Kuroda dazzles as Yanks take opener from Jays

Game 42: You Again?
Ramirez whiffs seven in Trenton loss

Source: FanGraphs

The Yankees dropped their last two games to the Mariners, but Hiroki Kuroda made sure his team avoided their first three-game losing streak of the season. The right-hander allowed just two hits and one walk across eight scoreless innings on Friday night, leading the Yankees to their seventh win in eight games against the new-look (but still-awful) Blue Jays. Let’s recap…

  • #HIROK: After former Yankee Melky Cabrera doubled to leadoff the game, not a single Toronto hitter made it beyond first base against Kuroda. He sat down 19 of the next 20 men he faced and threw only 20 of his 108 pitches from the stretch. This was Kuroda at his best — lots of weak contact and easy outs. When the Yankees needed a strong outing to spare their short bullpen and pickup a weak lineup, he was up to the task and then some. Love this guy.
  • Early Runs: Mark Buehrle has had a rough go of it in the AL East, and Yankees jumped on him early for a one-run lead. Brett Gardner saw Melky’s leadoff double and raised him a leadoff triple, then came in to score on Robinson Cano‘s ground out. Jayson Nix plated an insurance run with a bases-loaded sacrifice fly in the fifth, then the Bombers blew it open with a three-run seventh. Austin Romine‘s two-strike double opened the floodgates, plating one run and setting up two more. That third time through the order did in Buehrle.
  • Leftovers: Preston Claiborne finished things off with a scoreless ninth, though he did put men at second and third before recording the final out … David Adams continued to impress with a 2-for-4 night that included a ground-rule double and two runs scored … Romine and Gardner had two knocks apiece while Nix didn’t have an official at-bat, instead walking twice and hitting two sac flies … the 3-6 hitters went a combined 1-for-16 with a walk and five strikeouts … for the fifth time in the last six games, the Yankees did not hit a homer … in case you’re wondering, the Rangers are the only other team in baseball without a three-game losing streak.

MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs the other stats, and ESPN the updated standings. The Yankees remain atop the AL East by one game over the Red Sox and two over the Orioles. They’ll send David Phelps to the mound on Saturday afternoon against Brandon Morrow. Check out RAB Tickets for last minute … well, tickets.

Game 42: You Again?
Ramirez whiffs seven in Trenton loss
  • The fact that Ben Francisco has managed to maintain a spot on the 25 man roster is probably the most spectacular accomplishment on the season. The Yanks 26-16 record has nothing on that. A whopping 5 hits total on the season. It’s May 17th. Wow.

    • forensic

      He’s now at .088/.222/.176 against lefties. Last I checked, that’s his only job and the only reason he’s on the team.

      Talk about being a spectacular failure at one’s job.

      • Laz

        I feel they just don’t want to push hafner too far, which is why he has to platoon, but is dh spot, couldn’t we have just put granderson instead of him.

        • Havok9120

          I kinda get it tonight (lots of games at once, both Grandy and Hafner just back from injury), but going forward? Definitely.

    • TomH

      Amen to that.

      Somebody’s asleep at the switch in the front office. OR that “somebody” has an insight about Ben so subtle and refined that it’s invisible to us mere mortals.

      • hogsmog

        Maybe he’s like one of those coffee cards that gets stamped after each terrible plate appearance. Once you hit 50 you redeem it and the next game he hits four homers.

        • Havok9120

          I like this analogy.

  • billbybob

    Can I get another article telling me not to get excited about David Adams? I’m feeling a little optimism here and I need it knocked down a few pegs.

    • Havok9120


    • Brian in MA


      Yes we need to temper optimism about Adams, but nothing would make me happier than to see a guy like Adams, who had such a troubled MiLB career, get some success in the show. And Romine getting regular playing time…also good!

      I would love to see Stewart off the roster when Cervelli gets back but that won’t happen. Might be best anyways for Romine to continue getting regular at bats in the minors.

  • Eddard

    Kuroda is the ace of the staff for a reason. The team had just lost a series to an inferior opponent so he stopped the bleeding. If you had to vote for Cy Young today it’d be-

    1. Kuroda
    2. Felix
    3. Buchholz

    Hafner will be back tomorrow to lengthen the lineup. Grandy back in, Ichiro out. Cano needs to get back on track and Francisco needs to be cut. Adams is proving that these kids can have an impact on the MLB level so cut Francisco and call up one of the kids.

    • Deathstroke Heathcott

      No Yu Darvish? Btw, is it possible that 3 of the top 5 leading candidates for AL Cy Young could be Japanese right now?

  • FIPster Doofus

    In terms of performance, Kuroda has surpassed Sabathia as the ace since joining the Yankees, and that’s not at all a knock on Sabathia. Kuroda has been that good. It’s nice to have two stars anchoring the rotation.

