Categorized | Mark Timmons

Dr. Hiroki and Mr. Kuroda

Dr. Hiroki and Mr. Kuroda

Kuroda looked good velocity and movement wise, hitting 93 consistently with an 83 mph change. However, he struggled with control a bit while trying to knock the rust off. Or, as Badger would put it, “he’s serving belt high lollipops.” He ran his pitch count pretty high early with 45 pitches in two innings, 32 of those in the second inning. It’s that second inning wildness that killed him. The two walks that inning came in to score on the double by rookie Josh Whitesell.

Overall a good start for his first game back since opening day. He exceeded Torre’s pitch count mandate by one, going 86 pitches in 5 innings with 2ER/3Hits/3Walks/6Ks.

Snake Bitten

It just seemed like this was a tough luck game, many balls were hit hard but every time we got something going we lost it. I feel like the team looked a bit fatigued after the late night traveling that went on. Kemp took a seat in the dugout between his outfield warm-ups and his turn in the cage before the game. The other media members in the booth were tired, so you know the players were too. But neither Torre or anyone else would admit that is what was wrong tonight.

Buckner had a career game tonight and was locating well with all of his pitches. It didn’t hurt that our offense has been stuttering as of late, with the exception being last night.

We outhit the Diamondbacks 9-5 but lost 3-3 as the Diamondbacks did a good job taking advantage of situations. It’s what good teams do; problem is that the Diamondbacks are not a good team this year. The Diamondbacks also walked only two which is not easy against this Dodgers team. We left 9 on base while the Diamondbacks stranded 7.

We Would Not Go Quietly Into The Night

Tony Pena came on in the 9th bringing the gas at 96-97, and he looked really jacked up tonight. Fortunately we were able to sit on the heat and put the wood on the ball.

rafael-furcal-leap2With an Ethier single, error on Kemp’s grounder, and Furcal’s RBI single we manufactured a run. Furcal went 2 for 2 on the night, a good sign. And with Pierre’s RBI single following a long out by rookie Jamie Hoffman we pulled within a run with 2 outs in the bottom of the ninth. But Loretta lined out to left to end the game and saving Pena’s face for his first save.

Team Update

Casey Blake looked good before the game taking ground balls and going through running drills with the trainer. He was taking grounders at about half speed and was careful when running but I imagine he will be ready to start for the weekend series. He may even start before then judging by the fact that Torre used him to pinch hit tonight. The good thing is that the Dodgers can afford to take their time with injured starters because of the great backups available!

You know, I have heard many managers note that depth on the bench and good pitching are what helps make a championship caliber team. Dodgers fans are learning this old lesson in a major way this season.

Torre noted the added speed and talent on this year’s team as one of the reasons that they are/were running with Manny up this season as opposed to the red light that runners got when Manny was up last season. Our depth and speed are what keep us afloat and away from losing streaks. They, along with pitching, are good strengths to have.

  • Well, we did not see Kershaw tonight, despite my best guesses.
  • Wade had 3 wild pitches in two scoreless innings tonight.
  • Leach had 2 wild pitches in the 8th, Wild Thing…..
  • 5 wild pitches in a game is rare, Martin was beat up and frustrated!
  • Juan Pierre is BEAST MODE going 3 for 5 tonight to raise his average to .382, stealing his 11th bag on the season, and 11 multi-hit efforts in his last 17!!!
  • I’ll leave you all with this…. Trolley Dodger finds explanations. :-)

About Miguel Salcido

Professional online marketing consultant, husband, father, completely obsessed Dodgers fan, writer, speaker, and all around sports fan. I represented LADodgerTalk.com in the press box at Dodger Stadium last season. My favorite player is Orel Hershiser. I am currently grooming my 2 and 4 year old boys as avid Dodgers fans. Follow me on Twitter, http://twitter.com/ladodgertalk. Oh, and I hate the Giants.

43 Responses to “Dr. Hiroki and Mr. Kuroda”

  1. Bill_Russell says:

    It was an exciting 9th last night but after the game I felt like I needed some questions answered. Why didn't Pierre try to steal 2nd in the 6th last night before Loretta hit into a DP? Why did Milton pinch hit with a runner in scoring position? If your strapped for a hitter and must use a pitcher for this role, why not Wolf? Why didn't Raffy get the start instead of Fidel at SS? Why wasn't anyone else used in place of the human gas can (Mota). I thought we were all waiting for Kershaw to come out of the pen. Mota wasn't horrible last night but I felt Joe was waving the white flag at that point.

    I'm not as high on the reserve crew as most. They are off to a fast start and showing a big improvement over the last few years but resting two regulars on a Non Sunday game is one too many.

