Thursday, September 22, 2011
Final Home Game - Taking Out the Gnats!
Hiroki Kuroda, in what may be his final outing ever at Dodger Stadium, was able to come up victorious as the Dodgers took their second game out of three from the Giants in the final home series of 2011. He did it with ease, awesome stuff and looked very comfortable pitching with a lead for practically the entire night. He kept the Giants off-balanced the entire night.
Kuroda won his 13th game of the season, in a year where he easily would have won 17-18 games had he had any semblance of run support earlier in the year. For a guy that is ailing with a neck problem, he showed no signs of being an injured pitcher tonight. It would really be in the Dodgers best interest to dangle a decent one-year deal out there again for Kuroda for 2012. He has been a stable force in the L.A. rotation in this troubling season. The fact that he leads the league in losses with 16 is evidence at how unfair the "win" stat is when you look at the big picture. Kuroda is one of the top starters in the National League this year.
What more can be said about Matt Kemp? He blistered the ball 5 times. Twice he just missed hitting it out. Then, in his last AB, he got it all. Granted, it was off Zito, but it still counts. A homer, three doubles, three runs scored and 2 RBI. Kemp is now hitting .326 and the triple crown is seriously within reach. His level of concentration has reached career high focus levels. The man is simply in a zone and determined to win the MVP. I just think he may do it. Krukow and Kuiper were actually singing their praises of him on the Giant telecast and that is not something often heard by them.
Speaking of the Giant broadcasters. It was interesting to hear Krukow comment on the Dodger youth. Namely, Dee Gordon.
Immediately after Gordon ripped a line drive into left field for a base hit:
Mike Krukow on Gordon:
“He’ll need to be able to take lefthanders to left field if he’s going to succeed in this league.”
In the top of the fourth inning, when Sandoval was forced at second and slid in late to take out Gordon and break up the double play.
“That would not be a pretty picture, Sandoval colliding with Gordon at second. Sandoval is capable of knocking him into the left field bleachers...the Dodgers would like to see Gordon put on a good 10-15 pounds in the off-season.
After Gordon singled in a run in the bottom of the 4th: