Are Billingsley, Jansen Losses The End to Dodgers’ Playoff Hopes?

Concluding a tumultuous week in which the Dodgers’ became baseball’s all-time most extravagant spenders, the team is now faced with the loss of both Chad Billingsley and Kenley Jansen for the rest of the year.

Billingsley suffered a re-occurrence of the elbow soreness that put him on the DL earlier in the year. Now, an MRI has shown considerable swelling, making a diagnosis impossible. His season is likely over, as is the year for Jansen, who has now been diagnosed with cardiac arrhythmia for the third time in the past two seasons.

Billingsley is coming off the best few weeks of his major league career, going 6-0 with a 1.80 ERA over the last five weeks. and Jansen has been superb since taking over the closer’s role, converting 25 saves.

Scott Elbert has also hit the DL again, joining Ted Lilly and Matt Guerrier, among so many others. In a bit of potentially good news, though, Guerrier may soon be activated, and it looks like Javy Guerra may get another shot now, with all these pitching vacancies.

Josh Becket and Joe Blanton, who yesterday barely hung on to win for the first time as a Dodger, have to produce over the last month. The starting pitching staff how has Kershaw and four journeymen in-and-outers, and that is no way to enter a pennant race. And it is certainly no way to enter the playoffs, if they were to get there.

Adrian Gonzales, Henley Ramirez, and Shane Victorino are all great additions, but pitching has been, is now, and will always be, the name of the game.

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