Yesterday, an ice cream man was making his run through my neighborhood, and I decided to treat myself to a cool treat.
"How about a scoop of Strawberry Santana?" he asked.
"No," I said. "Its taste isn't long-lasting enough."
He tried again. "How about some Lime Lincecum?"
Again, another denial from me. "The texture is too thin," I replied.
On his third attempt, the flustered ice cream man resorted to his premium flavors.
"How about a scoop of Blue Billingsley?" he inquired, clearly confident that he'd found the one.
I said excitedly, "You have Blue Billingsley? Make that two scoops!"
In the ever-changing world of Major League Baseball, Chad Billingsley is the new hot name as far as starting pitchers are concerned. A former first-round pick in 2003, Billingsley is quickly becoming the best hurler in the National League.
He is a 6'1", 245-pound, right-handed power pitcher with a high leg kick and heat in the mid-90s.
And if that isn't enough for you, take this into consideration: He has a strong slider and a fantastic curve ball.
Yes, his change-up could use some work, but nobody's perfect.
Even before the season began, Billingsley's stock was on the upswing.
In the course of three years, he has gone from seven wins to 16 and 59 strikeouts to 201, and his seasonal earned run average has dropped from 3.80 to 3.14.
Now, after about a month of the 2009 season, the buzz surrounding him is off the charts. A winner in each of his four starts, Billingsley has an ERA of 2.05 and has struck out 26 batters in 26.1 innings while allowing only 14 hits. His WHIP is an unbelievable 0.87.
Billingsley goes for win No. 5 tonight against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park. He'll face a pitcher by the name of Jonathan O. Sanchez.
Rumor has it the "O" stands for "Oh, I have no chance of out-pitching Chad."
Based on his results so far this campaign, Billingsley is a lock to the win the NL Cy Young Award. If he keeps up his dominance for seasons to come, the powers that be might even rename the award after him.
That's my opinion—at least for this month.