams do on the final day of a road trip. Or mercifully, on the last day of spring camp.

The Dodgers had their getaway day Sunday, and did it ever stink like it. They played the Diamondbacks, which of course aren’t going anywhere for another week, and fell 6-2. All while managing one hit through eight innings, before finally adding two in the ninth inning.

Scrubs and guys without names on the back of the jerseys played most of the game, which must have just delighted Prime Ticket. A handful of regulars got one at bat, and then joined their brethren speeding down Interstate 10.

Naturally, for all the Dodgers who enjoyed an encouraging camp this spring – Andre Ethier, Dee Gordon, Chris Capuano – there were those others.

Still unproven is whether Juan Uribe will ever hit again. Uribe followed his injury-riddled, disappointing 2011 season (.204) by hitting .238 with three runs batted in.

And then there was Chad Billingsley, now elevated to the No. 2 starter but still searching for improved control.

Billingsley started Sunday and it's safe to say he struggled. Which has kind of been his spring theme.

In his final preseason start, Billingsley lasted only three innings. That wasn’t the plan, but then neither was his throwing 70 pitches (44 balls) and giving up four runs and six hits and a walk. Billingsley finished the spring with a 5.91 earned-run average. This is the point where I’m obligated to say, but it’s only spring training.

That’s absolutely true, of course, and any spring misgivings will quickly be forgotten should Billingsley start the season well. But Billingsley is coming off a second half where he had a 4.77 ERA and 1.54 WHIP, so the Dodgers understandably were looking for some encouragement this spring.

Billingsley did strike out three, but he also gave up two home runs, at least one of which appeared to have been assisted by a gusty wind.

Dan Hudson, the Diamondbacks’ No. 2 starter, held the Dodgers to one James Loney hit, a run-scoring double, in his five innings.


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Dodgers close it down in Arizona as Chad Billingsley struggles

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