August 31 Philadelphia Daily News
Kuroda held the Phillies hitless for 7 1/3 innings, finally allowing a single to Shane Victorino, as the Dodgers cruised to a 3-0 victory and handed the Phillies their 11th shutout loss of the season.
It was the third time the Phillies have been one-hit this season, the others coming on May 22 against Daisuke Matsuzaka and the Red Sox, and on Aug. 13 against R.A. Dickey and the Mets.
“The lineup we had on the field tonight, that’s our lineup,” said Phillies manager Charlie Manuel. “If that lineup don’t hit, we’re in trouble. Things are right there in our hands. If we don’t take care of it, that’s our fault.”
The Phillies, now 73-58, saw their deficit in the National League East slip to three games, thanks to the Braves’ 9-3 win over the Mets.
But the story of the night was Kuroda, whose dominance might have been exacerbated by the Phillies’ recent offensive struggles. The Phillies were coming off a three-game sweep of the Padres at Petco Park in which they combined to score just 11 runs on 17 hits. That was preceded by a four-game series at Citizens Bank Park in which they scored a combined seven runs while getting swept by the Astros. In the 11 games leading up to last night’s game, the Phillies hit .195 with a .270 on-base percentage while averaging 2.5 runs.
In Game 3 of last year’s NLCS, the Phillies knocked Kuroda out with one out in the second inning, scoring six runs off him en route to an 11-0 victory that gave them a 2-1 series lead. But Kuroda, who had held the Phils to four runs in 25 innings in four previous starts, was coming off a herniated disk.
Last night, he retired 19 of the first 21 batters he faced, striking out six and allowing just seven balls out of the infield. He allowed his first base runner in the second, hitting Jayson Werth with a one-out pitch before getting Raul Ibanez to ground into an inning-ending doubleplay. In the sixth, he issued a one-out walk to Carlos Ruiz, then struck out Roy Halladay and Jimmy Rollins to end the frame.
But the eighth inning started ominously. First came a leadoff walk by Werth. Then, with Ibanez at the plate, a beach ball landed on the warning track in left-centerfield, prompting a brief delay. Ibanez eventually grounded into a fielder’s choice that eliminated Werth at second. But Victorino broke up the no-hitter and put runners on first and second when he lined a 1-1 fastball to rightfield for a single.
Kuroda faced one more batter – Ruiz struck out – before he was replaced by Hong-Chih Kuo, who coaxed an inning-ending groundout from pinch-hitter Mike Sweeney.”
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