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Kuroda, Dodgers Look To Take Middle Game Against Yankees

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If last night featured the least favorable pitching matchup for the Dodgers, today is probably the most favorable, with Hiroki Kuroda facing A.J. Burnett.  Then again, last night was a closely fought pitching duel, so who knows what to expect?

Kuroda has allowed just two runs in his last three starts, over a total of 19 innings.  He has a 1.80 ERA in four June starts, yet is just 1-2 for the month.  Outside of Chad Gaudin's one plate appearance (a strikeout), the only Yankee to ever face Kuroda was Mark Teixeira, who has two hits in five at-bats with a double and a walk.  That double happened to break up Kuroda's perfect game against the Braves in the eighth inning on July 7, 2008.

Burnett has been awful in June, allowing nine home runs and 23 runs in 20 innings.  He has lost all four starts so far in June.  Among the Dodgers, Rafael Furcal has the most plate appearances against Burnett, with 34, and has nine singles in 29 at-bats, hitting .310/.394/.310.

Derek The Great

Today is Yankee shortstop Derek Jeter's 36th birthday.  The future Hall of Famer has scored 100 runs in 12 different seasons, and is on pace to reach that mark yet again this season.  Only Lou Gehrig, with 13 seasons of 100 runs or more, has more such seasons in Yankee history

At some point next season, Jeter will join the 3,000-hit club, and compares favorably to the all-time hit king, who turned 36 on April 14, 1977:

Derek Jeter & Pete Rose On Their 36th Birthdays
Player Years G PA Hits BA/OBP/SLG OPS OPS+
Jeter 1995-2010 2209 10148 2834 .316/.386/.457 .844 121
Rose 1963-1977 2191 10032 2769 .311/.381/.433 .814 126

Rose continued to play through age 45, collecting a rather remarkable 1,487 more hits.  While Jeter is ahead of Rose's pace now, will he continue long enough to become the all-time hit leader?  Don't bet on it.

Lineups

Yankees      Dodgers
SS Jeter SS Furcal
CF Granderson   
CF Kemp
1B Teixeira RF Ethier
3B A-Rod LF Manny
2B Cano 1B Loney
RF Swisher 3B Blake
C Cervelli

C Martin
LF Gardner 2B DeWitt
P Burnett P Kuroda           

Game Time: 4:10pm

TV:  Fox

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