Phils Make Like Machine Left in Rain, Get Kuroda’d

Posted by Michael Baumann, Tue, August 31, 2010 01:46 AM | Comments: 81
2010 Game Recaps, Posts

Roy Halladay came within five outs of making history with a no-hitter again tonight. Just not the good kind. Dodger pitcher Hiroki Kuroda had a no-hitter broken up with one out in the eighth inning of a game Los Angeles went on to win, 3-0. If Kuroda had finished his no-hit bid, Halladay would have become the first pitcher since Juan Marichal in 1963 to throw a no-hitter and have a no-hitter thrown against him in the same season. The Phillies’ ace developed a crippling case of Cole Hamels’ Disease in Chavez Ravine, being undone by a series of soft bloop hits and a lack of run support.

For Kuroda’s part, he was outstanding, throwing a dizzying array of off-speed pitches to an impatient Phillies lineup. Despite hitting Jayson Werth in the second inning Kuroda faced the minimum through five. He later walked Carlos Ruiz in the sixth and Werth in the eighth before Shane Victorino got the only hit of the night.

The Phillies only threat came in the eighth, when Werth’s leadoff walk, followed by a Raul Ibanez fielder’s choice and Victorino’s hit brought the tying run to the plate. Kuroda struck out Carlos Ruiz, then Hong-Chih Kuo retired Mike Sweeney, who was pinch-hitting for Dom Brown, who, in turn, was pinch-hitting for Halladay. Kuo pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his seventh save on the year.

The Phillies, bizarrely, have had serious trouble with Japanese starting pitchers this season. They’ve faced 4 Japanese-born starting pitchers once each this season. They beat the Braves on May 9. Shane Victorino hit a solo home run off Kenshin Kawakami in the seventh inning of that game. That was the last run the Phillies have scored of a Japanese starter. Since then, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Hisanori Takahashi, and Kuroda have combined to throw 22 consecutive scoreless innings. What’s more, Matsuzaka and Kuroda both took no-hitters into the eighth inning of their starts.

Game two of the series starts at 10:10 tomorrow night.

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About Michael Baumann

Michael Baumann has written 229 articles on Phillies Nation.

Michael is a graduate student at Temple University who lost his childlike innocence when, at the age of 6, his dad let him stay up for the end of Game 6 of the 1993 World Series. Unsettled by the Phillies' recent success, he has threatened over the years to leave the team he loves if they don't start losing again, but has so far been unable to follow through. Michael spent 4 years as an undercover agent in Braves territory at the University of South Carolina, where he covered football and soccer for The Daily Gamecock before moving back up north. He began writing for The Phrontiersman in June 2009 before moving to Phillies Nation in January 2010.

  • Posts: 0 MikeB.

    Most of the lineup deserves the Jeltz Award for their ineptitude but my pick would have been Raul Ibanez who bounced into two double plays followed by Chooch Ruiz who has gone amazingly cold at the plate lately; swung and missed at a low and very inside pitch which, if I remember correctly, would have been ball four.

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  • Posts: 0 Andrew from Waldorf

    Ruiz is the best catcher in the MLB at handling a staff and defensively.
    Any hitting only spoils you.
    I understand that Mccann and Piazza and Marson make the fans happy. But you don’t win with them.
    You win with ruiz.

  • Posts: 0 MikeB.

    Barrajas; another ex-Phillie who the Phillies make look like Babe Ruth. Is hitting .536 against the Phils since leaving. Halladay hung a number of pitches which hurt him in this game.

  • Posts: 0 MikeB.

    Yeh, on second thought, I take that back in regards to Ruiz getting the Jeltz Award but to give it to Pollanco with that bum elbow might not be fair and he did hit a ball hard towards the right field corner which Ethier made a nice play on.

  • Posts: 0 Dan

    This offense is really starting to get under my skin. They won’t win the division playing this inconsistently, in fact they may not even win the WC if they don’t start consistently hitting and scoring runs.

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Maybe we need to start recruiting in Japan then.


    Uuuhhhhh…..I don’t know. I just don’t know. WTF with the offense.

  • Posts: 0 bfo_33

    The one thing in common with all the Japanese pitchers (besides being Japanese), even going back to Nomo, is that they tend to have erratic deliveries – pauses, multiple arm angles,…., and the Phils are largely rythym/fastball hitters. I don’t know how you change that – probably can’t study enough tape to figure out the delivery. Maybe you take the Manny approach to hitting – see ball, hit ball, don’t even watch the arm.

    Fortunately, both the Giants and Cards lost last night, so no ground lost in the WC. While it would be nice, I could care less if they win the division, just make the playoffs.

