Opinion of Kingman's Performance

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Even in Victory, it Feels Like a Loss

The night that Zack Greinke broke his collarbone, the Dodgers rallied for a late victory.  It didn’t feel like a win.  We were outraged at how the injury went down.  Emotions were high.  A lot of stupid things were being said in the San Diego corner and from some media that had no idea how Greinke was wronged.  Today, I had the same feeling.   Win a battle, but lose a war. If the Dodgers are going to swap wins for starting pitchers, we won’t be surviving the season much longer.

Matt Kemp's 5th inning RBI single put the Dodgers ahead for good (AP Photo)
I say, “just get it done already,Chad.”  Get the surgery over with.  Partial elbow tears don’t heal on their own.   We can talk about Takashi Saito and his ability to avoid going under the knife, but he knew that if he did at age 38, that his career was over.  Not much of a choice to make there.  Such is not the case with Chad Billingsley.

If he gets the TJ surgery now, we can probably expect him back for the stretch run in 2014.  That might not be so bad.  It’ll be almost like getting a top of the line starter at the trade deadline next season.  But by delaying the inevitable, Billingsley risks missing two full seasons.  I simply don’t get the thinking on his situation unless he strongly feels the initial diagnosis was wrong.  His stubborn nature makes me believe that he still thinks he can weather through this without surgery.  Dr. ElAttrache might say differently.

Another 15 day D.L. stint?  Let’s get it done now and get the clock ticking to a full recovery.

Going into spring training with those nine starters doesn’t seem so silly now.  I figured Stephen Fife would get a spot start now and then this year.  Never did I believe that it would be by April 21st.  Currently with the ball club down to five and an iffy five starters at that, Ted Lilly is about to make his first start in 10 months after getting hit hard in rehab stints in Albuquerque and Rancho Cucamonga.  Trading away young arms like Nathan Eovaldi, Allen Webster and Rubby DeLa Rosa is weighing heavy now.

When the Dodgers embarked on this road trip a few days ago, a fellow Dodger fan co-worker said to me, “Well, things can’t get much worse.”  I didn’t say much at the time, as we were already reeling from a home sweep to the Padres, but deep in my mind I thought, “Uh, yeah, things could get much worse.”

With Billingsley, we all feared this.  I was of the opinion that this result was inevitable.  Now let’s just hope that the remaining roster can avoid injury.  It's gut check time for the Dodger 25 right now.  Their on field performance since Greinke went down' hasn't been too good.  Hopefully, they team can rejuvenate themselves and rally now.  A win or two might be able to do that.  Then again, things can't get much worse, can they?

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