A turning point for Billingsley earlier this year was de-emphasizing the cutter and returning to the power fastball and curve that got him to the Major Leagues. But catcher A.J. Ellis said Billingsley mixed in the pitch effectively during his six-inning return from a strained groin.
"Before, if he needed a strike, he'd use the cutter," said Ellis. "Now he uses it against a left-hander if he wants to run the ball in or against a right-hander that might roll over. But it's about the situation now.
"He's more a power pitcher than side to side. He doesn't need to nibble with the cutter and two-seamer. People were joking that he was pitching like a 30-year-old veteran instead of a 24-year-old."