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Kuroda Looks For First Win At Coors Field

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The Dodgers could have a chance to deliver the death blow to the Rockies tonight in the second game of their series at Coors Field. A Braves win over Florida coupled with a Rockies loss will eliminate Colorado from the postseason.

Hiroki Kuroda makes his third career start at Coors Field tonight, and he has given up five earned runs in each of the previous two starts, one in 2008 and one in 2010. The total numbers at Coors aren't pretty for Kuroda: 10 innings, 19 hits, 12 runs (10 earned), two walks, five strikeouts.

Since the All-Star break, Kuroda is 4-6 with a 2.57 ERA, with 11 unintentional walks and 71 strikeouts. He has 11 quality starts in 13 outings, and has averaged 6.74 innings per start. He has pitched 190 innings this year, an MLB career high, and will likely have today and Sunday to try to get to 200 innings for the first time.

Jeff Francis has battled left shoulder problems all season after missing all of 2009 after undergoing shoulder surgery. He has made two starts this month, pitching a total of 6 2/3 innings. Francis allowed five runs in 5 1/3 innings, taking the loss on May 28 in Denver.

James Loney & Club 60

There have been 16 Los Angeles Dodgers with 60 runs batted in before the All-Star break, including James Loney with 63 this season. However, Loney's second half has seen quite a drop in production, and he has 21 RBI after the break. Loney will likely have the fewest "second half" RBI of any member of Club 60:

LA Dodgers With 60 RBI Before All-Star Break
Player
Year
1st Half RBI
2nd Half RBI
Tommy Davis
1962
90
63
Shawn Green
2001
64
61
Steve Garvey
1974
65
46
Wes Parker
1970
65
46
Jeff Kent
2005
60
45
Mike Piazza
1996
63
42
Steve Garvey
1980
66
40
Jim Wynn
1974
69
39
Gary Sheffield
2000
71
38
Eric Karros
2000
70
36
Steve Garvey
1977
80
35
Ron Cey
1977
76
34
Ron Cey
1974
64
33
Russell Martin
2007
60
27
James Loney
2010
63
21

Piazza actually had 16 RBI after the All-Star break in 1994, after a 76-RBI first half, but that season was shortened by the strike.

Keep in mind that the All-Star break is almost always after the actual halfway point of the season. For instance, the Dodgers played 88 games before this year's break, and have played 69 games since, with five more games to go. Raise your hand if you remembered Martin having 60 RBI before the break in 2007.

Notes

  • A.J. Ellis, who drove in an insurance run with an RBI single last night in the ninth inning, has six hits and a walk in his last nine plate appearances with runners in scoring position.
  • A pair of Rockies battling the flu have good career numbers against Kuroda, as Seth Smith is 6-for-11 with a triple and Ian Stewart is 6-for-10
  • Matt Kemp is hitting .308/.296/.500 with two doubles and a home run in 27 plate appearances against Francis, the best numbers of any Dodger with 10 PA against the southpaw. The home run came this season.
  • Loney is 1-for-15 with two walks and five strikeouts against Francis, but they haven't faced each other since 2008. Casey Blake is 1-for-14 against Francis, including 0-for-2
  • Tuesday is the Dodgers' most successful day of the season, as they are 14-10

Game Time:  5:40 p.m.

TV: KCAL

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