The Yankees swept the Royals today, winning 4-2 on Mother’s Day. The real star of the game was Hiroki Kuroda. Kuroda didn’t strike a lot of batters out, fanning just one, but he only walked one as well, limiting the Royals to six hits over 7.2 innings. With that kind of control, you don’t need a lot of strike outs. Kuroda was efficient as well, throwing just 98 pitches. He got into some trouble in the eighth inning, and even got into a verbal spat with the home plate umpire, but none of that was enough to undo a solid performance.
Guess who’s in first place? Not the Toronto Blue Jays. Not Tampa Bay either. None other than your New York Yankees. While it is early in the season yet, this is a good sign. It is also evidence of how fickle the baseball media is. Remember just before the season began when the new look Blue Jays were going to be the jewel of the AL East? Me neither. But it was obvious that the Jays weren’t built to last. What was less obvious was how the Rays would start a bit slowly in the division. That said, it’s tight atop the AL East and at least three, and probably four, of the team’s are going to have winning records. That’s a crowded field.
The Yankees and Orioles have split the first two games of their series, in a snapshot of what the entire season will be like in the AL East, with no one team in a position to dominate the others. The Yankees don’t need to win today’s rubber match, but it would be good if they did. A win will move them back above .500, and it will also defend their home field. Hiroki Kuroda takes the mound for the Pinstripes. Kuroda has yet to have a good start this year. Now would be a good time for him to get into a groove. Baltimore will counter with Wei-Yin Chen, who has pitched decently in his two starts this year. Use this as your game thread. Enjoy!
Attention, pitchers. Has this ever happened to you?
That’s Hiroki. He’s 38 years old and he pitches for the New York Yankees. Last night he found himself in the most perilous position a pitcher can be in. He had a line drive coming right at him, and as he ducked out of the way he put up his bare hand to try to stop the ball. In doing so, he made an already dangerous situation potentially more dangerous, both for him and his team. Hiroki could have seriously injured his pitching hand trying to make a play like that, and in the process seriously injured his team’s chances of maintaining a strong starting rotation and winning baseball games. Hiroki’s not the first pitcher to do this, but his case brings about the perfect opportunity to remind all pitchers out there about the safe, correct way to handle this situation.
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Though the season hasn’t even started, the Yankees have already had their depth tested in two positions. Curtis Granderson‘s injury has opened up a spot in the outfield, and the catching situation has been much maligned since the Yankees declined to re-sign Russell Martin and passed on signing A.J. Pierzynski. And with Derek Jeter‘s ankle injury, we’ll see the infield depth tested as Eduardo Nunez and/or Jayson Nix get some time at short to spell the Captain. On the other hand, the pitching seems to be fairly deep.
The bullpen is well-stocked and some pitchers (think Clay Rapada and Cody Eppley) will not last the year on the 25-man roster. Likewise, though not quite as widely, the starting rotation is considered to be an area of strength. It’s certainly a talented rotation featuring CC Sabathia, Andy Pettitte, and Hiroki Kuroda. But is it as deep as we think?
Phil Hughes has already suffered an injury. Andy Pettitte is coming off an injury (granted it was a freak, batted ball thing). Kuroda, though he showed few (if any) signs of injury last year, is coming off a career high in innings pitched. Sabathia, godly though he may be is coming off of (relatively minor) elbow surgery. It’s easy to imagine one or more of them missing time over the course of the season. If (when) that happens, where can the Yankees turn?
Hiroki Kuroda was an undervalued free agent last year, and when the Yankees picked him up on a one year deal, a lot of us fans realized the type of potential he had. Even with high hopes on Kuroda, understanding how his 3.07 ERA would fare in the AL East and Yankee Stadium was a [...]
In Moneyball, Billy Beane uses a number of advanced statistics to find undervalued players on the market. His rival, the New York Yankees, don’t need Sabermetrics, since they have wagons full of cash. While that’s partially true, (the part about all the money) the Yankees were one of the first organizations to implement advanced statistics, [...]
According to Buster Olney, the Yankees have reached an agreement with Hiroki Kuroda on a one year deal. Last season, Kuroda put up a 3.32 ERA and 3.86 FIP at 37 years old. His transfer from NL West to AL East, ballpark included, was always a question mark a year ago. After a year as [...]