    • I think that Pierre just did not get a good situation to run in, he always has the green light, its not like Torre is going to give him red because Loretta is up.

      Raffy is obviously not 100% and that is why his PT has been very limited lately. His bat came around big time though last night so I understand the frustration of not seeing him start. But honestly, he was not hitting well at all before that game so I am not sure that his not starting was not a combination of rest/lack of production.

      And the reserves are bound to come down to earth, shoot, they have been out of this galaxy so far this year! They cannot maintain .350+ averages all year in reserve roles, everyday players can't even do that. Our reserve corps, aka The Bomb Squad, will be and have been better than any other team's this year. Even when they come back down to earth. They are all veterans that know how to prepare and know how to win.

  2. Bill_Russell says:

    Positive notes from the night are, Kuroda got some rust off, Russell will have film to watch on knocking the ball down in front of him, Raffy has entered the building and Shawn Johnson warmed up the Mighty Casey before the game.

    The Announcers said last night that Blake would have turned two to end the inning on the play that allowed in the 3rd run. The Foundation is missed. His at bat last night was weak as Badger was quick to point out but I'm not worried about the Blake. That's about all for now…. Go Blue

    • That ball to Loretta at thrid was just not hit hard enough to allow for the DP. Although I thought to myself that had he charged it hard he MAY have been able to pull it but it would have had to been a super spectacular play. So I am not sure that Blake could have done any better. And give Loretta credit for being able to play different positions off the bench and be pretty solid at them. He won't play gold glove caliber defense but he won't kill you either.

  3. Bill_Russell says:

    Also, I'm still looking for some help on how to change the bobblehead pic? I have tried almost everything just to show a head shot of the Casey bobble with no success. Peace

  4. Bill_Russell says:

    test

  5. mark says:

    Andy LaRoche is up to .304!

  6. lawdog says:

    Kuroda isn't ready. He's lost his command. He is wild in the strike zone. Until he can hit the inside corner at the knee with his slider, move his fastball around on the black and get the change over on the black he will be no more effective than Weaver has been. He's wild. He either throws a pitch down broadway or misses badly.

    I don't know what you'd expect when he looked the same at A a few days ago and gave up 9 hits and 7 runs in 4 innings. He got rocked. Scrubs were whacking the ball all over the park on him. Command is not something you can turn on and off like a light switch. Kuroda is not ready to be back at this level. He's going to cost us some games.

  7. Badger says:

    Mark Grace called them "cookies" and was groaning all night because the Dbacks were missing them. Kuroda was wild inside and outside the strike zone. Had it been anyone but the weak hitting Dbacks, Hiroki would have likely had an early shower.

    Loretta's balloon is coming back to earth. And by the way, he didn't "line out" to end the game, he popped out .

    Ethier still does not look right. He is swinging at pitches at his ankles. The book on him now is keep it low and in and low and away and he won't hurt you. Anytime you can get a hitter to swing at a certain pitch outside the strike zone consistently, you use it until that hitter forces you not to. Ethier needs to be more selective. I think he is pressing. Blake looked like it was his first at bat in about two years, swing wildly at pitches no where near the srike zone and not even making contact. He isn't right.

    Maybe with a good night's sleep the Dodgers will come back strong. Hope so, but it is Haren pitching today.

  8. DRomo says:

    Stat of the night, last night was given by Vinny:

    "Since the Dodgers incredible 13-0 start at home they are now below .500 at Dodger Stadium!" Can you believe that? That needs to turn around. He also mentioned that the boys haven't had a winning record in the month of June since 2003. Buckle up fellas. The June schedule sees the likes of Texas (who is actually good this season), Anaheim of OC, CHI Sox, and Philly.

    Is it possible we started celebrating our team too soon?

  9. DRomo says:

    I am not saying we can't do well in this month but we have to prove we are an elite team. Right now we are seeing weaknesses exposed.

  10. Ken says:

    Just post the splits on Kuroda v right hand batters and v left hand batters last night and you will see the reality of it all.

  11. lawdog says:

    I frankly think Ethier has gained a little weight. It shows on his butt and he doesn't move as fast as he used to in the outfield. His bat also seems slower–probably the result of the extra 10 pounds I think he's carrying. The slower bat makes his swing longer. The longer swing means he can't stay back on a fastball. If he can't stay back on a fastball and hit it hard he will continue to lunge at off speed stuff outside and l,ow. He'll particularly have trouble with change ups because it's harder to pick up the rotation and flick of the hand at the point of release due to the same arm slot and arm speed as a fastball.

