It was one of those games that, even if you are a True Blue Dodgers fan, hated that either team had to lose. Well, you didn't exactly hate it but you tip your cap to Peavy who has been so very tough against Los Angeles and was 13-2 against them coming into the game.
The Dodgers picked up a single in the sixth, a single in the
Kershaw, coming off two terrible starts, allowed a runner as far as second base three times, including the doubles in the fourth and fifth innings. "As well as Peavy was pitching, it forced me to concentrate and make quality pitches just to compete with him," the 21-year-old said. He left after having thrown 99 pitches.
In his previous two starts, both on the road, Kershaw gave up 15 runs over nine innings and lost to Houston and Colorado.
The Padres crowded him during the game, putting runners in scoring position in four of his seven innings. The biggest pitch of the game was perhaps when he used a breaking ball that turned into a double-play grounder by Chase Headley with runners on first and second and no outs in the fourth inning.
Torre summed it up after the game. "He was a pitcher. I loved it. He bit and scratched. The guy is going to be something special. It was another step for this youngster. I've seen so many pitchers - and not young pitchers - if they don't have their best stuff they don't know what the hell to do. They're out there trying to muscle their way through. This kid settled in and found a way to get people out. He did a heckuva job."
Torre removed after seven shutout innings and had Kuo warming up, but Kuo was unbelievably wild, firing two that sailed over the bullpen gate and rolled onto the infield. He was shut down, and Ronald Belisario took over in the the top of the eighth. With one out, he walked Brian Giles and hit Scott Hairston with a pitch, and Torre called in Will Ohman to face Adrian Gonzalez.
Gonzalez had banged a tying double off Ohman the night before, but Ohman struck him Gonzalez, then got Headley on a forceout. Jonathan Broxton (3-0) struck out two in a 1-2-3 ninth to win his third game of the season.
The Dodgers improved to 16-8 and maintained their 3.5-game lead over second-place San Francisco in the National League West.
Catcher Russell Martin, locked in the worst slump of his young career (2-for-23, .087), was 0-for-3 and his overall average had dipped to .198 when he came up with the bases loaded in the ninth.
"He's fighting it right now," manager Joe Torre said. "I just think that maybe he has too many things going on in his mind on the mechanical part of it. He's frustrated by his hitting, but the catching part has really taken up most of his time. I mean, he's already here when I get here—sitting in the video room with the pitchers, doing a lot of things that didn't go on last year. And it's paying off for us as a team. I know that."
Facing former Dodger Duaner Sanchez, who had allowed a leadoff single to Rafael Furcal then was forced by Orlando Hudson. Sanchez walked Manny Ramirez with one out and after James Loney struck out, Matt Kemp worked another walk to load the base.
Martin tapped a little roller down the third-base line that the Padres' Kevin Kouzmanoff backed off and let trickle just foul. It was so close that third-base coach Larry Bowa kicked the ball into the Dodgers' dugout in anger.
Russell fouled off a couple more 3-2 pitches before drawing ball four to force in the only, and winning, run.
"It might not have been pretty, but I'll take it," Martin said. "At 3-2, the hitter has the advantage because the pitcher has to throw a strike. I just tried to battle on every pitch."
The defending NL West champions are 8-0 at home for the first time since 1947, when the Brooklyn Dodgers and Jackie Robinson won their first eight games at Ebbets Field. The year before, they set a franchise record by winning their first nine games in cozy Ebbets Field.
Torre again had his starting pitcher bat eighth in the lineup ahead of center fielder Juan Pierre for the second time in recent games. Pierre was 1-for-3 with a two-out single in the third—the Dodgers' only hit until Hudson singled with two out in the sixth.?
Tonight, LHP Randy Wolf (1-1, 4.31 ERA) had a tough, no-decision against the Giants in his last start and didn't allow a runner past second base and he didn't walk a batter over the final five innings he pitched.
The Dodgers face RHP Chris Young (2-1, 5.74 ERA) who has had the worst April of his career. He has been either brilliant or awful. Over two seven inning starts he worked a shutout. But in his most recent start he allowed a career-high eight runs in just over three innings and the Rockies eight steals.
