Kuroda & Ichiro lead Yanks to win over BoSox

CoJo reaches base five times in AAA win
Update: Pettitte, A-Rod get positive news during checkups

Source: FanGraphs

We’re starting to reach the point where we have to discuss Hiroki Kuroda‘s Cy Young Award candidacy, no? I don’t think he should win at the moment, but he probably deserves some top-five consideration. His win over the Red Sox on Sunday was his latest gem in a season full of them, giving the Bombers just their second Yankee Stadium series win over Boston since the start of the 2010 season. Let’s recap…

  • 2.96 ERA: The most impressive part of Kuroda’s outing wasn’t the eight innings of one-run ball, it was that he retired Pedro Ciriaco all three times he faced him. I may or may not be serious. Either way, Kuroda was brilliant yet again, with the only blemish on his line being a late-inning solo homer from Adrian Gonzalez. He struck out four, walked zero, and got a dozen ground ball outs compared to just six in the air. Outside of the dinger, the Red Sox didn’t hit much if anything with authority. Hiroki Kuroda, 37-year-old hurler transitioning to the AL East, is the proud owner of a 2.96 ERA with a little more than a month left in the season. Amazing.
  • The Derek & Ichiro Variety Hour: The two most veteran of veterans carried the offensive torch on Sunday. Derek Jeter doubled twice — including to leadoff the very first inning — and came around to score both times, then Ichiro Suzuki did him one better by hitting a pair of solo homers off Josh Beckett. Two homers! From Ichiro! File that under “you can’t predict baseball.” That’s it, those two accounted for pretty much all the scoring. Great job, fellas.
  • Leftovers: Curtis Granderson doubled in Jeter in the first to continue his resurgence, and it took a wild pitch to get the Cap’n in the second time … Robinson Cano broke an ugly 0-for-16 skid with a single, his first hit since facing J.A. Happ last Sunday … the offense didn’t do much else, a combined 0-for-19 with a walk (Nick Swisher). Casey McGehee managed to go 0-for-4 with a strikeout on just eight pitches. That’s why he doesn’t play much against righties … Rafael Soriano made things ever so slightly interested in the ninth by allowing a leadoff single to Carl Crawford, but a Dustin Pedroia double play ended the threat in short order. Gonzalez struck out to end the game.

MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs the nerd score, and ESPN the updated standings. Both the Rays and Orioles won on Sunday, so they remain five and six games back in the loss column, respectively. Boston is 14 games back and the magic number to clinch the AL East crown is down to 37. The Yankees are off to Chicago for three games against the White Sox, starting with Freddy Garcia and Gavin Floyd on Monday.

CoJo reaches base five times in AAA win
Update: Pettitte, A-Rod get positive news during checkups
  • Robinson Tilapia aka Melky’s Webmaster

    I’m liking the magic number. Good to see a solid win on a night where both the teams behind us had wins.

    Me like 2.96 ERAs from our starting pitchers. Me also like Ichiro reminding folks, with an exclamation point, that no one’s had to worry about LF much since he became a Yankee.

  • Yankee Fan 1

    Watching Jeter prove everybody wrong has been tons of fun this year.

    Great game for the golden oldies.

    • RetroRob

      Agreed. We all had doubts. It’s natural. He was in his late 30s and suddenly was failing. His rebound is something to be enjoyed, because you’re just not going to see 38-year-old men doing what Jeter is doing as a middle infielder. It’s going to end. I don’t know if it’s next year or in five years, but I’m going to enjoy it.

      • RetroRob

        …enjoy his contined high level of performance. Not the end of his baseball career!

      • Darren

        I didn’t have doubts. You guys should seriously be ashamed.

        • BigDavey88

          Yeah, you guys. Darren knew all along.

          • Darren

            I didn’t KNOW, obviously, since I can’t see the future.

            But I did continue to support and believe in one of the top 5 or 10 Yankees of all time and gave him the benefit of the doubt, rather than give him a premature burial that had absolutely no upside. It’s not like Cito Culver was banging on the door.