    Until he stops eating at every gourmet restaurant he finds all over LA and the rest of the United States for his gourmet blog he'll continue with the long slow swing. That means if he's looking off speed he'll miss the heater inside and if he's cheating by opening up to hit the fastball in he'll flail away at pitches off the plate inside or down and away outside. And he'll be able to swing twice before any off speed pitch actually gets to home plate.

  12. lawdog says:

    Besides being wild in the strike zone and inside I noticed Kurod never once got his slider to catch the black at the knees (which night be his best pitch). He threw it inside all night. His fastball actually has better velocity and movement than it's ever had. Looks like a Kevin Brown in his prime sinker. Unlike Brown in his prime, he missed low and away to a lefty with it all night.

    Why don't we go find Mike Marshall and get him to teach all our pitchers the mechanics of his scroogie? That guy might have been the most durable and effective reliever of all time even without a plus fastball.
    Is Dr. Marshall anywhere in the house?

  13. DRomo says:

    Dr. Marshall could also pitch 7 days a week at 100 pitches per day. The guy was unbelievable.

    I have read Nolan Ryan is getting the Ranger orginization to stop coddling young pitching and build up their arms so they can go 9 innings by the time they get to the big leagues. Stop worrying about the number of pitches. This may take time in development but he has said he wants the Rangers to go to a 4 man rotation in the future. That was refreshing to hear. 20 years ago who heard of a "quality start"?

    To your point Ldod …it is all about mechanics!!!

  14. DRomo says:

    sorry, I meant L-dog!

  15. Michael says:

    Have to give Mr. Hiroki a thumbs up on his game last night. The young stallion is raring to go, I think Clayton is going to be lights out Thursday. The Wolfman will be pitching to Ausmus tonight. I have a strong feeling that JMartin will persuade Joe to give him the start at 3rd.

  16. Blue Haze says:

    Ahh, Mike Marshall, now there is a name from the past (both Mike Marshalls in fact).
    No. 1 was a freak. I remember reading stories and interviews when he talked about the mechanics and science of pitching, very interesting reading. Nice call, LDog!!

    No. 2 was doing the freak with Belinda Carlisle of the GO's GO's. "We Got the Beat!!!"

    I agree with Nolan Ryan, quit training these pitchers to have weak and fragile arms. Let 'em pitch and try and complete some games.

    Anyone catch that College Regional game in Texas? Texas went 25 innings and used only 3 pitchers. the first pitcher pitched the first 13 innings and left with a no decision, tied 2 – 2. Crazy stuff.

    Ethier totally freaked out when Manny was KO'd, he lost his discipline and thought he had to replace ManRam's power numbers, IDIOT! Well Gonzo and and some others warned of Ethier being a headcase (ie. meathead). "Meathead is as stupid does". So Ethier is just beginning to pull his head out into the sunlight, he will be alright and start producing again.

    Hey, where the hell is a little LAKER Talk in here, a few tid bits wouldn't harm this board.

    I am calling for Lakers in 6, obviously it all depends on how physical the zebras allow the game to get in the paint. If it is allowed to be a butcherfest around the basket, then watch out for the Magic to give the Lakers trouble. Kobe looks dialed in and ready to hoist the trophy. I just don't see him being denied this season. That being said, Kobe is great but he does look exhausted, the longer the series goes the more that may play a role in it. Damn, Kobe has been playing year-round for the last 2 1/2 years, he should be tired (even without the women on the road).

    Go DODGERS Go LAKERS

  17. BillRussell says:

    Now that's what I call a true bobblehead head. The foundation. Badgers favorite player……..

    I too would like to see Russell at 3rd if Casey can't answer the bell. GO BLUE

  18. mark says:

    Tonight's Lineup:

    Pierre, LF

    Furcal, SS

    Hudson, 2B

    Loney, 1B

    Blake, 3B

    Ethier, RF

    Kemp, CF

    Ausmus, C

    Wolf, P

  19. Ken says:

    Ok here is the reality of Kuroda in case no body saw the obvious while watching him pitch last night

    Inland Empire
    ERA against Lefthanded batters 8.10
    ERA against Righthanded batters 3.38

    Dodgers
    ERA against Lefthanded batters 5.40
    ERA against Righthanded batters 0.00

  20. lawdog says:

    It's that slider that catches the black breaking away from a right hander that he couldn't get in for a strike last night when it's been his strike out pitch. That, and his new fastball is completely different than what he was throwing last year. It's now a monster 93 mph movement with Rostario kind of movement, but it's not a strike. Ever. You won't go far if the only thing you can throw for a srirke is a pedestrian change up.

  21. lawdog says:

    Lakers will take it in 5. IF Bynam plays 30 minutes per and gets at least 15 pts and 10 rebounds per.

  22. Mark_Timmons says:

    Ken,

    While valid, that is a small sampling, and as he gets his control and "feel" back he should settle back to there he was before his injury, which is that his splits were fairly similar.

