Wasting a fine defensive play by Blake DeWitt, Dodger starter Hiroki Kuroda couldn't even achieve a no-hitter, let alone a perfect game, succumbing to a lone double from Atlanta's Mark Teixeira.
DeWitt, who hasn't made an error since May, barehanded a bunt attempt by Gregor Blanco and nailed him at first base for the first out of the seventh inning. Kuroda retired the side but promptly came out in the following inning and gave up a leadoff double to Teixeira. The crushed Dodger faithful at the game rose to their feet to applaud Kuroda, probably clapping out of pity toward his sad performance.
Said Joe Torre after the game, "The defense played great behind him." [I'm serious, I'm watching the post-game show right now.] Even his own manager couldn't give Kuroda credit, given his on-field failures tonight.
Maybe Kuroda can come back and improve on this performance next outing, possibly throwing only 90 pitches (rather than the gigantic 91 pitches he used tonight) and picking up the Dodgers' first no-hitter since Hideo Nomo in 1996. In fact, I anticipate Kuroda is back in the locker room right now, intently studying game film, or trying to figure out what dialect of English Dodgers pitching coach Rick Honeycutt is speaking.
photo: Kirby Lee/US Presswire