In case you haven’t seen it yet, this is the news of the day:
or at least it WAS the news of the day, right up until Hiroki Kuroda went out and nearly pitched a perfect game. Turned out to be a one-hit shutout in which he retired 27 of 28 batters, giving up only a leadoff double to Mark Teixeira in the eighth inning. And with that, the Dodgers (44-45) move into a first-place tie with the idle Snakes. Dead even. No percentage-point separation. This is as tied as tied can be. It’s a whole new ballgame, with 73 ballgames to go for each team.
Some Kuroda trivia
–it’s the first one-hitter by a Dodgers pitcher since Derek Lowe on Aug. 31, 2005 at the Cubs
–it would have been the first perfect game by a Dodgers pitcher since Sandy Koufax, also against the Cubs, on Sept. 9, 1965
–it would have been the first no-hitter by a Dodgers pitcher since Hideo Nomo at Colorado on Sept. 17, 1996
–it was the third complete-game shutout by a Dodgers pitcher this year, something that hadn’t happened even once during the past two seasons or since Lowe’s aforementioned one-hitter. The previous shutouts this year were by Kuroda against the Cubs, a four-hitter on June 6, and Eric Stults against the White Sox, a four-hitter on June 25.
–Kuroda pitched seven shutout innings in his previous start on Wed. night at Houston and now has allowed six hits over 16 shutout innings since coming off the DL.