There’s no positive spin you can put on this. Going into the season (and even at the All-Star break) Billingsley and Kershaw were the two horses the Dodgers were going to rely on once they reached the Postseason. Now? Yikes. If the season were to end today I believe they’d play Saint Louis in the first round (the Rockies would win the Wild Card and play the team with the best record which would be the Dodgers but they’d have to play a team outside of their division so they would draw the Phillies) and would face not only a team that has killed them head-to-head this season but they’d also be looking at Carpenter, Wainwright and Pineiro who are a combined 74-6 or something like that. By contrast the Dodgers best three pitchers at the moment are Wolf, Kuroda and….Garland? Padilla? Seriously I don’t even know who their third best pitcher is but I know for sure that it is NOT Chad Billingsley. I liked bringing him out of the bullpen last night but it looks to me like he’s not necessarily unsure of his stuff, he’s just flat out gassed.
We saw this a few years ago with Brad Penny having an absolute meltdown the last few months of the season while the team grinded towards October. So, without any real chance against the Cards I am all for throwing a few wins away and sacrificing home field advantage if it means we get to play Philadelphia. Not that Lee and Hamels are schlubs but at least it’s a team the Dodgers have played to a standstill this season and a team that leans pretty heavily to the left-side, meaning even a less-than-perfect Kershaw could have some success before turning the ball over to lefty-killers Kuo and Sherrill. Do I necessarily like that approach? No. Do I like it better than facing Saint Louis? Yes. And as we all know, I am never wrong.