Dodgers Will Need Consistency to Beat These Phillies

It's been suggested that the Dodgers we saw in Philadelphia during the first two games of the NLCS were not the guys that got the team this deep in the playoffs, and statistically, it's tough to disagree. Besides Manny Ramirez offensively, you have guys like Matt Kemp (1-7, 0-5 with men on base) and Rafael Furcal (1-9) who had been reliable but so far, have failed to show up. The same can be said for the Dodgers' pitching, especially in Game 2.

Chad Billingsley allowed only a single run in his appearance in the divisional series, one where he struck out seven in six and two-thirds innings. But the wheels completely came off in the second inning of last night's Game 2, where with two outs, he allowed four runs to score, including an RBI from the Phillies' pitcher, Brett Myers. So what happened? Billingsley attempts to explain.

"It was pitch selection," Billingsley said. "Things just got away from me there. I just wasn't able to execute. They hit a couple cutters, and that's been a good pitch for me. I didn't throw enough inside. The one pitch I'd like to have back is the one to Victorino with runners on second and third. I should have gone something offspeed."

Apparently so. Joe Torre was similarly flummoxed ... obviously, considering he's the one that left Billingsley in long enough to get charged with seven earned runs in just two and a third innings.

"He gets the first two hitters out, the five and six guys, and then all of a sudden strange things happened," said Dodgers manager Joe Torre. "He gets ahead in two counts and wasn't able to put people away. And that may have unnerved him a little bit, but, again, you have to sort of fix this thing while it's going on."

One thing is certain, and that's the fact that if the Dodgers want to get back in this thing, they're going to need their starting pitchers to take advantage of situations where they have two outs and they're facing the bottom of the Phillies' order. You know, as opposed to allowing four runs in that situation. But with the scene shifting to Dodger Stadium, where the Phillies are 0-4 this season, you have to think that the Dodgers we're used to seeing will end up making an appearance.

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