Score by Innings San Diego 000 000 000-0 LA Dodgers 000 000 001-1 Dodgers ab r h bi ave Furcal ss 4 0 1 0 .250 Hudson 2b 4 1 1 0 .333 Ramirez lf 2 0 0 0 .362 Loney 1b 4 0 0 0 .298 Kemp rf-cf 3 0 0 0 .313 Martin c 3 0 0 1 .198 Blake 3b 3 0 0 0 .234 Kershaw p 2 0 0 0 .111 Belisario p 0 0 0 0 .000 Ohman p 0 0 0 0 1.000 Ethier ph-rf 1 0 0 0 .302 Pierre cf 3 0 1 0 .391 Broxton p 0 0 0 0 .000 ----------------------------- Totals 29 1 3 1 San Diego 31 0 4 0 RBI- Martin (12). LOB- 6, San Diego 8. DP- Blake, Hudson and Loney. Dodgers in h r-er bb so era Kershaw 7.0 4 0-0 2 3 5.46 Belisario 0.1 0 0-0 1 0 3.38 Ohman 0.2 0 0-0 0 1 4.15 Broxton (3-0) 1.0 0 0-0 0 2 0.75 HBP- by Belisario. T- 2:48. Att- 47,210.Kuo Goes on Disabled List
When Hong-chih Kuo came to Spring Training this year, his elbow was tender and his command was off, resulting in a 6.75 ERA and four walks in 5.1 innings. Then he worked a even though he had a 1-2-3 inning in San Francisco on Wednesday night.
But last night the dozen or so throws he made in the bullpen, only four of them catchable by the bullpen catcher. Most bounced out of reach, while two sailed over the bullpen gate and rolled into the infield.
"It's his elbow, and he finally admitted it," manager Joe Torre said after Friday night's 1-0 victory over the Padres. "We talked to him and we're going to put him on the DL and get this thing right."
The tough luck left-hander has apparently suffered another injury to that left elbow that has already undergone four operations, including two Tommy John ligament reconstructions.
The Dodgers now need a replacement and the likely candidate would be Scott Elbert, who was just optioned back to Double-A Chattanooga after allowing two runs in 2.1 innings in San Francisco.
Kuo has had a dark cloud over his head almost from the moment he signed. A age 18, in his first professional appearance he faced nine batters, struck out seven of them and tore his elbow so badly he required Tommy John surgery.
He has an arm that rivals Sandy Koufax's -- except for the fact it apparently is not constructed to throw a baseball for a living. When healthy, he has been superb but but he's pitched 10 games or more in only four of his nine professional seasons. He had had to be talked out of retiring more than once and this injury may be the one that pushes him over the edge.
Torre Voices Caution
Earlier in the day, Torre made it clear that he didn't think his team could maintain its current pace if it continued to rely so heavily on its offense, which went into the game leading the NL with a .290 batting average.
"Eventually, it's going to burn out over the long haul," Torre said. "It's nice to score five, six, seven runs a game but when all of a sudden that's not enough, you've got an issue. You're not always going to have that, everybody swinging the bats pretty well."
Robles Father Reunited with Family
The father of former Dodger and former Dodgers infielder Oscar Robles was kidnapped Wednesday, according to Diamond Leung. Oscar Manuel Robles Arangure, 52, was leaving a field in Tijuana where he was coaching a youth baseball team.
The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that Robles' father has reunited with his family and in an announcement posted Friday on Robles' team's Web site, the son expressed gratitude for demonstrations of support from friends, family and news media. "Fortunately, everything was resolved in a favorable manner," the statement said.
"This will be the only medium through which the Robles family will discuss the topic, and they ask for the understanding of the news media to not bring up this matter in the future." Robles now plays for the Mexico City-based Diablos Rojos of the Mexican League. It was not clear whether the family paid a ransom for the father's release.
Dodgers Blue Notes-- This is the Padres 14th 1-0 loss to the Dodgers all-time and ninth at Chavez Ravine. The last one was Sept. 27, 2002 at Los Angeles. ...Kershaw has allowed just one run over 14 innings at home this year. ...Furcal's ninth-inning single allowed him to reach base in all 22 games he's played this year. ...Jonathan Broxton is now 3-0 with a 0.75 ERA and in 12 innings has 21 strikeouts with only two hits allowed. ...The Dodgers are in the midst of playing 25 of their first 28 games against National League West Division opponents. Los Angeles is 14-6 against West foes thus far. The only games outside the division were a three-game set at Houston April 21-23, when the Dodgers dropped two of three. ...The Dodgers have scored 59 runs in seven games at Dodger Stadium, an average of 7.38 per game. ...The Mexican League game between the Diablos Rojos and the Sultanes of Monterrey that was scheduled for Dodger Stadium on May 16 was postponed. Play in the Mexican League has been suspended for at least one week, the Dodgers said, because of the swine flu situation. ..The Dodgers will hold a groundbreaking ceremony Saturday for their ninth Dodgers Dreamfield in Pasadena, Calif.