Billingsley plays blame game after rough outing
PHILADELPHIA -- If Chad Billingsley is going to be an ace someday, his performance both during and after the game is going to need improvement. Not only did the 24-year-old right-hander fail to get out of the third inning of Friday's 8-5 National League Championship Series loss against the Phillies, but he also shifted some of the blame to a teammate.When asked repeatedly after the game what he thought went wrong, Billingsley kept saying it was "pitch selection." What went wrong was that Billingsley had the shortest outing by a Dodgers starter in an NLCS game since 1985 (Jerry Reuss). What went wrong was that Billingsley allowed seven earned runs in just 2 1/3 innings in his second postseason start. He gave up eight overall and his team was out of it before it ever had a chance. The Dodgers quickly fell into a six-run hole from which they could never recover, and now they are headed to Los Angeles trailing the Phillies 2-0 in this best-of-seven series. But after the game, Billingsley was awkward when answering questions and unable to provide any details other than saying that catcher Russell Martin calls the games behind the plate and that "pitch selection" was most likely the culprit. "I felt good; I felt I had good stuff," said Billingsley, who added that a lot of the hits went the other way or found holes. "I didn't do well [Friday] and I didn't get the job done and I think pitch selection was kind of what the problem was." He also said that when he's not feeling comfortable with what Martin's calling behind the plate, he'll shake him off. When Martin was asked whether Billingsley was shaking him off, he said, "Not necessarily. Not that I noticed. Not more than usual."
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• Jayson Stark: Life, baseball collide for Manuel
• Amy Nelson: Billingsley passes the blame
• Highlights: Phillies drop Dodgers
• Victorino, Myers talk after Phillies' win