Hiroki Kuroda’s first year in the MLB has been a rollercoaster ride. His solid perfomances were generally bookended by abysmal ones. Kuroda’s June started and ended with 6-run, 2.2 inning outings… with a 4-hit complete-game shutout in between.
Kuroda did not seem to be fazed by giving up the hit, his focus was on the score of the game.
“My main concern was that he was the leadoff hitter in that inning, it was a 2-2 count and I didn’t want to walk him because I didn’t have that big of a lead,” Kuroda said through a translator. “I was concentrating more on not allowing any runs. I wasn’t really nervous, but I felt the pressure from the fans because they were expecting something big.”
Kuroda settled down, not allowing any more baserunners on the night. With the win, the Dodgers moved into a tie for first in the NL West with Arizona.
Kuroda spent 11 years playing for the Hiroshima Carp of the Japanese Central League before signing with the Dodgers in December of 2007.