Aaron Cook was single-handedly responsible for reducing the worm population at Dodger Stadium, inducing 13 ground ball outs on his way to seven shutout innings, as the Rockies staved off a sweep by beating the Dodgers 3-1 in the series finale at Dodger Stadium. This meant that, despite allowing one run in six innings, Hiroki Kuroda was tagged with the loss yet again. Kuroda won't start again until after Sunday's trade deadline, and if his days as a Dodger are numbered, Kuroda went out on a sour note.
Kuroda saw the Dodgers score 25 runs in his final 12 starts. During that stretch, Kuroda gave the Dodgers a 3.38 ERA, averaged six innings per start, and had 17 unintentional walks to go with his 55 strikeouts. Yet, somehow Kuroda's record during that span was 1-10. Amazing.
Shades Of Bulldog
Kuroda's struggles bring to mind those of a Dodger great 22 years ago. Orel Hershiser was the reigning Cy Young winner in 1989 and entering his start on August 18 he was 14-8 with a 2.41 ERA, numbers not far from his epic season a year before. It wasn't quite a 59-inning scoreless inning streak, but over his final nine starts of the season, Hershiser threw 66 innings and put up a 2.05 ERA.
He went 1-7. That one win didn't come until his last start of the season, when Hershiser didn't want to finish with a losing record and persuaded Tommy Lasorda to let him pitch 11 innings to even his record at 15-15. During those nine starts, the Dodgers scored a total of nine runs, and only six runs were scored in the first nine innings of play of those games.
- Kuroda was 11-13 last season. The last Dodger to lose 13 games in back-to-back seasons was Hershiser, who was 10-15 in 1992 and 12-14 in 1993.
- Matt Kemp had two more hits, reaching base multiple times for the fourth time in five games, and also hit his third double in the last five contests.
Rafael Furcal has two hits and a walk, and so far during the homestand is hitting .318/.444/.409 in six games.
- Blake Hawksworth allowed the second Rockie run, thanks to a pair of doubles by Troy Tulowitzki and Ty Wigginton in the seventh inning.
- Colorado tacked on an insurance run in the ninth, as Dexter Fowler singled, stole second, then screened Furcal on a seeing-eye RBI single by Tuolwitzki.
- Rod Barajas hit a solo home run in the ninth inning off Huston Street for the Dodgers' first run. In his career against Street, Barajas is 8-for-12 with a double and two home runs.
- The Dodgers are off tomorrow, but start a weekend series against the Diamondbacks on Friday. Ted Lilly and Josh Collmenter start the opener.
WP - Aaron Cook (2-5): 7 IP, 6 hits, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts
LP - Hiroki Kuroda (6-13): 6 IP, 6 hits, 1 run, 3 walks, 6 strikeouts
Sv - Huston Street (27): 1 IP, 1 hit, 1 run, 1 strikeout