Chad Billingsley was in quite a pickle on Sunday after just four batters, but recovered to pitch an absolute gem, leading the Dodgers to a 3-1 win over the Nationals in the series finale at Dodger Stadium. The first four batters all reached base against Billingsley, plating one run and loading the bases. Billingsley proceeded to strike out Jayson Werth, Rick Ankiel, and Jesus Flores in succession to end the threat.
After just one inning Billingsley had thrown 38 pitches, and it appeared his outing would be a short one. However, Billingsley kept piling up outs to keep his pitch count low:
- First inning: 38 pitches
- Second through fourth innings: 42 pitches
- Fifth through seventh innings: 35 pitches
Billingsley after the first inning allowed only a walk to Werth, and retired 21 of his final 22 batters faces, including the last 12. Kenley Jansen pitched a perfect eighth, and Javy Guerra did the same in the ninth, earning his seventh save of the season. Dodger pitchers retired 27 of the final 28 batters of the game, a pseudo no-hitter if you will. Billingsley struck out 10 Nats, the eighth double-digit strikeout game of his career.
Matt Kemp had two hits for the second straight game, and scored a run. Rafael Furcal reached base twice, and has reached base six times in 10 plate appearances over his last two games. Aaron Miles drove in two with a single in the first inning, though Kemp would have been easily out at the plate had Flores not dropped the throw.
The Dodgers open a series with Colorado Monday night at Dodger Stadium.
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