  • Posts: 0 MikeB.

    I agree with you, bfo_33, and in addition to the erratic delivery, Kuroda had a great fast ball, threw mostly breaking pitches and did a great job of moving the ball around the plate on the Phils. Must of had one of his best games of the year for a guy who has a losing record (now is 10-11).

  • Posts: 0 charlie

    We were waiting for the starters to return from the DL………………we are still waiting. An anemic lineup.

  • Posts: 0 Brooks

    Phils wanted a night off last night – so they took it.

  • Posts: 0 George

    One doesn’t have to be Japanese to thwart the Phils’ offense. It merely takes good location of off-speed stuff, something which even bad American pitchers sometimes have. R.A. D**ckey isn’t Japanese, nor are many others who’ve stopped the Phils’ lineup in its tracks. The common denominator is not nationality, but timing and pitch recognition.

  • Posts: 0 Adam

    This was just yet another example of how poor the Phillies offense has been this entire season. No longer can we say “its early” or they “will come around.” When there entire offense is healthy have have been completely inept for the majority of the season. Ultimately it will fail us.

    Moreover, the troubling thing is the inability to make adjustments. Charlie Manuel and his staff reminds me of Andy Reid’s. Stuck in their ways and unable to be creative in-game. Kuroda kills the Phillies and yet the Phillies take the same approach and it lead to nearly being no-hit.

    Also, this team is usually sleep walking until the 5th or 6th innings. Not only have they not scored any runs this road trip in innings 1-4, they probably have less than 10 hits. I ultimately think the offense will not allow us to make the playoffs. I have no faith that the Phils will overtake the Braves. The Braves offense is far superior (including Martin Prado who seems to always go 3-4 off the Phillies) than the Phillies, their starters may be slightly worse but against the Phillies offense they are probably better than the Phillies staff against the Braves and the Braves bullpen is infinitely better.

    Please someone convince me this team’s offense is anything but awful/underachieving/the weakness of this team.

  • Posts: 0 Brooks

    On paper this is probably the best Phillies team I have ever seen.
    The entire infield has played on the AS team – 2 out of 3 in the outfield, a catcher who fits the Phils just right and a bullpen that is better than average. And yet this is the worst offensive display we have seen from this team in years. The starting pitching is the best I have ever seen the Phils with – only Lefty could top or match Roy1, but the addition of Roy2 and what Cole has shown this year? The team should be unstoppable.

    There is no answer that makes sense.

  • Posts: 0 NJ

    I almost feel ashamed of my comments yesterday when the team come out and can’t even make the Dodgers work for their win. Not much to say, it isn’t an emergency button situation but the team need to show something more than getting beaten by barely turning up.

    Doc must feel like he’s back into Toronto with 10 losses, with his numbers this year compared to Wainwright, Johnson, Jiminez and Hudson it’s the Phillies offense that’s probably lost him a Cy Young he could have very well won.

  • Posts: 0 jeff

    Boy the Braves were almost finished against the Marlins. We could of pullied within one. They comeback and win and now back at 3. This offense is horrible. They are not fun to watch. 1 hit in three games this season. 2 with the Doc on the mound. Watching Howard last night shows why they will regret the contract. Two straight at bats swinging at second pitches with the ball to his chest and popping it up. You are Ryan Howard. Let them throw you strikes or walk. Barry Roids Bonds never swung at garbage. Utley looks like he does not want to play this season. Rollins cant manage to get on first. This team is not a world series team. The only reason we are in the lead is pitching. Thats it. We lose again with Kendrick. TERRIBLE.

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Andy Reid: “Well, in hindsight, maybe we shouldn’t have done that.”

  • Posts: 0 Manny

    The key is to NOT look too much into this. This team is nuts and will drive you nuts, too.

  • Posts: 0 Brooks

    The Phils front office told me this was the last day I could order or confirm my tickets for the Post Season.

    The seats are terrific – I sat in them on Tuesday just to get the feel – sec 104, row 2 isle seats. But, at this point are the Phils going to make the Post Season at all and if they do, who is going to show up?

    I’m still pondering. If I had not gone in 07, 08 & 09 – I’m sure the invoice would be satisified by now.

    Ah hell – I guess I’d better do it and hope for the best.

  • Posts: 0 Brooks

    It does figure though with my luck, this is the first full season package I ever bought – just because they look so good on paper and what a dud. Last 3 games I have gone to have been complete duds (2 vs the stupid Stros).

  • Posts: 0 Brooks

    So, I almost feel like the kiss of death here – what seemed to me a certainty, the Phils dominating their division and winning the NL for a third straight year – has become a hope and a prayer now.

