The last time the Dodgers lost a game in which they allowed just one hit was on July 17, 1914, back when bunting was still a sound baseball strategy. Chad Billingsley was brilliant on Saturday, save for one pickoff throw, and lost to the Arizona Diamondbacks 1-0, the first loss in five True Blue LA nights. It appears, though not yet official, relief pitcher Javy Guerra will be called up tomorrow.
Billingsley allowed just one hit and two walks in eight innings, striking out eight. The one hit allowed by Billingsley was by his nemesis Stephen Drew, who doubled to leadoff the second inning. Then, on a pickoff attempt, Billingsley whirled and threw to second base, only there wasn't a fielder at second base. While Aaron Miles and Jamey Carroll tried to figure out who was supposed to cover the bag, Drew made it to third base, though a strong throw by Matt Kemp made the play remarkably close. He scored on a sacrifice fly by Melvin Mora, and Billingsley ended the inning with two strikeouts.
Billingsley himself doubled at the plate, his second of the season which tied him with James Loney in extra-base hits this season. Loney decided that was embarrassing so he led off the eighth inning with a double of his own down the right field line, his first extra-base hit in 133 plate appearances. Loney was pinch hit for by Tony Gwynn, then Don Mattingly made a series of perplexing decisions:
- He had Rod Barajas sacrifice Gwynn to third base, which was successful
- Dioner Navarro pinch hit for Jerry Sands, which was not successful
Mattingly said he preferred the matchup with the left-handed Navarro facing the right-handed David Hernandez. Navarro struck out, then Jay Gibbons, pinch hitting for Billingsley, flew out to end the inning. The Dodgers put two runners on base with one out for Matt Kemp in the ninth inning, though Kemp hit into a game-ending 6-4-3 double play.
The bottom line, again, is that the Dodgers did not score against a guy making his first major league start. Josh Collmenter was on a pitch limit of 75-80 pitches, and he managed to last six innings against the Dodgers, allowing just two baserunners.
Reliever Javy Guerra announced on his Facebook page that he was on his way to the Dodgers, likely to replace Blake Hawksworth, who experienced discomfort in his groin when throwing a bullpen session this morning. The Dodgers after the game said no move was yet official. Hawksworth hasn't pitched since Tuesday.
Ted Lilly starts the rubber game on Sunday, against Ian Kennedy of Arizona.
WP - Josh Collmenter (2-0): 6 IP, 2 hits, 3 strikeouts
LP - Chad Billingsley (2-3): 8 IP, 1 hit, 1 unearned run, 2 walks, 8 strikeouts
Sv - J.J. Putz (8): 1 IP, 1 hit, 1 walk, 1 strikeout