Los Angeles Dodgers: The Night That Almost Was for Chad Billingsley

Bryce ShonkaContributor IMay 4, 2011

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 03:  Pitcher Chad Billingsley #58 of the Los Angeles Dodgers looks on after giving up a solo home run to Carlos Pena of the Chicago Cubs in the seventh inning at Dodger Stadium on May 3, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Watching a ballgame is the only way to catch those moments that escape the box score.

Chad Billingsley was the central figure of one such moment last night as the Dodgers faced the Cubbies. It's an early time of year to be looking for a baseball club to rebound, but in the wake of the McCourt debacle, Don Mattingly finds his club in just that position.

The first exciting moment was Andre Ethier extending his legendary hitting streak, one that has provided the Blue Crew and Dodger faithful alike something to feel good about.

Ethier has now hit safely in 29 games and sits second on the all time list for that category. The cherry on top of that little victory was the potential of Chad Billingsley's complete game shutout. Chad found himself on the pleasant end of a 1-0 score in the seventh at only 84 pitches, only three of which resulted in Chicago hits.

For just a moment, the makings of a unique baseball event were in place.

One homerun later, Billingsley's moment had passed but one fact remained: The Dodgers were once again an unadulterated franchise and the tone of this team and it's rookie manager is suddenly reminiscent of classic Dodger tradition.

So what if the closer has the body of a lion and the heart of a much smaller animal? So what if a double into the husband and wife area between Andre and Matt meant a run defecit? LA baseball has been liberated from negligence and now there is emotional capacity left to properly appreciate the game. Blake DeWitt, who apparently left with Casey Blake's beard, had a moment of Personal redemption when he dinged his former Dodger teammates for yet another run.

This final plot arc would be the last in a Dodger loss that was full of sagas both big and small, but in the new Dodger era the looks on the face of Matt Kemp suggest that this team is far from down.