Dodger Stadium | 10:10 | Morris vs. Hong-Chih Kuo | Box
Not too much to say on the positive side for this contest. Matt Morris was knocked around in the fourth and fifth innings. Andre Ethier drove in a pair and Jeff Kent hit a three run homer.
The Pirates had Hong Chih-Kuo on the ropes early. He was wild in the first, walking in the games first tally. But he rebounded to prevent more scoring. LA had him on a pitch count (being a converted reliever and two time Tommy John recipient) and he gave way to Esteban Loaiza, who picked up the win.
Hitting coach Don Long was hit in the cheek with part of Nate McLouth’s splintered bat and needed several stitches. McLouth was the lone bright spot with two hits.
Happy Jackie Robinson Day!
Bucs look to make it five in a row with a win tonight against the Dodgers.
I’m not at all sure what to make of Hong-Chih Kuo. Unlike many pitchers who have come from the Pacific Rim, Kuo came over after high school from Taiwan. So, he didn’t come with a pedigree in any of the professional leagues in Japan or Korea. He has undergone a pair of Tommy John surgeries. He was primarily used as a relief pitcher in the minors.
In two appearances in 2008, he has pitched 6-2/3 innings. That includes a three inning start in LA’s third game of the year. Kuo has pitched against the Pirates five times in his career, including two starts. He is 0-2 with an ugly ERA of 6.39.
Jose Bautista is 4-5 against Kuo. So, it was good to see him have a couple of hits and a big fly in last night’s thriller. Xavier Nady is 2-3 with a tater.
Matt Morris ran out of steam in his last time out. He had given up two runs to the Cubs and was holding onto a 3-2 lead going into the sixth. He ran out of gas and was left in the contest due to a spent bullpen. He got rocked for five runs in that fateful sixth frame and got the loss.
In 15 career appearances (13 starts) against LA, Morris is 4-5 with an ERA of 5.57. He was 1-0 in two starts in 2007. He is 2-1 with a 5.40 ERA in four starts in Dodger Stadium.
Morris has been around a while and only the youngest Dodgers seem to do much harm. Andre Ethier is 6-14. Russell Martin is 5-14. Jeff Kent has 5 homers in 64 career ABs against Matty Mo.