Mets open up a three-game set tonight, welcoming in Joe Torre's Los Angeles Dodgers. The Mets are fortunate to miss the two best arms in the Dodgers rotation, Chad Billingsley and Clayton Kershaw. They will face their #3 pitcher Hiroki Kuroda tonight. He is 2-0 this year, but coming off a poor outing versus the Reds, during which he allowed a couple HRs (which is rare), but was helped out by the potent Dodgers line-up which scored 14 runs for him.
The 35-year old is in his 3rd year in the United States after coming over from Japan. He uses a high 3/4s delivery, with a pause at the top of his delivery to gather himself/disrupt the hitters timing. He throws 89-92 mph fastballs to both sides of the plate, has two different sliders (one has a tight sharp break, the other is more of a slurve), and uses a split-finger fastball as his strikeout pitch. Rarely walks anyone ( < 2 W/9), and rarely lets up HR ( < 1 HR/9), which is a very successful combination. Ground-ball pitcher that doesn't strike out a ton of hitters (6.2 K/9 for his career, which is below league average). He is a very solid middle of the rotation pitcher when healthy (was on the DL last year with an oblique strain for two months, concussion for three weeks, and a herniated disc which caused him to miss the NLDS).
Oliver Perez faces the Dodgers tonight, and let's see if he breaks 90 mph at any time during the outing tonight. Perez has a 2.84 ERA versus the Dodgers over the past three years. Here's the scouting report: Ollie P.