Billingsley wound up throwing 114 of them in 4 1/3 innings, which is one more than he threw in his previous career high 11 days ago against Philly when he went a full five. He went to three-ball counts on nine batters. Eric Hull, who took over for Billingsley, got two quick outs to start the sixth, then walked Jeff Baker. That led to a three-run inning for the Rockies that put this one to bed early and sent a message to the Dodgers that they are going to have to scratch and claw for every victory in this division. Andre Ethier led off the seventh with a double, but Wilson Betemit then stepped in to pinch hit for Seanez. Shockingly, he struck out on three pitches. … Snakes are down by six, but it’s early. Pods are going to win to pull within a half-game, and the Rox are going to pull within 3 1/2. This is now, officially, a four-team race. … Rockies 7, Dodgers 2, top 7
Chad Billingsley has reverted to his old self, throwing too many pitches. He walked the opposing pitcher, Ubaldo Jimenez, to load the bases with two outs in the fourth, but after a visit from pitching coach Rick Honeycutt, Billingsley managed to pitch his way out of that mess by getting Willy Taveras to fly to center. Billingsley gave up a solo homer to Yorvit Torrealba and a two-run shot to Matt Holliday, all in the third inning. Dodgers put runners on the corners with none out in the fourth and managed to get all of one run out of it, on a sac fly by Nomar. Furcal drew a two-out walk in the fifth, but for reasons known only to Juan Pierre, Pierre then tried to bunt his way on and failed. He seems to try that at least once a game, and it ALMOST NEVER works. Either he needs to work on his bunting, or he needs to SWING THE BAT. … Rockies 3, Dodgers 1, bottom 5
The rotation the rest of the week is as follows: Penny on Tuesday, Hendrickson Wed., Tomko Thurs, Billingsley Friday and Lowe Saturday. Lowe still hasn’t thrown off a mound, but Grady said Lowe has felt so good throwing off flat ground that they’re confident he is ready to go. And Penny’s cramps are apparently only an issue when he runs to cover first or on a batted ball, so they’ll send him back out and watch him closely. Still no date set for Randy Wolf’s next rehab outing because he still has stiffness in his shoulder. Grady admitted that it can be termed a setback. No telling when this guy is going to be back.