    Buying the Post Season package, did I nail the coffin shut??

    B (

  • Posts: 0 The Original Chuck P

    Brooks… your risk is the time value of money (the money that you could have earned in CD’s/investments). Right now, given the fact that you’re not earning anything anywhere, it’s a good risk to take. Sit back and enjoy the ride.

    Carlos Monasterios is a converted reliever/spot starter. We can put up some runs against this guy… could be just what the Dr ordered.`

  • Posts: 0 Manny

    If you don’t want those postseason tix, I’ll take them Brooks!

  • Posts: 0 Manny

    “Danys Baez and Ross Gload will rejoin the team once they are activated from the disabled list. GREG DOBBS WILL BE BACK AT SOME POINT.”


    Just kidding. As long as he can hit…

  • Posts: 0 bfo_33

    Brooks, if Manny falls through, I’ll take them. The offense is a little sluggish right now, but no one wants to win the wild card – still 1-1/2 games up. Biggest threat is probably the Rockies at 3-1/2 back.

    With the way the starters are pitching, only need a few runs, and they will come. I thought the Phils would finish the West Coast trip at 3-3, was hoping for 4-2. Have a very good chance to get there tonight, and Kershaw has Hamels like luck against the Phils, so still have a shot at 5-1.

  • Posts: 0 Manny

    WOW. Just found tickets for NLDS Braves games (at Turner Field) for $25 dollars.

    Isn’t there a half-decent Braves fan out there who would be all over that???

    Phils playoff tickets are ridiculously expensive.. :(

  • Posts: 0 bostonkate

    Hey brooks- if you don’t want those tix, I’ll gladly take them!

  • Posts: 0 Bruce

    “The lineup we’ve got on the field tonight is our lineup. If that lineup doesn’t hit then we’re in trouble.” — Charlie Manuel.

    That was the pregame quote last night. It must mean the Phillies are in trouble. ;-) I’ll give credit to Kuroda for having one of his best if not THE best pitching performance of his career. Manager Torre thought he had electrifying stuff for a no-hitter. It was unfortunate that the Phillies who are struggling offensively had to face him last night. It was also bad timing for the Phillies when their ace Halladay not having his best outing. He threw several hanging pitches down the middle of the plate that cost him dearly for a total of 3 runs and 10 hits. For any other pitcher, the outing would be described as a “quality” performance for 7 innings. For Halladay, with higher expectation, his outing is a picture of mediocrity.

    I watched the Braves vs Mets game prior the Phillies game at 10:00. This Braves team really scares me with their loaded line-up of hitters. We all know about the favored rookie of the year, Heyward who is frightenly getting better with each game. Then you have top ten league leading hitters in Infante (.343BA) and Prado (.316BA) and Mr. Clutch, McCann with hiswalkoff HRs. Then add recent additions of offensive production and defense in Lee and Gonzalez. And I have not even touch on their greatest strength, pitching, both in starting rotation and bullpen. We as Phillies fans, may have to look to a backdoor entrance to the playoffs as a wildcard for the team. We will a better idea soon and as September begins tomorrow with 30 games left.

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Manny, I don’t think there are any half-decent Braves fans, period!!

    Brooks…relax…you’re going to sit in those seats in October. (If I’m there, I’ll come visit!!)

  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    Did anyone see McCann hit that slug bunt down the third base line to beat the shift last night? Beautiful.

    The Dipsy

  • Posts: 0 Brian Sr. of CO

    We had every opportunity to be in first place by mearely splitting the series against the lowely Astros, but we got swept. We got a little help from our pitching staff against the Padres, but even in that series we did not get much offense. The most amount of hits in the series was 5 hits. Not really something to write home about. If we dont show up with tonight and tomorrow, seeing how the Braves are playing the Mets, we could be 5 games back. The Braves really dont have a very difficult schedule. The most difficult team I think they have left are the Phillies, and depending on the day, the Phillies could be easier to beat than a little leagues team. But it also depends on the pitcher. I have said it before, and I will say it again, the Phillies are OUSTANDING at lowering the ERA of mediocre Pitchers, and do a decent job of raisingthe ERA of decent pitchers. They are WAY to streaky this season. You can blame the injuries if you want, but personally I think thats lame to blam the injuries for Howard and Utley being HORRIBLE since their return, and the rest of the team have followed suit. Even the clutch players like Ruiz and Polanco have followed suit in the last few weeks. Still alot of baseball to be played, and that could either be very good, or very bad!

