Dodgers Inside Pitch - May 4, 2008

Shortstop Rafael Furcal went hitless in three at-bats Thursday, but he continues to be the heart and soul of the Dodgers offense. Furcal drew two walks in five plate appearances and scored both times, including the go-ahead run on a single by Matt Kemp in the ninth inning after Furcal drew a leadoff base on balls.

One day after his double gave him the Los Angeles Dodgers record for extra-base hits in March/April with 17, Furcal is batting .371. During the team's six-game winning streak, he has reached base in 14-of-33 plate appearances, scoring nine runs.

Furcal is second in the National League in both batting average and on-base percentage (.459), first in hits (43) and runs (28) and tied for first in doubles (12).

He also made a spectacular defensive play in the first inning Thursday to rob Florida's Jeremy Hermida of a hit. Furcal lunged far to his right, planted on the outfield grass and threw across his body to edge Hermida at first base.

Furcal has started every game this season, batting leadoff in all but one of them.

Notes & Quotes
--RHP Hiroki Kuroda became the second Dodgers starter in a row to go seven innings, something manager Joe Torre had said before Wednesday's game was an area that had to improve. Kuroda held the Marlins to five hits, including a two-run homer by Cody Ross, and got through his seven innings on a remarkably efficient 85 pitches. Still, he was left with no decision for the third time in his six starts this season.

--RHP Takashi Saito continued his recent resurgence, retiring the Marlins in order in the ninth with two strikeouts. Saito has now converted four of six save opportunities this season and has pitched three scoreless innings, with five strikeouts, since blowing a one-run lead in the ninth inning April 25 against Colorado.

--LF Juan Pierre started for the first time since Saturday and went 2-for-3 with a two-run double. Pierre has been hitting much better lately, gradually raising his once-moribund average to a respectable .273. He also is batting .429 (9-for-21) lifetime against Colorado's Jeff Francis, so there is a decent chance Pierre will start Friday, too.

--RF Matt Kemp ran his hitting streak to six games with a ninth-inning single that drove in the winning run. Kemp then stole second, giving the Dodgers 18 steals in 15 games this season. Kemp is batting .393 (11-for-28) with runners in scoring position.

--C Russell Martin beat out an infield single in the sixth inning to run his hitting streak to eight games, during which he is batting .429 (12-for-28). He also struck out twice and walked once, but he still has 24 walks and just 19 strikeouts for the season. Manager Joe Torre considered resting Martin because it was a noon game after a night game, but he decided against it after Martin went 2-for-2 with a home run and three walks Wednesday night.

By The Numb3rs: 3 -- Players since the Dodgers moved to Los Angeles a half-century ago who have driven in five runs in an inning, something Matt Kemp did in the first inning on Saturday night with a sacrifice fly and his first career grand slam. Jeff Kent drove in five in the first inning on May 6, 2005 at Cincinnati, and Dusty Baker did it in the second inning on Sept. 13, 1977. All three instances came in innings in which the Dodgers scored 10 runs.

Quote to Note: "Somebody who wants to tag you like that has no idea. They have no clue. They have no idea what it takes. Not only that, (but) there is a type of person who goes out there and plays as hard as they can and don't care. And by care, I mean plays with reckless abandon, goes out there and plays the game hard like you're supposed to." -- Dodgers third baseman Nomar Garciaparra, responding to the suggestion that he is injury-prone.

*M*A*S*H* 4077 Report
RHP Jonathan Broxton (sore right lat) was unavailable April 29-30. He isn't expected to miss much action.

3B Nomar Garciaparra (strained right calf) went on the 15-day disabled list April 26.

RHP Jason Schmidt (right shoulder surgery in June 2007) opened the season on the 15-day disabled list. He could begin a rehab assignment in early May, and he is expected to be in the minors the full 30 days allotted.

3B Andy LaRoche (torn ligament in right wrist) had surgery March 10, and he opened the season on the 15-day disabled list. He remains on track for a possible return in late May. He began a minor league rehab assignment April 23.

   INF Tony Abreu (sore groin) opened the season on the 15-day disabled list. He reported to extended spring training in Vero Beach, Fla., in early April.
Player Stats

     HITTERS

Gary Bennett, C
                    BA    AB     R     H    2B    3B    HR   RBI    SB
Last Game         .000     1     0     0     0     0     0     0     0
Last 7 Games      .125     8     0     1     0     0     0     0     0
Season            .125     8     0     1     0     0     0     0     0

Andre Ethier, RF
                    BA    AB     R     H    2B    3B    HR   RBI    SB
Last Game         .200     5     0     1     0     0     0     1     0
Last 7 Games      .269    26     7     7     1     0     0     3     1
Season            .309    94    18    29     7     0     2    14     2

Rafael Furcal, SS
                    BA    AB     R     H    2B    3B    HR   RBI    SB
Last Game         .000     3     2     0     0     0     0     0     0
Last 7 Games      .303    33    10    10     3     0     0     2     1
Season            .371   116    28    43    12     2     3    11     7

Nomar Garciaparra, 3B
                    BA    AB     R     H    2B    3B    HR   RBI    SB
Last Game         .200     5     1     1     0     0     0     1     0
Last 7 Games      .240    25     6     6     0     0     1     5     1
Season            .226    31     6     7     0     0     1     5     1

Chin-lung Hu, SS
                    BA    AB     R     H    2B    3B    HR   RBI    SB
Last Game         .333     3     1     1     0     0     0     0     0
Last 7 Games      .200    10     3     2     0     0     0     0     0
Season            .250    28     5     7     0     0     0     3     1

