Chad Billingsley pitched the game they needed, but the offense didn't deliver as the Dodgers dropped the finale in Washington, 1-0. The Dodgers scored 28 runs in three games in Cincinnati, yet won just once. They allowed nine total runs to the Nationals, but scored just five themselves, winning only one of the three games. The Dodgers have lost all four road series this season, and have lost six straight series away from home dating back to last year.
Billingsley had his best performance of the season, allowing one run in six innings. He struck out five, allowed four hits, and only walked two, one of which was intentional, throwing 86 pitches. The only reason he didn't pitch deeper into the game is because his spot in the batting order was due up third in the top of the seventh with the Dodgers trailing by one run. At the very least, this outing by Billingsley will help temporarily quiet nonsense like Steve Lyons saying during the broadcast that Billingsley was "pitching for his major league career." Billingsley is in the rotation to stay, and today's performance provided a nice reminder why.
Scott Olsen was magnificent in his seven shutout innings, allowing just seven baserunners while striking out eight. He was particularly tough on Garret Anderson, striking him out all three times he faced him. The Dodgers got a leadoff double by James Loney in the ninth against closer Matt Capps, but pinch runner Jamey Carroll was left stranded at second to end the game.
- Ramon Troncoso pitched two scoreless innings today in his 12th appearance in 18 games. Troncoso, who is tied with Fernando Nieve of the Mets for the major league lead in games pitched, has pitched so much he is causing Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times to nearly propel the #DrNealElAttrache hash tag into a trending topic on Twitter.
- The Dodgers were 25-0 last season when they allowed one run or less. The last 1-0 loss came on September 21, 2008 to the Giants.
- Tyler Clippard pitched a scoreless eighth inning, and for the series the Dodgers were 0 for 10 against Clippard with five strikeouts. Clippard leads the Nationals in strikeouts with 19, with a big lead over Olsen with 14. Amazingly, three of the top four strikeout totals on the Nationals are by relievers.
- Rain is expected tomorrow night in New York, but if the game gets played Hiroki Kuroda is scheduled to face Oliver Perez.
- Joe Torre said before the game that Charlie Haeger could pitch on short rest Tuesday, pushing back Vicente Padilla's scheduled spot in the rotation to Wednesday, but that hasn't been decided yet. Pitching Haeger would allow the club to keep reliever Jon Link one more day, and also allow the club to skip Padilla's spot in the rotation on the off day Monday, May 3. Padilla is scheduled for an MRI tomorrow in New York, so if the results from that are good he might actually just miss one start, as he is eligible to pitch again on May 8.
- Josh Lindblom pitched seven innings for Albuquerque today in New Orleans, so he is not an option to fill in for Padilla Tuesday or Wednesday.
WP - Scott Olsen (1-1): 7 IP, 6 hits, 1 walk, 8 strikeouts
LP - Chad Billingsley (1-1): 6 IP, 4 hits, 1 run, 2 walks, 5 strikeouts
Sv - Matt Capps (8): 1 IP, 1 hit