Tagged: Chad Billingsley

The Fightin’ Phillies Finish It

I must say I had the Dodgers winning this one. The Phillies did exactly what they needed to to win this series, that was to shut Manny down and hit the LA pitchers. Kershaw got hit, Kuroda got hit, Broxton got hit, and that is all they needed to win. However the Phillies pitching was outstanding. Cliff Lee was a force. Lidge closed out the ninth. Hamels got the job done. Blanton did okay. Even Pedro joined in with the fun.

This whole series came down to pitching. Even though guys like Ryan Howard, Jaso Werth, Jimmy Rollins, Raul Ibanez, and Pedro Feliez hit the you know what out of the ball. Ryan Howard also ended up winning NLCS MVP.
For me the turning point for this series was game three when the Philllies won 11 to nothing against starter Hiroki Kuroda. Kuroda pitched 1.1 innings in which he gave up six hits, six runs (all earned),struck out one, and gave up one home run.
Why did the Dodgers lose that game? Not because of Kuroda but because of this man . . . 
Yep Joe Torre is the reason they lost that series. Torre decided to start Kuroda over all-star Chad Billingsley. Billingsley pitched out of the bullpen that game but he did not do so hot either. In 3.1 innings he gave up two hits, two earned runs, and two walks. However, Billingsley did give up no home runs and struck out three. 
In Billingsley’s case you have to give the man some credit because he did not go through the normal routine that a starter would go through. I think if Billingsley did go through his regular routine and started he would have pitched 6.2 innings giving up 2 runs, six hits, two walks, five strikeouts, and one home run.
Billingsley and Kuroda

(Bilingsley on left Kuroda on right)
In all fairness though the Dodgers got killed by Cliff Lee who gave up no runs , and just three hits, along with no walks while striking out ten. So it is not entirely Torre’s or Kuroda’s fault.
But lets talk abut those Dodger bats for a second. The Dodgers got out scored 35 to 16. Manny Ramirez batted .263 with five hits, three runs, two RBIs, one home run, and an OBP of .300. I think it is fair to say that Manny got shutdown this series.
Another guy the Phillies kept under control was Matt Kemp who batted .250 with five hits, one home run, just two RBIs, and an OBP of .286 in twenty at bats. Kemp to me at times has either been underrated or overrated. I believe this whole playoffs he has been overrated.
However on Dodger’s outfielder who did pretty good was Andre Ethier. Ethier hit .263 with five hits, one home run, three RBIs, two runs, two walks, and an OBP of .333 in nineteen at bats. Ethier was the most clutch hitter in baseball however he did not always get the job done. He did though get the walk which gave the Dodgers I believe the lead in game two.
The Phillies did not win the World Series the Dodgers lost it. Joe Torre did a terrible job managing this series. I know you need to take risks sometimes but Torre might need to learn about a new thing, common since. I don’t care if Ronnie Belliard had a hot bat. Orlando Hudson is the better option every day. 
Having a starter pitch out of the bullpen is a mistake unless they are young and have had pitched out of the pen in say the last four years. Otherwise it messes up all kinds of stuff. cough*cough*Chad Billingsley*cough*cough.
If it was not for Torre’s elite stats I would fire him. No joke. If this was Manny Acta or Bob Melvin or Cecil Cooper he would be fired by me. Maybe that is why I am not going to be a general manager or owner though.
Yet Torre would have a great replacement in his bench coach, Don Mattingly who should have been manager in New York after Torre left. Mattingly is not one of my favorite players as he was a long time Yankee but I believe he would be an amazing manager and I am surprised he did not talk with the Astros or Indians. 
(Mattingly, left; Torre, right)
though makes one of two points. One, that he likes LA a lot and does not want to leave. Or two, he needs more ‘training from Torre’. I think it is number one yet I think number two might come into play a little bit.
I think though we also have to mention that this was the second time in two years that these teams have faced off in the NLCS. Yet the Dodgers never had to face Raul Ibanez or Cliff Lee. The Phillies though never faced nearly half of the Dodger bullpen, Orlando Hudson, Ronnie Belliard, Randy Wolf, and Vicente Padilla among other guys in 2008. 
The Dodgers had NO excuse to lose to the Phillies. Yet, they did.
But now lets look at what the Phillies did.
The Phillies won. The Dodgers had home field advantage and the Phillies won. The Dodgers had an all-star closer and the Phillies won. The Dodgers had the best clutch player in baseball and the Phillies won. The Dodgers had four five tool players (Kemp, Ethier, Martin, Hudson) and the Phillies won. The Dodgers had a manager with four World Series rings and the Phillies won. The Dodgers were a better team and the Phillies . . .  won.
Now I am sure the Dodgers are/were upset but think about it this way in third grade my little league team won the wild card and went to the playoffs. First round we beat the best team. I had a friend on that team told me that he would cheer for us because he could say he lost to the champions. And for the record he could as we won the championship! (YAAAAAAAAAH!)
Anyway if the Phillies win the World Series the Dodgers should not be upset. Then they would have lost to the championship.
However it seems one Dodger executive was not so happy as Dodger owner, Frank McCourt fired his wife from CEO of the team. However the twist that most people do not know is that they are divorcing. So it is a little different.
At first when I heard about this I thought, wow and laughed a little. It was not till writing this article that I learned that they were getting a divorce. I really think this was just a way to get his anger out about LA but he claims it was just business. 
Again though maybe that is why I won’t be an executive.

