YKI was discussing the 2010 Laissez-faire Dodgers with The Count last night during Billingsley’s workmanlike shutout of the Giants. In this outlandishly lackluster season, the annual topic of Is Chad Billingsley an Ace Yet arose. . .and while it was pleasing to see the final result, Chad’s quotes after the game displayed yet again why his talent belies the fact that he really never can be a genuine Ace. The always reticient Bills, when asked if he changed anything mechanically, replied, “Same mentality.”
Nothing wrong with a consistent approach, but an Ace needs to have fire, an Ace needs to say something like “the bullpen is tired. I knew I was going to need to give seven, eight, or all nine. I wanted to compete and give these guys a night off. I haven’t been pitching like I should, and it’s time to step it up.”
As YKI has noted consistently, it’s the lack of a killer instinct that keeps Billingsley from really dominating hitters game after game after game. . .
That said, maybe this is the game Chad needed to figure it out. Maybe this pitcher that relies so much on confidence has a performance he can recollect when he’s grinding in August. Maybe he’s going to rediscover the fact that his stuff makes him an Ace, and he needs the mentality to match.
Or maybe we’ll just keep having this conversation. . .