Andruw Jones, CF
                    BA    AB     R     H    2B    3B    HR   RBI    SB
Last Game         .000     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0
Last 7 Games      .158    19     4     3     0     0     0     1     0
Season            .159    88    13    14     3     1     1     4     0

Matt Kemp, RF
                    BA    AB     R     H    2B    3B    HR   RBI    SB
Last Game         .200     5     1     1     0     0     0     1     1
Last 7 Games      .367    30     6    11     1     0     1    11     4
Season            .312    93    15    29     5     2     2    17     5

Jeff Kent, 2B
                    BA    AB     R     H    2B    3B    HR   RBI    SB
Last Game         .000     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0
Last 7 Games      .320    25     4     8     2     0     0     6     0
Season            .291    86    11    25     6     0     3    16     0

Hong-Chih Kuo, P
                    BA    AB     R     H    2B    3B    HR   RBI    SB
Last Game         .000     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0
Last 7 Games      .667     3     1     2     1     0     0     0     0
Season            .667     3     1     2     1     0     0     0     0

James Loney, 1B
                    BA    AB     R     H    2B    3B    HR   RBI    SB
Last Game         .000     1     0     0     0     0     0     0     0
Last 7 Games      .231    26     3     6     1     1     0     6     0
Season            .280   107    12    30     5     1     2    19     1

Derek Lowe, P
                    BA    AB     R     H    2B    3B    HR   RBI    SB
Last Game        1.000     1     1     1     0     0     0     0     0
Last 7 Games      .333    12     1     4     0     0     0     3     0
Season            .333    12     1     4     0     0     0     3     0

Russell Martin, C
                    BA    AB     R     H    2B    3B    HR   RBI    SB
Last Game         .250     4     0     1     0     0     0     0     0
Last 7 Games      .440    25     6    11     2     0     1     4     0
Season            .290    93    16    27     5     0     3    11     1

Juan Pierre, CF
                    BA    AB     R     H    2B    3B    HR   RBI    SB
Last Game         .667     3     1     2     1     0     0     2     1
Last 7 Games      .238    21     3     5     1     0     0     4     4
Season            .273    55     4    15     3     0     0    10     7

Delwyn Young, LF
                    BA    AB     R     H    2B    3B    HR   RBI    SB
Last Game         .000     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0
Last 7 Games      .667     6     0     4     0     0     0     1     0
Season            .385    13     0     5     0     0     0     2     0

   PITCHERS

Joe Beimel
                   ERA     W-L    Sv     G    IP     H    HR     BB   K
Last Game         0.00     1-0     0     1   0.1     0     0     0    0
Last 7 Games      0.00     3-0     0     3   2.1     3     0     0    2
Season            0.90     3-0     0    16    10    11     1     3    8

Chad Billingsley
                   ERA     W-L    Sv     G    IP     H    ER    BB    K
Last Game         1.29     1-0     0     1     7     3     1     4    8
Last 7 Games      5.00     1-2     0     3    18    15    10    11   29
Season            5.20     1-4     0     7  27.2    27    16    17   40

Jonathan Broxton, P
                   ERA     W-L    Sv     G    IP     H    ER    BB    K
Last Game         0.00     0-0     0     1     1     0     0     2    0
Last 7 Games      2.70     0-0     0     3   3.1     1     1     4    3
Season            2.31     1-0     0    11  11.2     8     3     6   16

Hong-Chih Kuo
                   ERA     W-L    Sv     G    IP     H    ER    BB    K
Last Game         0.00     0-0     0     1     2     2     0     1    4
Last 7 Games      7.11     0-1     0     3   6.1    10     5     1    6
Season            3.18     0-1     0     6    17    16     6     8   20

Hiroki Kuroda
                   ERA     W-L    Sv     G    IP     H    ER    BB    K
Last Game         3.86     0-0     0     1     7     5     3     0    4
Last 7 Games      4.74     0-1     0     3    19    21    10     6   10
Season            3.82     1-2     0     6  37.2    40    16     8   20

Esteban Loaiza
                   ERA     W-L    Sv     G    IP     H    ER    BB    K
Last Game         3.60     0-0     0     1     5     5     2     1    1
Last 7 Games      3.60     0-0     0     3    10    10     4     2    3
Season            4.15     1-2     0     6  21.2    19    10     4    9

Derek Lowe
                   ERA     W-L    Sv     G    IP     H    ER    BB    K
Last Game         5.40     0-0     0     1     5     8     3     1    2
Last 7 Games      4.40     1-1     0     3  14.1    19     7     6    6
Season            2.88     2-1     0     6  34.1    37    11     7   22

Brad Penny
                   ERA     W-L    Sv     G    IP     H    ER    BB    K
Last Game         3.86     1-0     0     1     7     4     3     2    2
Last 7 Games      1.93     3-0     0     3  18.2    15     4     4   10
Season            2.89     4-2     0     6  37.1    39    12    10   19

Scott Proctor
                   ERA     W-L    Sv     G    IP     H    ER    BB    K
Last Game         0.00     0-0     0     1   0.2     0     0     0    1
Last 7 Games      0.00     0-0     0     3   4.2     1     0     2    5
Season            4.91     0-0     0    14  14.2    12     8     6   12

Takashi Saito
                   ERA     W-L    Sv     G    IP     H    ER    BB    K
Last Game         0.00     0-0     1     1     1     0     0     0    2
Last 7 Games      0.00     0-0     2     3     3     1     0     1    5
Season            2.19     1-1     4    11  12.1    10     3     4   14

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