For most of the game, the script was the same as it has always been. Cliff Lee was dominating the Dodgers, leading in the eighth with another double-digit strikeout game. But despite their best efforts to shoot themselves in the foot the Dodgers came through, with Elian Herrera playing the role of hero again with a two-run double off Lee to give the Dodgers a 2-1 win over the Philadelphia Phillies and their second win in a row.
Lee had retired 17 of 18 batters after a second-inning mini-rally and through seven innings had 12 strikeouts. To that point, he had a personal streak of 30 consecutive scoreless innings against the Dodgers, with four walks and 42 strikeouts during that span.
Down 1-0, Matt Treanor led off the eighth inning with a double. But with a runner already in scoring position, Don Mattingly continued his fetish with bunting, and Tony Gwynn Jr.'s sacrifice attempt turned into a 1-5 putout at third base and the apparent end of a threat.
The two consecutive singles by Bobby Abreu and Dee Gordon that followed made the decision to bunt even more infuriating, especially since Gwynn was thrown out by right fielder Hunter Pence trying to advance to third base. But Herrera was able to heal all wounds by driving a pitch to the left field wall out of the reach of old friend Juan Pierre to score two runs.
Not only did Herrera's heroics extend Lee's winless streak to nine starts this season (absurd with how well he has pitched), but it made a winner out of Chad Billingsley, who pitched one of his best games of the year. After a double by Jimmy Rollins to lead off the bottom of the first and an RBI single by Pence, Billingsley allowed just four hits and a walk the rest of the way.
Billingsley struck out three and picked up his first win since April 11.
Josh Lindblom pitched a perfect eighth inning and Kenley Jansen pitched a scoreless ninth for his eighth save of the season.
Well, at least the Dodgers don't have to face Cliff Lee again. Kyle Kendrick throws for Philadelphia on Wednesday, against Chris Capuano for the Dodgers.
WP - Chad Billingsley (3-4): 7 IP, 6 hits, 1 run, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts
LP - Cliff Lee (0-3): 7 2/3 IP, 6 hits, 2 runs, 1 walk, 12 strikeouts
Sv - Kenley Jansen (8): 1 IP, 1 hit, 2 strikeouts