    • rogue

      Jeter’s monthly OPS splits…

      April OPS: 1.012
      May OPS: .692
      June OPS: .608
      July: .814
      August: .921

      When a 38 year old player plays poorly for 2 consecutive months, and coming off two seasons of pedestrian OPS (.710, .743), anyone with “I told you so”s looks like a frontrunner.

      His WAR of 2.3 matches his career low of the same number of 2011.

      Defensively, his UZR/150 of -18.9 makes him a liability at a critical position.

  • http://thecarsboneblog.tumblr.com Raul Ibanez AKA Tom Marvolo Riddle

    Non-baseball related, and this is going to sound terrible but I hope Andrew Luck bombs terribly just because ESPN is all over his dick already after 2 preseason games. One of which wasn’t even that good.

    • http://thecarsboneblog.tumblr.com Raul Ibanez AKA Tom Marvolo Riddle

      Clearly watching ESPN: since when is a ball that clears at least 10 rows “a true porch job?”

      • VT Yankee Fan

        I was going to post the same thing. How stupid is that?

      • pat

        When it fits the narrative, duh.

      • Brian S.

        Yeah that was legit.

      • Tom

        I rolled my eyes on that one too. Typical ESPN bullshit.

        On the ESPN HR tracker they had it at 396 feet and out of 29 of 30 stadiums; but hey why would they use their own tracker?

        What was also interesting – of all the HR’s hit today that had the highest batted ball speed off the bat (hit the hardest)

        • Rocky Road Redemption

          What I want to know is, what was the stadium that would have contained it?

          • Get Phelps Up

            Maybe Target field with that big wall out in RF?

    • Robinson Tilapia aka Melky’s Webmaster

      It saddened me to watch Indy become what they became last season without Peyton. It’d be nice for them to have a bit of a rebound. I’d like to see some of these young QBs do well. We always remember the ones that bombed.

      • http://thecarsboneblog.tumblr.com Raul Ibanez AKA Tom Marvolo Riddle

        See, even with Peyton, I was indifferent to Indy. Watching Peyton do his thing was always fun, but since I’m a Giant fan and the Colts were in the AFC, and in Indianapolis, I never payed them any mind. However nothing bugs me more than the MSM getting all over a player who has done nothing on the professional level to prove he’s worth it.

        • goterpsgo

          Meanwhile, people in the DC area think the arrival of Bob Griffin means their team will finally be relevant. I’ve always said Redskins fans are some of the most obstinately, irrationally optimistic people.

  • 28 this year

    Kuroda has been absolute money. Definitely glad Pettitte didn’t take that deal in December allowing Cashman to get Kuroda and eventually Pettitte as well. Kuroda has been nothing short of an ace, he shut down the Rangers and teh Red Sox on top of a season of constantly improving and impressive results. He is fun to watch, just the way he gets guys out. If he wants to go the route of one year deals over and over, I hope Cashman keeps coming back with the 12-15 million dollars Kuroda wants a year because Kuroda has the stuff and mentality to succeed.

    • RetroRob

      Well it’s also quite possible that they still would have signed Kuroda, and then not traded Montero for Pineda. That all still might work out well, but it’s difficult to figure out what move what have negated the other.

  • Bob Buttons the Cat

    Thought MLB Advanced Media had a rogue worker again when it said Ichiro had two homers. He sure is a steal for us (would have been even if he wasn’t hitting so well).

    How much are we paying Ichiro again??

    • Havok9120

      Prorated league minimum I believe. Probly wrong about that.

      • sangreal

        Yeah, that’s wrong (might be thinking of Lowe). Yankees are paying a little more than $2M with Seattle paying the rest. I don’t know how much he was still owed when the Yankees picked him up, but he is making $18M total this year

        • Bob Buttons the Cat

          Wow that’s a pretty good deal considering all the publicity along with his performance.

  • Pasta Stumbling Sojo

    Great showing all around in the game thread tonight. A couple of my favorites:

    DERP says:
    August 19, 2012 at 10:12 pm
    save situation. is there anything hiroki won’t do for this team?