    As for Bruces comments making the Braves out to be the second coming of christ (not meant to be a religous statement). They have some good players, but I dont find them to be so far away, that they need to be boasted like that. This is the same team that the 47 yr old Moyer threw a 2 hit CG Shut Out. They are also streaky, and through all the mediocrity of this season, and the injuries (as lame as I said it is, I am not putting complete blame on that at all) to key players and pitchers throughout the entire season, the streakyness, and flat out BAD games like last night especially, the Phillies by at least the standards of 08 and 09, are not having a “normal” year, and are more mediocre as a whole (of course they had some really hot streaks) the Phillies are still only 3 games back. The Braves have not won the division yet. Obviously if the Phils dont get their butts in gear, we wont take them, but we do have 6 games (I think) let against the Braves that more than likely will be the deciding factor in the race.

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Situational hitting, Dipsy. Situational hitting.

  • Posts: 0 Mostone

    One funny thing: remember how much they hate Victorino in LA? Heh. They must hate him even more now.

  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    Exactly Chuck. I don’t see why Chase and Ryan can’t do that every once in a while. Did you see how easy he made it look?

    Hey, the Phils hitters are notorious streaky. The Phils hitters also don’t do the things that they should do to scratch out runs when they go cold. I hate it, it makes me nuts, be I guess I’ll have to live with it. The fact that Victorino and Rollins don’t try and bunt for hits makes me sick, literally. “Thats’s not their game”. F that. Further, what does it say about the state of coaching when these guys make it all the way through high school and the minors without learning how to bunt, beacuse if they could, I assume that they would.

    The Dipsy

  • Posts: 0 shag beta sigma delta

    I am getting tired of the excuse that the other teams pitcher had great stuff against the Phillies, or they ran into good pitching tonight. This line up should hit good pitching, I do not care if it is Cy Young on the mound this offense should get more than 1 hit, and should score at least 2 runs a game. The excusses have to go. These pitchers are not that good, Myers, Happ ( I know I liked the guy here also but he is a 3/4 guy tops) Kurodo last night, he is not an Ace or a #2 guy any where in this league, except maybe Pittsburgh. There lack of plate discipline is just frustrating to watch. It has even effected Chooch last night. I will give all of them one at bat where they get beat by good pitches, but not an entire night. This offense has to wake up. I too just paid for my post season tickets, and have confidence that they will make it, but they have to all get new bats or something to change the hex that looms over this team.
    Maybe it is just I did not go to my Sunday games in August, due to golf tourneys, and that I live in Vermont, so August is a tough month to take every weekend off. Maybe that will change since I will be there this weekend, and hopefully bring them back to life. They play well when I am there, only lost 2 games in 3 years.

  • Posts: 0 shag beta sigma delta

    I said it yesterday, and I say it again today. Wreth was on base twice last night and did not even look to steal a base. When he got hit by the pitch if he would have stole second, moved to third on the Raul ground out to second, which became a dp. Who knows what would have happened. When you are struggling offensively you need to make things happen, I would rather see them lose being aggressive, then stand around and wait for something to happen. Who know he steals second the second time he walks and they score a run in the 8th. They need to put pressure on the defense and stop being hessitant to press the issue. The guys delivery to the plate last night took a week, my 50 year old sister could walk to second by the time his pitches got to the plate. There is just no excuse to not being agresive

  • Posts: 0 Brooks

    I put up the money.

    Bruce – most of us are definitely counting on the resurgence of an offense by the Phils. Ryan for one, along with either Jimmy, Vic or Shane to round it out.

    Do you really believe that the Braves have enough going for them to beat the Phils straight up if we have even 1/2 our offense showing up?


  • Posts: 0 Bruce

    Mostone, it was the divine act of the baseball gods that allow a thrown or fumbled beachball to temporarily halt the game and distracted Kuroda from his rhythm prior to Victorino’s single and Phillies only hit in the game. ;-)

    Brian, refering to the improved Braves as”second coming of christ”?! Wow! (chuckles) Remember when Moyer pitched his great game against the Braves, it was a different team then that struggled to find itself. I mentioned in my post that the rookie sensation, Heyward has come on strong after injury problems and Prado, Infante and McCann have added spark to the offense. Plus after Moyer’s performance, the Braves later added new additions, Lee and Gonzalez as new offensive threats.

    Yes. I definitely would worry about Braves. They are in the driver’s seat, not the Phillies. The September run is about to begin and if the Phillies are pull out some magic out of the hat, now is the time for the their vaunted offense come alive.

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Dipsy, I come from the belief…and the mindset….that EVERY MLB player should know how to bunt. I’m not saying that they HAVE to all the time…but they should know HOW to.

    That way…if there’s a situation where it calls for it…and the offense is struggling….then you have one more potential weapon in your arsenal.

    If Ryan Howard bunted just once per year….and it somehow led to a win…then that’s one more win….and in a tight race maybe it’s just one more win that puts you over the top.

  • Posts: 0 shag beta sigma delta

    I also think it is time to move Chase down to 6 or 7 in the line -up maybe that will wake his ass up. Raul 3rd, Polly second. He is not hitting well and needs to get his timing back no use putting him second or third until he gets something figured out.

  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    Ryan Howard has the whole left side of the infield to lay down a bunt. He could literally walk to first base. When Ryan is not in an RBI situation he should just do it every effin time until they pull the third baseman over. Its KINDA like football. Run the football until they put 8 in the box and THEN throw freakin long.

    Of course that idiot Bobby Cox and McCann do it but what does Cox know?

    The Dipsy

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    I love Charlie. I really do. BUT….he needs to get away from this Earl Weaver three-run homer mentality.

  • Posts: 0 George

    I, too, think Utley should be moved down. He’s shown very little all year, and absolutely nothing since his return from injury. I’m hoping it’s a one-season anomaly, but it appears to me that his stats have been slowly going down for the past few seasons, and that his swing just isn’t as compact as it once was.

    He’s a hard worker. Maybe he works too hard, though, and is aging faster than he should. But maybe batting seventh would alleviate some of the pressure he must feel trying to live up to ridiculously high expectations. Maybe it would help him relax and get his eye and his swing back.

  • Posts: 0 Bruce

    Hey Shag, why put Werth behind Howard in your proposed lineup? Werth is werthless when it comes to RISP. As we know, he has the worst batting average with RISP in the major leagues. Think out of the box; put Ruiz in the 5th spot. He is Mr. Clutch and the best on the team with RISP especially the 7th inning on.

  • Posts: 0 George

    There’s more to bunting than people think. Ever try it?

    In Howard’s case, not only would he have to make sure he got the ball down the third base line, but he’d have to do it on high and tight fastballs and offspeed stuff, because that’s what pitchers throw to him. A curve is very difficult to bunt with any idea of where it’s going, due to its spin, and a high fastball is what pitchers throw when they want a potential sacrifice to be popped up or fouled off.

    And all that “slugging bunt” stuff is a load of crap, too. A swing that results in an infield dribbler is no more than lucking out on a bad swing. It’s just like a broken bat flare, except it’s on the ground. If a batter could control his swing that well, he’d have no reason to hit dribblers, because he could easily control the bat well enough to square up the pitch and get hard line drives to the wall.

  • Posts: 0 Andrew from Waldorf

    When/if Mccann wins a title or a playoff series alert me and I will alert the media. I dont see it. Hitting catchers dont win.
    Bench was the best defensive catcher going.
    His hitting was just a bonus. A hitting catcher is like a pitcher who hits .400 or a first baseman who really fields his position well? Who cares?
    How do you play a good defensive first base? Swing the bat.

  • Posts: 0 Lefty

    The top six teams in the NL in the last 10 games have a combined record of 26-34. It’s not just us. Our 4-6 should be better, no excuses, just wanted to point out that no one is playing well right now except the seventh best team, the Rockies. But even if you put their 7-3 record into the stat then the seven best teams are a combined 33-37.

    No one is playing well. IMO The team that pushes the panic button hardest, loses. That doesn’t mean you can’t tweak your lineup, just that every team is pressing. We’ll see what we’re made of.

    Michael,- Kuroda’d? that’s pretty funny

  • Posts: 0 Andrew from Waldorf

    Bobby cox managed Braves since 1976 and you want a statue. 1 title
    Old man been here for 4 years. 1 title
    Id like a statue.

    Batting Werth or whoever is the right handed power of the year is not in between the left handed power in the line up is obtuse (shawshank redemption reference). Thats why I havent commented on it before. Its like a catcher who hits like Piazza? Really its for the fans but it doesnt win.
    Its like resigning Burell next year and hitting him first. OK

  • Posts: 0 bfo_33

    Where’s don m? He’d give a good counterpoint to the bunt argument. I agree that when you aren’t making good contact, and have half the infield open, no one on, you should do whatever it takes to get on base. Assume a bunt away from the shift is successful 50% of the time, vs hitting a solo home run once in every 20 at bats – I think the bunt will generate more runs. Even if about equal, it stresses out the pitcher having guys on base.

  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    Oh, I thought Bench won 2 World Series. Good hitting catchers blow, I agree. No use for them, really. I thought Piazza made it to the WS, also. I could be wrong.

    The Dipsy

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