Billingsley on slow road to success
August, 19, 2012
By Doug Kern and Katie Sharp | ESPN.com
Daniel Shirey/US PresswireChad Billingsley hasn't allowed a run in his last three road starts.
On Sunday the Dodgers true road warrior was on the mound. Chad Billingsley tossed seven shutout innings, and has now allowed just one run in 28⅓ innings (0.32 ERA) on the road since the break. He hasn’t allowed a run in his last three road starts.
Billingsley’s success since the break hasn’t been confined to just the road. He improved to 6-0 with a 1.30 ERA in six starts since the All-Star break, bouncing back after losing his previous five starts before the break.
His 1.30 ERA is the second-best in the majors since the break and he is the only pitcher with six wins and no losses in the second half of the season.
Billingsley’s command of his offspeed pitches has been the difference in the second half. Since the break, nearly 90 percent of his offspeed pitches to lefties have been low, away, or both. Lefties are hitting just .118 against his offspeed pitches since the break, compared to .293 in the first half.
He has also been much more effective pitching from the stretch in the second half. Opponents have just three singles in 31 at-bats (.097) with runners in scoring position, after they hit .265 and slugged .407 with RISP against him in the first half.
Sunday’s win was Billingsley’s 10th in 2012, his sixth straight season with double-digit wins. The only other NL pitcher with 10-or-more wins in each of the past six seasons is Cole Hamels. The last Dodgers pitcher with at least six straight 10-win seasons was Fernando Valenzuela, who had seven in a row from 1981-87.