    Robinson Tilapia aka Melky’s Webmaster says:
    August 19, 2012 at 9:53 pm
    Melky Cabrera: Among the dumbest men alive, or dumbest man alive?


    dkidd says:
    August 19, 2012 at 9:58 pm
    just when I thought melky couldn’t be any dumber, he goes and makes a fake web site and……
    totally redeems himself!

    • Havok9120

      Yeah, it was a pleasant Game Thread.

  • mt

    I actually look forward to Kuroda’s starts like I did with Colon last year during first half. The day he pitches is KURODAY!

    Wish Nova and Hughes could learn something from him about finishing off hitters but they do not have same repertoire and command.

    Our offense did just enough to win the series – normally when you hit 8 homers in a series you would expect to score more than 11 runs but I guess I will take 8 solos since we won 2/3.

    Glad Cano got a hit finally – his swings over the past few days have been just terrible. Hopefully that will propel him. Grandy looks like he may be on upswing.

    • Bob Buttons the Cat

      So what day is it when Colon pitched?
      Prune juice day?

  • Need Pitching & Hitting

    Kuroda has been great, and he’s doing it against tough offensive opponents as well.
    98 of his 167 innings (58.7%) this year have come against teams currently in the top 10 in MLB r/g. His ERA in those innings is 3.12.

    For comparison’s sake, Jered Weaver has thrown 16.8% of his innings this season against top 10 offenses, Chris Sale – 21.3%, King Felix – 41.1%. Verlander – 37.6%, and Price – 56.6%.

    • Cris Pengiucci

      Nice comparison, but we need the rest of the story. What are their ERAs against those top 10 offenses? (I’ll leave that analysis/research to you since I’m both too lazy to do it and too lazy to figure out how to do it.) :-)

  • Mattchu12

    I was at the game, and Kuroda was in absolute control tonight. He was awesome. I’m honestly starting to feel like I want him on the mound over even CC with the season on the line.

    He’s been that good.

    • FIPster Doofus

      He’s having a better year than CC. That’s not even a knock on CC – Kuroda has been that damn good. I just hope he comes back for more next season.

  • RetroRob

    I know some think that the Yankees should only bring Kuroda back on a one-year deal, but I wouldn’t have no problem on a two-year deal. It’s a bit unrealistic to think some team won’t offer him more than one year, and the Yankees shouldn’t just let him walk on the fear he’ll collapse in year two. History and research here says Kuroda is a better bet performance wise on a two-year deal than younger players on similar or longer deals.

    Kuroda may be want to return home to Japan, but hopefully he wants to stick around. If all he needs is a one-year deal than the Yankees are in the driver’s seat. They shouldn’t raise the white flag if it takes two years.

    Highly unlikely Kuroda is going to fall apart.

  • JLC 776

    This game really showcased the three MVPs of the Yankee season – Kuroda’s remarkable consistency, Jeter’s resurgence, and the incredibly timeliness of the bench/role players.

    It also didn’t hurt that it featured chin pubes giving up two meatballs to a singles hitter.

    • Kosmo

      Soriano should also be on your list.

      • JLC 776

        How did I miss that… great point.

  • Wil Nieves Number 1 Fan

    Last night, Derek Jeter surpassed his total number of hits from last season despite playing in 12 less games so far this season. Yay!

  • Kosmo

    Ichiro as a Yankee:

    .322 Ave
    .344 OBP
    .506 SLG
    .850 OPS

    where is Dickerson when you need him ?

    Ichiro could be adjusting his swing to YS3.

    • Richard Leo

      Ichiro can’t keep up with it
      but it is a great pick up by cashman

      • Cris Pengiucci

        For the remainder of this season, he certainly can keep up this offensive pace. Could definitely be a dead cat bounce, but I’ll take it for this year.

        • Klemy

          Agreed. Having something to play for could have a very real effect on a person’s performance, especially one who was very great for a time. I believe he can the rest of the way as well.

  • Eddard

    The top 3 pickups Cashman has ever made are on this roster- Hiroki Kuroda, Eric Chavez, Ichiro Suzuki. Put those 3 in whatever order you will. And don’t give me that well technically his best pickup is CC or Teixera. Those are big name, big contract players in their primes, of course they’re better. Kuroda, Chavez, and Suzuki are the best.

