Every baseball season has its share of satisfactions and disillusionment, its thrills and despair.” — Jim Brosnan, The Lone Season

laSometimes, all those things come in one game.

Satisfactions
Chad Billingsley came off the disabled list and did reasonably well for someone who hasn’t pitched in a real game since August — 6 innings, 5 hits, 1 earned run. Smooth sailing, right? Not so fast.

Disillusionment
It’s true this “Whole New Blue” does one thing better than ever before: They strand more runners than seems physically possible. In the first eight games, the Dodgers have left 63 men on base, nearly 8 per game. This time alone, they marooned 12 guys, including loaded bases in the top of the ninth.

Thrills
Home runs are always thrilling, and this time we had twice as many as in any other game this season. A lead-off homer by Carl Crawford gave the Dodgers a boost right off the bat, and A.J. Ellis made his mark with a two-run shot in the second. Add to that the run scored by Crawford after a beautiful triple and Mark Ellis’ single, and you have a 4-1 lead going into the ninth. No problem, huh? Think again.

Despair
I haven’t liked Brandon League since he came to this club. I don’t think he’s as good a relief pitcher as they think he is. He may have been good once, and, to be honest, he was robbed on a couple of strikes by a blind umpire while trying to save this game. But more often than not since he’s been in Dodger Blue, he gets into more trouble than he’s worth. This game was no exception. He almost lost it, with an assist from a passed ball by A.J. Ellis, and it was painful to watch.

I know, I know, almost only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades (sometimes it felt like that’s what League was throwing). Only the W counts in the end. But that roller-coaster ride almost made my dinner come up.

Advertisements