NLCS Game 3: Toss Kuroda Outside Naked

October 18, 2009 at 8:21 pm | Posted in 2009 NLCS vs. Phillies, Chad Billingsley, Hiroki Kuroda | 8 Comments

Torre removes Kuroda
That headline makes a lot more sense if you’d read Dylan Hernandez’ story on him in the LA Times this morning, which included this quote (hat tip, MOKM):

Kuroda said that as a boy, if he disobeyed his mother, she would throw him out of the house at night — naked.

“That would be a crime in this country, right?” Kuroda said, laughing.

Well, Kuroda was certainly naughty tonight, wasn’t he? There was so much fail in this game that it’s not even worth going over. The Dodgers were out of it almost from the very start, as Kuroda was shelled and lasted just 1.1 horrible IP. The Dodger sleepwalked their way through the rest of it, and that was that.

I don’t want to dwell on this disaster any more than you want to read about it, so I’ll leave you with these four points:

1) Yes, Kuroda sucked and needs to bear the brunt of this. Just remember, though, that Cliff Lee was A+ level outstanding. The way he made Dodger bats look, it wouldn’t really have made much of a difference if Kuroda gave up 5 runs or 500 runs. If there was any game this series for a Dodger starter to implode, this was it.

2) This just drives the point home further that pushing Randy Wolf back to Game 4, behind Kuroda, was a huge mistake. Sure, it’s possible that Kuroda would still have been this bad if he’d started tomorrow. It’s just that Wolf is so much more of a sure thing at this point that it never made any sense to start Kuroda ahead of him.

3) Why did Joe Torre pull Chad Billingsley after he gave up a few hits and 2 runs in the 5th? Billingsley had been cruising up until that point, and those 2 runs were hardly huge – they made it 8-0. Without Jeff Weaver, Jon Garland, or James McDonald on the roster, Billingsley is the “long man”, yet Torre pulled him after 3.1 IP. That meant that Ramon Troncoso had to go 2 IP, presumably meaning he’s not available tomorrow, and Ronald Belisario had to make a (disastrous) appearance as well.

Billingsley hadn’t pitched in several weeks, so he was clearly well-rested. If Torre pulled him just because he gave up a few meaningless runs, it could have massive repercussions on tomorrow’s Game 4 bullpen.

4) Silver lining alert: At least Manny got two hits!

Let’s forget this one ever happened, and get back at it tomorrow for a huge Game 4 – Randy Wolf vs. Joe Blanton.



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  1. Perhaps they should toss the whole team outside naked aside from Manny.

  2. While this game was much less emotionally draining than game 1, it was also much more discouraging. All year we’ve seen this offense suddenly disappear for a few days and then promptly re-emerge. Hopefully it happens again. It was encouraging to see Manny take what was given to him rather than trying to hit it out on each swing. Also, I’d feel a whole hell of a lot more confident about tomorrow if Wolf hadn’t walked 5 Cardinals last time he pitched…

    • Remember though, “5 walks” is a little misleading, as two were intentional jobs to Pujols.

  3. Man what an ugly game. An epic loss for the Dodgers. Can they come back from this? I hope so, but my gut… well, my gut is not optimistic.
    This is where the lack of a true ace starting pitcher really hurts us.

    • Yeah, well, why don’t you and Bill Plachske go to a tea party and talk about it with pinkies in the air.
      Wolf is going to stomp upon Fat Joe Blanton tonight and it’ll be a new series.

      And maybe Joe Torre pulled Billingsley because he’s tired of seeing Chad’s beer guy, which is almost big as Torre’s, stink up the joint when he should be an ace in training instead of a fat guy in training. Correction: Chad isn’t a fat guy in training. He’s fat. Someone get that guy a salad.

      • guy = gut. Sorry, still thinking about how I needed the beer guy to bring me 6 beers immediately after and during the second inning last night.

  4. […] Well, hey, at least he was the Opening Day starter, right? Sure, he then missed two solid months with a shoulder issue, came back only to miss a few weeks after taking a scary liner to the head, came back from that just to miss the NLDS with a neck injury, and finally came back for the NLCS to give up 6 earned runs in 1.1 disastrous innings of Game 3. […]

  5. […] thanks to injuries both annoying (a strained oblique) and near-tragic (a liner to the head) and a NLCS meltdown, but when he’s healthy he’s one of the more effective starters in baseball. He’s […]

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