Hiroki Kuroda's performance was a thing of beauty tonight.
The Dodgers seem to have found the winning formula, and they used it to produce their second straight 2-0 victory, this time over the Mets. The formula is quite simple: have your starter pitch give up no runs and pitch very deep into the game, and have one batter drive in both runs, one on a solo home run.
Hiroki Kuroda won the duel of 35-year old Japanese pitchers, outlasting Hisanori Takahashi for his eighth win of the season. Kuroda was brilliant in his eight scoreless innings, following the Chad Billingsley blueprint from Wednesday with 15 groundball outs of his own. Dodger starting pitchers have now thrown 17 straight scoreless innings, inducing 31 groundball outs.
Matt Kemp drove an 0-2 pitch to right field for a double in the first inning, driving in Jamey Carroll -- that's left fielder (against lefties) Jamey Carroll to you, bub -- for the Dodgers first run. Kemp added some insurance with a shot into the left field pavilion in the seventh inning.
Hong-Chih Kuo, who warmed up for the third straight game -- a rarity for him -- pitched the ninth inning for his third save of the season, on a night of rest for Jonathan Broxton. It appears any kid gloves that were used on Kuo are now a thing of the past.
Kuo at home this season has pitched 16 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing just four hits and three walks, with 14 strikeouts. Left-handed batters this season have no hits in 33 at-bats against Kuo, with 17 strikeouts (they also have three walks and a sacrifice fly). Rookie Ike Davis, whom Vin Scully said was "a lamb to slaughter" against Kuo, was the only lefty to face Kuo tonight. He struck out, naturally.
WP - Hiroki Kuroda (8-8): 8 IP, 5 hits, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts
LP - Hisanori Takahashi (7-5): 7 IP, 3 hits, 2 runs, 2 walks, 5 strikeouts
Sv - Hong-Chih Kuo (3): 1 IP, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts