NLCS Game 3: Toss Kuroda Outside Naked

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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