  23. Roger Dodger says:

    Purple Haze, not every one here is a Laker fan. Just being a Dodger fan, and the team is from L.A. (and before that Brooklyn) — does not equate with all L.A. teams, or Brooklyn teams.

    If anything, most non-Lakes fans — hate Kobe with a passion. Some think he should be in jail for rape or what every it was that made him buy and give to his wife that multi-million dollar diamond.

  24. Roger Dodger says:

    Anyone know, in the first inning of Randy Wolf's starts, how many runs he has given up — and — how many times he has given up runs in the first inning, did he win those games???

  25. Mark_Timmons says:

    THIS is not good!

  26. Badger says:

    Wolf making the same mistakes tonight that Kuroda did last night.

    Justin Upton, the one guy on that team that is dangerous, takes a thigh high 88 mph fastball deep with the bases loaded. Against Haren? Could be a long night.

  27. Roger Dodger says:

    If the Dodgers do not cut out this hitting maze they are in . . . this game will be toast. Haren is good, and can pitch.

    Little more than a month until Manny is ABLE to come back. I think their tongues will be hanging out for some hitting by then.

    This 8 to 12 game lead can fall really really really quick. 3 to the D-Back (with a new manager), 4 to the Phillies, 2 to San Diego, 3 to Texas, 3 to Oakland, 3 to the Angels, 3 to the White Sox, 3 to Seatle, and finally in June: 2 with Colorado. 26 games for the month of June.

    Again, the way the Dodgers are playing right now, IMO, they will do good to come out of these 26 games with: 9 wins and 17 loses. That is 1 win in each of the 9 series.

    So let us see what can be done, and trun this thing around tonight, 5 to 0 now.

    Okay, Ethier just parked a really really really long shot. Where did that come from? Inside of him . ..

  28. Mark_Timmons says:

    OK, since you guys always jump on me, I am going to point it out. Behind 5-0, no runners on, 2 out, no expectations. That's when Andre Ethier hits a HR.

    SOFT!

    SOFT, I SAY!

  29. Roger Dodger says:

    Ethier's HR does not meam a thing. It is a "soft" HR, because it did not come in a close game.

  30. Mark_Timmons says:

    That is my point. Give me a HR with RISP and the game on the line!

    … and Martin hasn't been as clutch as he once was. He is nearing "soft."

  31. Michael says:

    What a DP and then Orlando rolls into the stands. Hmm.

  32. BillRussell says:

    I agree Haze, Lakers in 6. Everyone deserves a second chance and who knows what really happened in Colorado that June night in 2003. You have a young blonde that is flirting with Kobe and goes to his room and then calls rape. One might wonder why did she go to his room? To make sure his stay was going well? Just a chance for a big pay day one might think? I am a big Kobe fan. He's the only one I know that works harder on his craft then Juan Pierre. Now on to the Dogs….

    Randy is just not as affective against an all right handed lineup. We have to be thankful that we are still one of the best teams in baseball and just need to find ways to improve. One solid starter could do wonders for our team. Fight on….

  33. BillRussell says:

    Just a quick note. Both the Padres and Giants lost tonight. So if Andre can hit 3 more soft HR's tonight and one with a runner on, we can gain some ground.

  34. Badger says:

    The one run on the board is soft? I still do not understand that. We need runs and Ethier provided one. Now, how about the Foundation doing something besides standing there with his bat on his shoulder and looking at two right down the middle. Talk about soft. Swing the bat dummy.

    So far, Ethier is the only one showing any stones at all.

  35. Blue Haze says:

    Agree Badger, also agree Bill Russell. Ethier hits a soft HR and then they look like they are going to win by 1 run, that HR doesn't seem so soft now in the 9th inning, now does it?

    Don't concern yourself, Roger, there are plenty of Lakers' fans in here.

  36. Badger says:

    Not that difficult to find fault in the "soft" logic.

    And even the Foundation comes through! I like that Blake guy. He is nearly as good as that LaRoche kid over in Pittsburgh.

    I got the Lakers in 6. I think Gasol and Kobe could keep Howard in foul trouble and the Lakers play better defense than do the Cavs. Plus, home court gives you the close calls in 4 games.

  37. BillRussell says:

    Badger, I must say you are right on about the Lakers and the Foundation. Finally you come aboard. Well Welcome…….. Great Win. Keep on truckin Blue…………………………. One step at a time to our next Championship.

  38. Michael says:

    Haha-hahaha. I knew it was soft but Andre needed that. Don't let the deficit make you change the channel [if you do, please hit the RECORD button before you do]. All it takes is a shot like that to get the confidence back.

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