Saturday, April 5, 2008

Kuroda dazzles in MLB debut

Hiroki Kuroda signed a 3-year, $35.3 million deal in the offseason to provide the Dodgers stability in the bottom of their rotation. So far, so good.

Kuroda was awesome in his big league debut, going 7 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K to simply overwhelm the San Diego Padres. He only threw 77 pitches, with 53 of them for strikes. The only blemish was a solo shot by Brian Giles in the 6th. It's hard to ask for a better start than he had tonight.

As for the rest of the team, the bats were looking dead again for the first 6 innings. And then came the 7th, where they unloaded. After Matt Kemp grounded out to start, Joe Thatcher, who took over for starter Justin Germano to start the inning, walked Blake DeWitt, Kuroda, and Rafael Furcal to load the bases. Russell Martin, 0 for his first 13, finally got on track with a big 2-run single to start the onslaught. RBI's by James Loney, Andre Ethier, and Andruw Jones (with Chin-lung Hu scoring on a wild pitch wedged in between) rounded out the scoring.

In another odd sight, Chad Billingsley came out of the bullpen to pitch 2 scoreless innings to end the game. It's odd because he's the #3 starter, but with his 1st start completely thrown off by the rain, maybe it was a good thing to get him some work. He should get back on track either in Arizona next week or home against San Diego right after that.

I pointed out after the last game how they have left 48 men on base through 3 games, which was pretty bad. Tonight they did much better. They only left 16.

Ok 16 still is way too high, but they did score 7 runs, so I'll stay focused on the positive: at least they're putting men on base. Better than doing nothing.

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