Sure, they lost, in a particularly ugly fashion. But it really doesn’t matter. So much happened!
Welcome back, Chad Billingsley!
Yes, he hung a breaking ball to Ryan Zimmerman that ended up in the left field bullpen for a three run homer that tainted his night. Yes, there’s a bit of a worry that he imploded again in the 5th or 6th inning. But you know what? I’m taking this as a win, a big win. 4 walks is of course not a great thing, but taking a no-hitter (with 9 K’s!) into the 6th inning? Uh, yeah. I’ll take that just about any day, thanks.
Look, if Billingsley’s only an effective pitcher for 5 innings, that’s a problem going forth in his career. But for this season? With the Dodgers bullpen as effective as it is, that’s just fine for the playoffs. Let others cling to some antiquated notion that a starter must be some sort of horse who collects 26 of his 27 outs by himself; if Billingsley starts a Game 3 or 4 and leaves after 5 or 6 effective innings to turn the game over to the likes of Hong-Chih Kuo, Ronald Belisario, Ramon Troncoso, George Sherrill, and Jonathan Broxton, I am more than okay with that.
It’s unfortunate that Billingsley is probably going to look back on this night and think of the homer (to Ryan Zimmerman, of all people – that’s hardly something to be ashamed of, as it was his 31st of the year) but with how badly he’s struggled, this is definitely something to build on.
ERA can be as stupid as wins sometimes!
One earned run here or there doesn’t usually make for a big deal, but when you’re George Sherrill and you enter the game with a 0.40 ERA, it sure does. Sherrill’s ERA nearly doubled to 0.77 because of some awful Dodger defense – none of which went down as errors, so the run was earned.
With the scored tied in the 8th, Sherrill entered and gave up one hit, one easy flyout to left-center that Matt Kemp and Manny Ramirez let drop in between them, and then, with one out, a perfect double play ball up the middle… that Orlando Hudson threw wide of first, allowing the run to score.
In the books, that’s one run on two hits and a fielder’s choice. Funny how that doesn’t reflect two lousy defensive plays that victimized Sherrill.
When will Orlando Hudson get his wrist replaced with adamantium?
I watched this game in a bar in New York City’s Sullivan Square (yeah, you can imagine their reaction when I asked for the Dodgers/Nationals game), and when I saw Hudson crumple to the ground grabbing his twice-injured wrist, I couldn’t believe it. “Three years in a row!!”, I yelled incredulously. While the replay didn’t look that bad – by which I mean, in my completely non-medical opinion, I couldn’t see an obvious break or injury – the fact is, the man’s wrist is made of paper mache. We’ll have to wait to see how bad it is, but good lord. Speaking of which…
Hey, anyone still think Ronnie Belliard’s hurting the team?
Two more hits and a walk? Check.
Much more neccessary now that Hudson may miss some time? Check.
Go ahead, FanGraphs. Bash him now.