Kuroda, Yankees grind out ugly win over Astros

McCullough: Yankees have discussed Chris Nelson with Rockies
Wang throws seven-inning complete game in win

I feel like games against the Astros should be a little easier than this. The Yankees labored to a 7-4 win on Tuesday night following Monday’s shellacking, but a win is a win.


Kuroda Walks A Tight Rope
Had he been facing a better offensive team that the Astros, I’m not so sure Hiroki Kuroda gets through four full innings in this game. He was very rough early in the game, putting a man on third base in each of the first three innings while workings at a snail’s pace. Everything was up in the zone, nothing was going where it was supposed to go … it was pretty bad. And yet, Kuroda managed seven scoreless frames on 108 total pitches with a season-high eight strikeouts. He also walked a season-high four.

The key for Kuroda appeared to be his slider, which he started to use heavily around the fourth inning. After putting seven men on-base during the first three innings, he allowed just one base-runner through the next four frames. He retired 15 of the final 16 batters he faced and the final nine overall. By no means was it pretty, but seven scoreless is seven scoreless. I’ll take it every time out no matter how stressful.


Four Crummy Runs
New York’s first four runs all came on crappy little scoring plays. I would be annoyed if the other team scored four runs like that against the Yankees. The first run came on Travis Hafner’s single to left, which Brandon Barnes trapped rather than caught. The second run scored when Hafner grounded a single to the shortstop side of second base while Houston had the shift on. The third run scored when Brennan Boesch beat out an inning-ending double play by about a quarter of a step. The fourth scored when Jayson Nix reached on an infield single because the shortstop muffed a hard-hit grounder. They all count, but geez. Let’s not call them aesthetically pleasing runs.

Those four runs stood up for the first seven innings before the Yankees blew things open in the eighth, getting a cheap Yankee Stadium solo homer from Lyle Overbay and run-scoring singles from Chris Stewart and Hafner. Stewart’s was a solid line drive to center while Pronk’s was a bloop job to shallow left. There was nothing funny about those plays, no traps in the outfield or muffed ground balls. Conventional run-scoring plays.


A few hours after I said Eduardo Nunez needed to give the team more on offense, he went 3-for-4 with a pair of hustle doubles. It would be awesome if he started to chip in a little more from the bottom of the lineup. Ichiro Suzuki (three), Robinson Cano (two), Hafner (three), and Stewart (two) all had multiple singles. Nix had his infield single, Overbay the homer, Hafner an intentional walk, and Brett Gardner an unintentional walk to round out the offense. Ichiro and Gardner stole bases.

David Robertson allowed a two-run homer to Chris Carter in the eighth, which temporarily made it a two-run game before the offense tacked a few insurance runs on a half-inning later. Shawn Kelley allowed two runs on three hits in the ninth inning before giving way to Mariano Rivera, who recorded the final out without incident. Not exactly a banner night for the bullpen, but at least the offense gave them some breathing room.

Box Score, WPA Graph & Standings
MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs the nerdy stuff, and ESPN the updated standings.

Source: FanGraphs

Up Next
The rubber game of this three-game set will be played on Wednesday night, when David Phelps makes his first start of the season in place of the injured Ivan Nova. Veteran left-hander Erik Bedard will be on the bump for the Astros. Check out RAB Tickets for some last minute ticket deals.

McCullough: Yankees have discussed Chris Nelson with Rockies
Wang throws seven-inning complete game in win
  • http://twitter.com/Paddock9652 Stratman9652

    Damn Mike, you don’t screw around do ya? That was fast.

    • Pseudoyanks

      Least he could do since the Subscription Fee hike…

      • Betty Lizard

        Where’s the umpire? Mike is quick pitching these recaps.
        I wasn’t even in the reader’s box.

  • Pseudoyanks

    I am very pumped to see Phelpsy FTSW!

  • teddy

    would any consider bringing mike mongomery has pitched 12 innins this year 7 hits, 5 bb and 17 k’s. already carrying 2 longmen, not sure what kelly role is

    • zs190

      I would not consider Montgomery to replace Kelley. Joba/DRob/Mo are already set as the 7th/8th/9th. Shawn Kelley’s role is to be the 6th inning guy occasionally or sometimes when there is a big lead in the 8th or 9th and doesn’t need a long man. He pitches infrequently (last game was 4/24) and I don’t really want Montgomery to waste away in the pen in that tiny role.

    • M-Three

      I don’t think they will go to Montgomery yet because his control has been off lately. Kelley needs to be gone tho. He gives up runs in every outing and is very much prone to homeruns like Hughes.

      Does anyone know what the statis is on Clay Rapada? I figure once he is ready Kelley will be the one to lose their roster spot.

      • zs190

        He’s rehabbing, he can’t be called up until May 3 or May 5, one of those. I don’t think they are going to call up Rapada to replace Kelley though. They’ll either let him keep pitching a bit in AAA or call him to replace Warren/Nuno. Warren has pitched 4 times in the first 26 games, probably get more use out of Rapada than him.

  • nycsportzfan

    Good to see a big game from Ichiro,and he really used his wheels well tonight, with the 2infield singles and a SB…

  • Wheels

    Nice, the Red Sox lost.

  • vicki

    i’m just gonna say it. lyle overbay’s cold sore is the source of his power. he’s raised his ops 100 points since it appeared, and he’s 5 for his last 15 with two homeruns.

    i bet it grows a face and starts talking to him, a la ‘how to get ahead in advertising.’

    • Lyle Overbay’s Herpes

      Hi, I’m Lyle Overbay and I have herpes. I use valtrex. You should too.