    And yes, we should be discussing Kuroda for Cy Young. I was hoping Mike would make a separate post about this regarding his candidacy. Take into account that CC has been on the DL twice and that Kuroda has taken over as staff ace for the team with the best record in the AL. He has single handidly kept the pitching staff afloat as the team’s top 2 starters went down with injuries.

    • Knoxvillain

      Shut up with the “best moves Cashman ever made.” None of those three are the best.

    • Bob Buttons the Cat

      For the umpteenth time apparently the following players never (re)joined the Yankees:

      Mark Teixeira, Curtis Granderson, Bernie’s new contract after 98, Hideki Matsui, Gary Sheffield, Johnny Damon, Bobby Abreu, Mike Mussina, Jason Giambi, Tom Gordon, Nick Swisher et al.

      It doesn’t matter that they are big name players, tell me, who in the world foresaw Matsui’s success? Who saw that Damon would sign with the Yankees? Who can say that the trades for Abreu and Swish are not absolute steals? Just because he’s a good player doesn’t make it a bad pick up. In fact, Teixeira’s signing was out of nowhere. If you say you knew all these beforehand, please, go buy yourself a lottery ticket.

      Honestly, Swisher and Abreu are better answers than those three. You can’t outproduce them even combining your list. They have their flaws but their on-base skills and durability are under-appreciated.

      Not to mention all the draft and international signings, some of them Cashman possibly had a hand in, more or less.

  • CountryClub

    The Jeter resurgence thing is a bit overplayed. Maybe he’s hitting for a bit more power than I expected; but after the 2nd half of last yr, is anyone really that surprised that he’s hitting .320?

    Jeter strugled at the plate in 2010; started off slow in 2011; fixed his swing (as those who have HBO know) and has been his normal self ever since. We’re talking about well over a season now that he’s back to his normal performance. The surprise should have worn off by now.

    I’m not saying fans shouldn’t be enjoying it. I love it. But I’m just not sure why it’s surprising.

    • Cris Pengiucci

      It’s surprising because he’s a 38 year old SS. This has only been done a few times before in the history of baseball, by 2 different players. It absolutely should be surprising. I’m a huge Jeter fan, but to say it’s not surprising is burying your head in the sand to the facts. This is an historical or at least a generational event you’re seeing. This should not happen, yet it is. I love it and everyone else should pay attention and enjoy it for as long as it continues! It’s extremely unlikely you’ll see this type of performance from a middle infielder, at this age, again in your lifetime!

      • Darren

        The reason it’s not surprising is because it’s Derek Jeter. His first game as the starting shortstop 1996 homerun plys over the shoulder catch.

        The Maier homerun.
        Winning WS
        WS MVP and All Star MVP

        The Flip Play

        The Dive

        Mr. November

        3000 hit for a home runa nd a 5 for 5 with game winning hit.

        You’re comparing him to Spike Owen and every other dinky shortstop. He is much closer to Honus Wagner and Luke Aparacio. Obviously.

        • Rocky Road Redemption

          But he THIRTY-EIGHT. All that stuff you mentioned happened in the past. He’s Derek Jeter, not Superman.

  • JB

    the more I watch Kuroda, the more he reminds me of Pedro. He can make that ball do anything he wants, and makes hitters look silly.

    • Bob Buttons the Cat

      IMHO Maddux might be a better comparison. Guys who rely primarily on location and movement and trusting their defense to do the work.

  • toad

    the magic number to clinch the AL East crown is down to 37.

    So where’s the picture of Casey?

  • Mike from Jersey

    Just an observation – but Ichiro almost hit 3 homers last night. He just missed one in his first at-bat, hitting it to the warning track. He was locked in last night. I am hoping Ichiro has decided to try to hit more homers when he plays at YS3. He has nothing to lose!

  • rogue

    I’m not surprised that Ichiro hit 2 dingers last night. I expect him to do well playing his home games in YS. I wouldn’t be the least bit shocked if he it 20+ if he ever plays a full season in Pinstripes.