Young Guns- Dodgers

Andre Ethier

Andre Ethier has batted at least .300 during each of his four months in the big leagues.
Andre Ethier is 26 years old. He graduated from Arizona State University in 2003. He was drafted by the Oakland A’s in the second round in 2003. Ethier has a carer batting average of .299, with 44 home runs, 196 RBI’s, 409 hits, and eleven stolen bases. He has a .981 fielding percentage in the outfield. He became a Dodger when he was traded on December 14, 2005 from Oakland for Milton Bradley, who is now with the Chicago Cubs. In his rookie year Ethier hit .308, with 11 home runs, 55 RBI’s, 122 hits, and five stolen bases in 126 games. He finished tied for fifth in rookie of the year voting behind Hanley Ramirez the winner, Ryan Zimmerman, Dan Uggla, Josh Johnson, and tied with Matt Cain. This season he hit .305, with 20 home runs, 77 RBI’s, 160 hits, and six stolen bases in 141 games. He was nominated as the Dodgers nominee for the 2008 National League Hank Aaron Award. He lost to Aramis Ramirez of the Chicago Cubs though. After Manny Ramirez was traded to the Dodgers Ethier and Ramirez became on fire. Ethier batted in the three hole and Manny batted cleanup or vis versa. It seemed like every day he or Manny was hitting a home run! He Ethier is 6’2 and weighs 210 pounds. Ethier has an MLBlog called Dining With Dre’ where he is a food critic. Ethier has never been an all-star. He went to the postseason twice in 2006 and 2008. In 2006 he had one at bat where he didn’t get a hit or walked. In 2008 he played in the divisional series and the NLCS. He batted .188, with zero home runs, zero RBI’s, six hits, and zero stolen bases in eight games. Andre may not have better stats than Russell Martin or Chad Billingsley but I think in the future he will best. It is to early to predict his carer because he hasn’t had his breakout year yet, but some could argue that 2008 was his break out year. I think though Ethier will get 3,000 hits.
Andre Ethier Photo
Honorable Mentions
2. Russell Martin
3. Chad Billignsley
4. James Loney
5. Matt Kemp

The Roster Game- Rotation

Sorry I didn’t blog yesterday.

First- My Celtics sadly didn’t bet LA. 😦 But losing to Golden State? Come on Celtics!

Second- Youk will play for team U.S.A. in the World Baseball Classic, joining Peedie, making the right side of the infield all Red Sox.
Third- The Big Unit will play for the Giants next season. He will mentor all of the Giants young pitchers.
Fourth- Here is the first comment of the day (or yesterday) On Are Athlete’s Salaries to High?

The salary of these players isn’t high…it’s insane. Take for instance C.C. Sabathia, he makes more money in one year than most of us combined will make in a lifetime. Maybe these players for a year should forgo their huge salary and work for $70,000.


Name- Dan

Now to the entry.


Tim Lincecum, RHP, 2.62 era, 18-5, 265 so, $405,000 


Tiny Tim has come a long way, from being picked on as a kid for his wind up, to Sports Illustrated cover-boy, to winning a Cy Young. Lincecum has more wins then any other pitchers in my rotation and is on the worst team. The other players teams made the playoffs. The fact that he won 18 games for a team that only won 72 games is enough to give him the top spot. He also strikes out a ton of guys.


Jon Lester, LHP, 3.21 era, 16-6, 152 so, $421,500


Lester is just amazing. I don’t know what else to say about him. He went 16-6, with a 3.21 era, 152 strike outs, a no hitter, and a shutout at Yankee Stadium, in just his first full season in the majors. Lester is an inspiration to many kids, parents, and athletes. Lester should have been Comeback Player of the Year in 2007 coming back from cancer. I just don’t know what to say, just WOW!


Ervin Santana, RHP, 3.49 era, 16-7, 214 so, $420,000


Ervin is young and strikes out a ton of guys. He has a been in the majors for 4 full seasons unlike Lester or Lincecum which provides him with some leadership. He posted carer highs in era, complete games, innings pitched, strike outs, and many other things. He was part of an Angles team that included three aces, being himself, John Lackey, and Joe Saunders. He is also still young.


Cole Hamels, LHP, 3.09 era, 14-10, 196 so, $500,000


Hamles like Josh Beckett is a big game pitcher and he proved that through out the playoffs. Hamles is young and determined to be the best pitcher he can be. Wether it is in the gym or on the mound Hamles is there. Hamels has played three full seasons, which like Ervin gives him some leadership. When this team makes the playoffs (and it would if this was a real team) he would mentor Tim Lincecum about the playoffs. Hamles has been there before and might be there again in the World Series.


Chad Billingsley, RHP, 3.14 era, 16-10, 201 so, $415,000


Before I talk about Billingsley look at the rotation, righty, lefty, righty, lefty. This was maybe the best idea about this whole team. Billingsley is young and strikes out guys. He broke his leg in the off season but should be fine by spring training. He has been around for three major league seasons, as a prospect, in the bullpen, and now an ace. Okay he wasn’t an ace last year because he had Lowe and Brad Penny on his team last year. He has had a quick rise to stardom sorta like, Andre Ethier. Billingsley is going to win 20 games next season if the Dodgers get Manny. 

Honorable Mention 

Cliff Lee


Lee is not on my team because he won 18 games in 2005, got sent down to AAA last year, and won 22 games this year.

Payroll Today- $2,161,500

Total Payroll so far- $26,169,662

WOW! My goal was to have a team under 100 million and it’s safe to say that I bet my goal!