      Side effects may include, Nausea, stomach pain, headache, or dizziness may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly, mental/mood changes (such as agitation, confusion, hallucinations), trouble speaking, shaky/unsteady movements, change in the amount of urine, extreme tiredness, slow/fast/irregular heartbeat, easy bruising/bleeding, new fever, bloody/dark urine, severe stomach/abdominal pain, yellowing eyes/skin, sudden vision changes, loss of consciousness, seizures, rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness and/or trouble breathing while hitting 400 feet homeruns.

      Valtrex is the source of my power surge, not my herpes. Take valtrex for cleaner herpe sores and a better power stroke. I slept with someone who was unclean and now my stroke is mean! ARFF!

      • Robinson Tilapia

        Hooray for herpes!

      • vicki

        those homers wish they were 400 feet.

        otherwise, good stuff.

      • Steve (different one)

        Lyle Overbay = Ed Begley Jr

        Apologize if someone has already made this connection, but every timer comes up all I think about is EBJ in Pineapple Express.

  • pat

    Ugly or not, still counts as a W. IMO a team needs wins like these, character builders especially a team that only has one guy they can lean on to consistently produce. Everybody else has to step their game up and make things happen one way or another.

  • Eddard

    If David Robertson isn’t going to throw the curve at least elevate the fastball on 0-2. Don’t throw the same pitch right down the middle 3 straight times to a 2 outcome hitter. He would have swung right through the high fastball or right over the curve in the dirt. I said this last year, you’re not Mariano.

    Dave Phelps might strike out 15 Astros tomorrow. Kuroda struck out 8 and he wasn’t even on his game.

    Ichiro and Nuney hitting lengthens the lineup. We need Gardner to start hitting at the top. What Nuney did tonight is what Gardner should be doing. Both of them need to stop swinging for the fences and just put the ball in play.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    I don’t think it was that ugly. Runs were manufactured. Starting pitcher gutted through and figured it out. Bullpen gave up garbage runs. It happens. Take the win.

    • WhittakerWalt

      I’m with fish boy.
      Also, that wasn’t a YS cheapie homer. It only went a couple rows deep, but it was to the power alley. That’s a pretty good poke.

    • Improbable Island’s Dirty Midget Whores (formerly RRR)

      Yeah, I’m with you. I thought it was a pretty easy win, the runs given up were garbage runs.

    • Steve (different one)

      It felt ugly because the Astros play a horrendously slow brand of “baseball”. Their pitchers take forever (granted, Kuroda was guilty of this in the first 2 innings) between pitches and their hitters step out between every pitch. It’s just kindof painful, even when you win.

  • Yankonymous

    Teixeira April 2009 .200/.367/.371
    Teixeira April 2010 .136/.300/.259
    Teixeira April 2011 .256/.392/.549
    Teixeira April 2012 .244/.290/.395
    Overbay April 2013 .241/.267/.446

    What’s the difference? About $135,000 per game in salary…

    • Havok9120

      As long as you mean it as a joke, sure, why not?

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Sucks that the rest of the months, and all those other years you cited, exist, eh? Where are the rest of Overbay’s stats for those years anyway?

      I think we just found Athenian’s statistician.

    • Rick

      Good thing we’re not paying Teixeira right now anyway.

  • KCSwiss

    Anyone else agree that Travis Hafner turning back into a competent and healthy hitter is absolutely amazing and fun to watch?

    • DArren

      Word up. He mus be psyched he’s healthy.

      anyone else sort of happy that they had to bring out Mo for his 10th save of the month? Any chance he gets pitcher of the month? 10 for 10, sub 2 ERA. and he’s MO!

      • Havok9120

        Yeah, I’m quite happy with that. I want his last season to be super-great in terms of counting stats and similarly underimportant things that the media loves. His victory lap needs to be covered, and that’ll do it.

  • Havok9120

    I’m glad my inability to rally the troops in the Game Thread didn’t doom the team again.

    Our boys did it for the Fatherland.

  • GreenArm

    Does anyone actually know why Nunez’s helmet flies off every single time he runs? Not poking fun, actually curious. It’s funny to see Twitter blow up everytime it happens and I admit, I do it as well. Just didn’t know if there has been an article on the subject, or even a blurb. The guy isn’t The Flash or anything, can’t he just wear a slightly tighter helmet?

    • Travis L.

      Makes him look faster…which in turn makes the defense make ugly throws trying to get him out? Just a shot in the dark, I really have no logical explanation for it.

  • http://bassoprofundo1.blogspot.com Coloyank

    Mike, where was that Nunez post two weeks ago, hmm?

  • LarryM Fl

    Ugly win, pretty win, satisfying win or walkoff win are all satisfying once the win is posted to the ledger. You come back the next day feeling good. A Yankee stadium cheapie travelin 390-400′ is no cheapie. ven though all annoucers from the other clubs make it sound as if every homer in Yankee stadium travels 315′ to the short porch.

    There are a few stadiums in the majors with just as friendly fences as the YS3.

    • LarryM Fl

      Even and announcers. Proof read by the same Rocket scientist

  • Steve (different one)

    Arbitrary and intentionally misleading endpoints time….

    Ichiro since leaving Detroit:

    .313/.353/.391 in 69 PA’s

    Considering the hole he dug in the first 2 series, he’s very quietly been productive. Unfortunately, those 6 games definitely counted for the Yankees…

    • Rick

      And unfortunately the majority of the rest of the team also hadn’t recognized the season started. He wasn’t alone.

      • http://bassoprofundo1.blogspot.com/ Coloyank

        Yeah, they did kind of sleepwalk through the first couple of series, didn’t they?