The Dodgers officially severed ties with Manny Ramirez today, the same day the McCourt divorce trial began, and to top it all off had to stomach facing Roy Halladay tonight at Dodger Stadium. However, Hiroki Kuroda washed away the negativity with an absolute gem, taking a no-hitter into the eighth inning, and beat the Phillies, 3-0 in the opener of a three-game series.
Melissa Joan Hart thew out the first pitch, but it was Kuroda cast his spell on the Phillies tonight, allowing just four baserunners in his 7 2/3 innings. He hit Jayson Werth in the second inning, but erased him on a double play. Carlos Ruiz walked in the sixth, and Werth walked in the eighth, then Shane Victorino broke up the no-hitter with one out in the eighth inning, lining a single to right field.
It was the deepest a Dodger has taken a no-hitter this season, surpassing Vicente Padilla, who flummoxed the Padres through 6 1/3 innings on August 4. Kuroda's previous flirtation with a no-hitter was on July 7, 2008, when he had a perfect game through seven innings against Atlanta, only to have Mark Teixeira break it up with a leadoff double in the eighth inning.
The last Dodger no-hitter remains Hideo Nomo's masterpiece in Coors Field on September 17, 1996.
Kuroda even chipped in at the plate tonight, snapping his 0-for-45 streak with a single in the bottom of the seventh inning. It was one of 10 hits the Dodgers got off Roy Halladay, who allowed three runs in his seven innings.
Local product Rod Barajas, in his first home game as a Dodger, hit a solo home run in the fifth to push the lead to 3-0. It was the third home run and fifth extra-base hit for Barajas in just five games for the new Dodger catcher. Every interview I have seen with Barajas, including after the game tonight, Barajas seems ridiculously happy to be a Dodger, and that's pretty cool.
Hong-Chih Kuo threw one pitch in the eighth to retire pinch hitter Mike Sweeney, then set the Phillies down in order in the ninth to earn his seventh save.
Carlos Monasterios faces Kyle Kendrick tomorrow night.
WP - Hiroki Kuroda (10-11): 7 2/3, 1 hit, 2 walks, 7 strikeouts
LP - Roy Halladay (16-10): 7 IP, 10 hits, 3 runs, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts
Sv - Hong-Chih Kuo (7): 4 up, 4 down