August 13, 2010 |
The Dodgers weren't ahead. In fact, they were down by a run. And the game wasn't in the ninth inning. But on the mound stood Jonathan Broxton. Stripped of his title of closer on Friday, Broxton pitched an unspectacular, scoreless eighth inning in the Dodgers' 1-0 loss to the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field as part of a plan to regain the form that made him a two-time All-Star. "We want to get his feet under him without the spotlight of the save situation," Manager Joe Torre said.
August 12, 2010 |
In at least one way, Ronald Belisario had a perfect night. He faced four batters. Each of them got a hit. Each of them scored. The four runs charged to Belisario in the eighth inning started the Philadelphia Phillies' comeback, which erased the Dodgers' seven-run lead and handed Manager Joe Torre's team a devastating 10-9 loss at Citizens Bank Park. "Rust, I guess," Torre said. But Belisario said he didn't think the month he spent on the restricted list was responsible for his failure.
August 8, 2010 |
Not long after veteran Garret Anderson left Dodger Stadium on Sunday morning, his big-league career perhaps finished after 2,529 hits, his successor Jay Gibbons walked into the Dodgers clubhouse. A few hours later, Gibbons — resurrecting his major-league career as the Dodgers' newest left-handed bat off the bench — singled home a run in his first big-league at-bat in three years in the Dodgers' win over the Washington Nationals. "I was just fortunate enough to sneak one up the middle and it just made for a perfect ending" to the day, Gibbons said.
July 27, 2010 |
Reporting from San Diego — In his third season in the majors, Hiroki Kuroda has an increased understanding of American culture — enough to understand the concept that he could be jinxed by the written word. So when initially approached Tuesday, Kuroda smiled and used his left hand to simulate the sealing of his lips. The reason? He starts on Wednesday. The last time he had something written about him in this newspaper on the day he started was on July 2. He was pounded by the Arizona Diamondbacks for six runs in a season-low 1 2/3 innings.
July 22, 2010 |
From the time Hiroki Kuroda and Hisanori Takahashi were teenagers, they frequently crossed paths. Their collegiate teams belonged to the same league. They faced each other as professionals in Japan, Kuroda pitching for the small-market Hiroshima Carp and Takahashi the big-money Tokyo Giants. They met again Thursday night at Dodger Stadium, not as the stars they were in their homeland, but as two pitchers trying to lift their teams out of ruts. The result was one familiar to them: Kuroda won. Kuroda went eight shutout innings in the Dodgers' 2-0 victory over the New York Mets, who lost for the 10th time in 12 games.
July 17, 2010 |
Reporting from St. Louis — Figuratively and literally, the Dodgers are limping out of St. Louis. The Dodgers on Saturday moved to within a defeat of being swept in a four-game series by the St. Louis Cardinals, losing, 2-0, in a game in which James Loney had to be helped off the field at Busch Stadium. With Andre Ethier standing on first base and none out in the top of the ninth inning, Loney grabbed his left hamstring after taking a swing that resulted in a popout to first base.
July 2, 2010 |
Reporting from Phoenix — Kirk Gibson performed another miracle Friday night. He got the Arizona Diamondbacks to win a game. OK, so maybe this didn't equal hitting the most famous home run in Dodgers history, but it was something, as Gibson guided his last-place club to a 12-5 victory over the Dodgers at Chase Field in his first game as the Diamondbacks' interim manager. Gibson's victorious debut fell on a day the Dodgers learned they would be without Manny Ramirez through the All-Star break, as they made plans to place him on the 15-day disabled list Saturday.
July 1, 2010 |
On the surface, everything appears fine. More than fine, actually. Hiroki Kuroda, who didn't win more than nine games in either of his first two seasons, already has seven. Along with Clayton Kershaw, the 35-year-old right-hander from Japan has stabilized a Dodgers rotation that has been hindered by health problems and inexperience. Kuroda is 10 1/2 months removed from the day he was hit in the head by a ball off the bat of Rusty Ryal of the Arizona Diamondbacks. His start on Friday will be his second at Chase Field since the incident; he had no problems in the first, pitching 7 1/3 innings and earning a win. But even if the memory of taking a line drive off his skull hasn't affected his pitching — he goes into his start with a 3.27 earned-run average — Kuroda acknowledges that something about him has changed.
June 15, 2010 |
Reporting from Cincinnati -- The Dodgers' rotation was already in a state of uncertainty, with Chad Billingsley headed to the disabled list and two rookies scheduled to make starts over the next three days. Manager Joe Torre said he had no intention to taking any chances with the health of his most reliable starter Tuesday night, but Hiroki Kuroda made him reconsider, as the Japanese right-hander talked him into using him on both ends of a two-hour, 24-minute rain delay that fell in the middle of the Dodgers' 12-0 victory over the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park.
June 12, 2010 |
When Hiroki Kuroda takes the mound Tuesday in Cincinnati to open the a six-game Dodgers trip, the starting pitcher hopes the beneficial adjustments he made in his last outing carry over against the Reds. Kuroda threw scoreless ball through seven innings in his last, Tuesday against Chris Carpenter in the Dodgers' 1-0 win over the St. Louis Cardinals. That was a sharp improvement from Kuroda's previous three starts, when he was 0-3 with a 6.19 earned-run average. "There were a lot of things that I had to fix and I was able to make adjustments and I think that's what you saw in that game against the Cardinals," the Japanese right-hander said through an interpreter Saturday before the Dodgers played the Angels at Dodger Stadium.