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Dodgers-Marlins LiveBlog: It's about the Pitching Stupid

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Hiroki Kuroda and his translator Kenji Nimura during rookie hazing last season. AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
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Tonight the Dodgers send Hiroki Kuroda to the mound. As discussed previously, Kuroda has been scuffling this season since coming of the disabled list on June 1. With a 2-5 record he has not gotten a win in his last three starts, the last coming on July 8 when he went 5 1/3 innings in San Diego giving up three runs. "He's healthy which is the best news for me and him," manager Joe Torre said of Kuroda. "He obviously knows how to pitch here. It's just a matter of going out there and breaking out of the so-call slump that he's in."

Torre continued philosophizing on the art of pitching and slumps.

"Unfortunately it's like playing golf," he said. "You should deal with [fundamentals] on the practice range, and then once you get on the golf course you have to forget about it. It's something that hopefully we've got [Chad] Billingsley through because he was dealing with a lot of the same things."

But ultimately Torre wants to see a good game from Kuroda.

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"He's not going to feel good until he comes off the mound and has a smile on his face," Torre said.

With Toronto Blue Jay's starter Roy Halladay being dangled about as trade bait, a lot of talk focused on the trade deadline.

"You never have enough pitching," Torre said. "Our sport, unlike any other sport, you can't freeze the ball. You can get as many runs as you want but there's no guarantee it's going to be good. Pitching is the only way you can control the situation."

Even though the Dodgers have the best record in baseball, Torre still refuses to sit on the laurels.

"I think if you add a quality starter it's going to make you that much stronger," he said. "I don't want to sit here and say, 'Yeah we're nine games in first place, we have all the answers and we don't need anything,' because I know better. "

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The Dodgers will face Florida Marlin's Rick VandenHurk who is making only his second start of the season.

VandenHurk made his first start against San Diego in Petco Park and pitched six innings and was pitching a shutout until giving up back-to-back home runs in the sixth inning against Adrian Gonzalez and Kevin Kouzmanoff.

"Hopefully we can make him work hard," Torre said.

With that said, here are the lineups:

Florida Marlins

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  1. Chris Coghlan, LF
  2. Emilio Bonifacio, 3B
  3. Hanley Ramirez, SS
  4. Jorge Cantu, 1B
  5. Jeremy Hermida, RF
  6. Dan Uggla, 2B
  7. Cody Ross, CF
  8. John Baker, C
  9. Rick VandenHurk, P

LA Dodgers

  1. Rafael Furcal, SS
  2. Orlando Hudson, 2B
  3. Manny Ramirez, LF
  4. Andre Ethier, RF
  5. Casey Blake, 3B
  6. James Loney, 1B
  7. Russell Martin, C
  8. Matt Kemp, CF
  9. Hiroki Kuroda, P

Bottom of the 9th

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3-4

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Walk off bloop single by Blake! Dodgers win!

The Dodgers tonight are 3-for-9 with runners in scoring position. That's part of the reason why they have twice as many hits as the Marlins but are in a stalemate.

3-2 the count to Ethier. The fans are on their feet cheering on Ethier. The 3-2 pitch is outside, ball four, bases are loaded.

As Vin would say, the deuces are wild. Two balls, two strikes, two on, two out in the bottom of the ninth.

Two outs and it's up to Ethier to bring home the runners. Can he do it again?

And Manny struck out swinging. Oof.

The crowd is standing with Manny at the plate.

Furcal with his nifty bunt that pulled everyone off of first.

And I lied. No business.

Loudest ovation of the game: Juan Pierre. Most of the crowd are still here. I'd say there are 48,000 people remaining.

I think we might be back in business.

Top of the 9thAnd Broxton struck out Ross to end the inning. Let hope the Dodgers score so this doesn't go into extras.

I wonder if Scott Stapp-infection left the game.

Jonathan Broxton is in the game. I'm glad they settled on his intro music, "Iron Man" by Black Sabbath.

Well the goddamned site is down so I can't give live updates. Let's just pretend.