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Billingsley relegated to Game 4; Hudson to the bench for Dodgers-Cardinals series

Oct 7, 2009, 8:20 AM EDT

In my NLDS preview the other day I blithely assumed that Chad Billingsley would pitch Game 3 for the Dodgers, but that’s apparently not the case. Vicente Padilla gets the nod. Joe Torre said that Billingsley’s simulated game “went fine” but if that were the case you’d think that the guy would be the Game 3 starter over a famously erratic guy who was designated for assignment by the Rangers for being a clubhouse cancer earlier this year.  Joe Torre has forgotten more about baseball than I’ll ever know, but I can’t help but think that he’s reading too much into Padilla’s last start. Yes, he mowed down the Rockies, but the game was meaningless and it was not exactly their starting nine.

But Billingsley isn’t the only All-Star who will be riding the pine for L.A.  Torre also named Ronnie Belliard the starting second baseman for tonight’s game.  While he and Orlando Hudson have been splitting time down the stretch, as Mike Scioscia’s Tragic Illness notes, Belliard has hit really well against Game 2 starter Adam Wainwright, so he is probably going to get that start as well, rendering Hudson a full-blown backup.

Both of these moves are defensible on the micro level. The big picture, however has to be rather disquieting for Dodgers fans, because teams who win World Series tend not to have to depend on guys like Vicente Padilla and Ronnie Belliard in key roles.

  1. Brandon - Oct 7, 2009 at 11:26 AM

    as unimpressive as Ronnie Belliard is at times, he was a big part of the playoff Cardinals team in ’06 that surprised a lot of people.

  2. Samuel H Williams - Oct 7, 2009 at 11:47 AM

    there Joe goes again experementing, why don’t he stick with the line up that got him this far, the lineup can never mature unless they can play every day which no time during the regular season have they done.

  3. Solbro - Oct 7, 2009 at 5:14 PM

    Good call Joe!- both Chad and Orlando have been weak spots and they will get their chance again. Its all about winning and Belliard and Padilla have their timing more in sync. Go Dodgers!

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