The Red Sox have a terrific infield defense. Dustin Pedroia at second, Adrian Gonzalez at first, the combination of Mike Aviles and Pedro Ciriaco at short and Will Middlebrooks and now Nick Punto at third are all having terrific seasons in the field. But Middlebrooks is gone. Kevin Youkilis is gone. Pedroia, for all his accolades, has given the Red Sox only 2.4 batting runs all season (due in part to nagging injuries). Aviles has a .285 on-base percentage. Despite his Yankee-killing, Ciriaco has walked twice in 112 plate appearances and Punto, who is useful in doses, is an offensive pit as a regular.
Carl Crawford, despite some offense this season once he came off the DL, has not looked like the same player he was in his Tampa days. Plus, Crawford has only walked three times in 125 plate appearances. A decision will be made today, apparently, to see if he is going to be shut down for the rest of the season.… Click here to read the rest
Let’s start with those Yankee Stadium concerns. Um…there are not any Yankee Stadium concerns. Kuroda is 8-4 at home with a 2.22 ERA. His strikeout to walk ratio is higher at home. He gives up less home runs at home. Batters have a combined OPS of only .589 against Kuroda in his fifteen home starts. In fact, it is a much scarier proposition when Kuroda pitches on the road this season where he is a mundane 3-4 with an ERA of 4.23. Kuroda has allowed nine homers on the road in ten starts and only eight at Yankee Stadium in fifteen starts. Let’s just say that Kuroda feels pretty good pitching at home.
The concern that Hiroki Kuroda would have difficulty in the meat grinder of the American League was well founded. The recent trade deadline deals concerning Anibal Sanchez, Ryan Dempster and Zack Greinke have proved again (it seems) that the American League is a much tougher place to pitch than in the National League.… Click here to read the rest
When the news came out on that infamous Friday in January that the Yankees had made a deal for right-hander Hiroki Kuroda to come and pitch in New York, a lot of people were skeptical about the move.
They wondered, how Kuroda would handle the transition from the National League to the American League? How, or more to the point, would he be able to adjust to pitching to the batters in the big, bad American League East Division? And the question that was asked the most was how would he pitch in Yankee Stadium?
People automatically assume that pitchers will just start giving up tons of home runs because of the Yankee Stadium “jet stream.”
And some do but that hasn’t been the case with Kuroda.
In fact, Kuroda thrives in Yankee Stadium. Take his last two starts for instance: a two-hit, complete game shutout against the Texas Rangers on Tuesday and an eight inning, one-run, four-hit performance last night against the Boston Red Sox.… Click here to read the rest
Kuroda, in particular, deserves praise for his effort on the night. He looked to have no-hit stuff through three innings, before a couple singles fell in for hits, and he absolutely mowed down the sometimes-powerful Boston lineup. Even Yankee-killer Pedro Ciriaco couldn’t find a hit against Kuroda, who’s only blemish was a long home run by Adrian Gonzalez in the seventh inning. Kuroda’s two-seam fastball was particularly impressive: not only could he throw the pitch in any count to any location, it seemed like it had extra movement, gliding up to two feet across the plate. There was a pitch in the top of the eighth–I think–to Nick Punto, a called third strike, that moved from Punto’s stomach all the way to the other side of the plate, freezing the third baseman completely. Astonishing.
All gushing about Kuroda aside–and believe me, I could do plenty, plenty more–the game moved along at a relatively brisk pace, tempered only by the incredibly lethargic-seeming Josh Beckett.… Click here to read the rest
The Yankees won the rubber match against the Red Sox Sunday to take a 2-1 victory in the three game series. Hiroki Kuroda gave the Yankees eight innings of one run baseball, continuing his recent hot streak. The Bombers managed four runs against Josh Beckett. The highlights came off the bat of Ichiro Suzuki. Suzuki connected on homers off Beckett on consecutive at-bats. The first blast was an upper deck shot that was gone off the bat. Derek Jeter also had a big night, going three for four with two doubles and scoring two runs. He’s now batting .321/.363/.431 on the season.
The Yankees have now won seven of their last ten, putting their stretch of poor play at the end of July well in the rear view mirror. They’ve also managed to go five and two over their last seven games, which was as tough a stretch of their schedule as they’ll have all season. It doesn’t get any easier.… Click here to read the rest
Trenton came from behind to beat Bowie 4-3:
Bowie wasted little time gtting the lead, as Jonathan Schoop drew a walk and Ty Kelly followed with a single. Robbie Widlansky singled in Schoop and Buck Britton lined a double to center, plating Kelly and putting the Baysox ahead 2-0. Zealous Wheeler hit a solo homer in the second for the 3-0 advantage, but the Thunder started their comeback in the fourth. David Adams drew a free pass, but was out on a grounder by Zoilo Almonte. Luke Murton lined a single to center and Addison Maruszak doubled Almonte and Murton home, bringing Trenton within a run of Bowie. The Baysox held their lead through seven, but the Thunder struck again in the bottom of the eighth. Shane Brown singled and Adams was hit by a pitch. Almonte lined a double to right, tying the game. Murton was intentionally walked, loading the bases and Adams scored on a passed ball for a 4-3 victory.… Click here to read the rest
The Rays continued their hot streak today by finishing up a four game sweep of the Angels, putting Tampa Bay just 4.5 games in back of the Yankees. The team just doesn’t seem to lose. The Yankees have no choice but to put Josh Beckett and the Red Sox out of their misery tonight.
On the mound is substitute Yankee ace Hiroki Kuroda, who is looking for his 12th win of the year.
You can catch the game on ESPN. Go Yankees!… Click here to read the rest