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Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Billingsley remains difficult to explain

By Arash Markazi

LOS ANGELES -- Chad Billingsley has been an easy target for fans and reporters alike for the past three seasons.

Wildly talented and wildly inconsistent, he has been an enigma for everyone, including Dodgers manager Don Mattingly.

While Mattingly isn’t hoping that a few days off will cure all that ails Billingsley, he does believe the right elbow inflammation, which was discovered following Monday’s MRI exam might explain his recent struggles.

“He’s got inflammation, so something was going on,” Mattingly said. “He thinks it didn’t have any effect on him at all and he feels like pitchers always have something going on but in effect there is inflammation so this has a chance to be good for him. He’ll get a little extra treatment and get a rest. In a sense this could really be good for him.”

Billingsley smiled when he was asked when he first felt discomfort in his right elbow.

“27 years ago,” he said. “It’s been every year.”

Although Billingsley said his injury has nothing to do with his 4-9 record and 4.30 ERA in 18 starts this season, any kind of rest and treatment can’t hurt.

“I like the fact that he’s not making any excuses for this being why he hasn’t pitched well,” Mattingly said. “He deals with this stuff all the time and a lot of guys deal with stuff but this could be good for him.”

Here's a look at tonight's lineups.

Jimmy Rollins SS
Shane Victorino CF
Chase Utley 2B
Ryan Howard 1B
Carlos Ruiz C
Hunter Pence RF
Juan Pierre LF
Placido Polanco 3B
Roy Halladay P

Bobby Abreu LF
Mark Ellis 2B
Matt Kemp CF
Andre Ethier RF
Adam Kennedy 3B
James Loney 1B
Luis Cruz SS
A.J. Ellis C
Stephen Fife P