Monday, July 7, 2008

Watched: Braves @ Dodgers

I have never seen a no-hitter. Not in person and not on television. So when I heard that Hiroki Kuroda had put down every hitter he'd faced through five innings, I turned on the game. I figured that as soon as I started watching, the Braves would get a hit. But he put them down in order in the sixth and then he got Chipper Jones to weakly ground out to end a perfect seventh and I started to wonder. Blake DeWitt made a brilliant play on a bunt attempt by Gregor Blanco to lead off the seventh and that's when it started to feel like it might be really happening.

This was the first time that I'd seen Kuroda pitch. All I really knew about him is that the Dodgers paid a pretty good price for him to pitch for them and he hadn't really lived up to the hype. Looking at his stats, though, he hasn't pitched all that poorly. Going into the night he was 4-6 with a 3.59 ERA.

Kuroda has good "stuff" - his fastball touched 95 and he also threw a nice sinker at 88-89 and a slider in the mid 80's. As would be expected, he was hitting his spots almost without fail. He wasn't striking out a ton of guys, just six through seven innings, but he wasn't giving up any solid contact, either.

Mark Teixeira led off the eighth inning and... I still haven't seen a no-hitter. Teixeira ripped a double down the right field line, ending the perfect game and no-hitter. The Dodgers ended up winning the game 3-0 and Kuroda finished off a masterful complete game one-hitter.

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