    • trr

      Yes. Right now, Kuroda is our #1 starter, hands down

  • Brian S.

    But seriously guys. Ben Francisco.

    • trr

      ….will be gone soon enough

      • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting)

        In the meantime, Girardi could at least have the decency to bury him on the bench.

  • Dale Mohorcic

    As I recall, Robinson Cano was not considered an elite prospect. What in his minor league stats indicates his major league success? http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=cano–001rob. I like to hold out irrational hope that David Adams could be better than we hope. Then something good could come of this rash of injuries.

    • Havok9120

      I hope that he will too. As long as people know (like I and apparently you do) that it is quite a long shot and at least somewhat irrational to hope for a ton, I don’t think anyone takes issue with holding out hope. Not like he’s even shown he might be a bust.

      It’s the people that don’t realize it’s a long shot that grate on my nerves. The “play the kids, they’ll do better than whoever” crowd got pretty obnoxious when there were actual prospects with serious/recognized star potential. With this group of prospects that crowd just appears delusional and desperate for a new toy.

    • Evan3457

      Adams may hit well enough to hold a big league job, but with Youkillis and A-Rod looming in the distance, it’ll be a bench job.

      He won’t be Cano, who, by the time he was Adams’ age, had already made an All-Star team, won a Silver Slugger and gotten a handful of MVP support.

  • I’mVernonI’mVernon4U

    Anyone see the walk-off fly ball by Russel Martin? So, so bad..

    • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting)
    • vicki

      so, so castillo.

    • Get Phelps Up

      Almost as bad as Luis Castillo.


      • I’mVernonI’mVernon4U

        Haha. The MLB Network guys made a mention of that as they were covering this one.

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

        Not quite…The Mets would have won the game outright if Castillo caught the ball. The Astros would have continued the game but still may have lost. The Astros players had to move a fairly substantial difference. Castillo barely had to move.

        Close to being as bad…but not quite.

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

        Oooooooooh, here’s a fun game! What was the worse loss for the Mets, the dropped ball against the inter-city rival Yankees or the unassisted triple play against the division rival Phillies?

        Man, Yankees fans never get to debate things like this about their team!

        • Havok9120

          Or when we do, it isn’t for very long.

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

            We bitch for like a week then we go 20-7 for a month or some shit.

        • Get Phelps Up

          There was also this gem by the 2009 Mets: http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=4624829&c_id=mlb

          Although this one wasn’t against a division rival.

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

            I mean, it’s really the fact that it’s even debatable that the dropped ball game wasn’t the worst loss that makes this so amazing.

            I mean, after that game, you had to say to yourself, “Wow, I can’t possibly imagine a tougher loss than that”…but then they go and lose via unassisted triple play or some shit like that.

            And oh my gosh that loss against the Dodgers is bad. Not against a rival but still, holy shitballs.

            • Havok9120

              There proclivity for plays like that certainly doesn’t help their reputation for inefficacy and ineptitude.

  • vicki

    adams, strong; kuroda, transcendent. and i’m starting to have … feelings about austin romine. girl feelings.

    • Havok9120

      You and Betty keep falling for our catchers.

    • Rick

      Romine stealing any hope I once had. I will tip my cap, he’s quite a good looking fellow who showed he can be good with the stick. I get it.

      • Betty Lizard

        Does Austin Romine need someone to hold his . . . bat?

  • Get Phelps Up

    Game 42 recap from last year: http://riveraveblues.com/2012/05/last-place-yanks-go-out-like-wimps-in-loss-to-kc-68893/

    We had a really different view of Kuroda then too.

    • Get Phelps Up

      Since then, Hirok has a 2.98 ERA in 241 innings.

    • forensic

      That was an epic recap thread, started by an epic recap thread title.

    • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting)

      My favorite:

      I once pleaded that some of those triple A guys could do just as well as Kuroda … and cost less to boot.

      *and Garcia replaced with ellipse ’cause that part was true

    • vicki

      that thread had everything. i love that the tigers were one of the few teams that kept us from being rockbottom in the al.

    • I’mVernonI’mVernon4U

      Wow, I don’t even remember being 5 games out of first last year. That game thread makes me laugh.

      Its pretty funny that the record we had this time last year is where most people were expecting we’d be at now. Instead we’re 10 games over .500.

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

      That article is also a rather sobering reminder that our record at this point of the year really means very little.

      • FIPster Doofus

        I actually think it means a lot this year when you consider all the adversity the Yankees have gone through so far. To be 26-16 and have the second-best record in the AL despite getting zero ABs from A-Rod, Jeter and Teixeira; almost zero ABs from Granderson; and limited ABs from Youkilis is absolutely remarkable. Throw in all the other random, less notable injuries and it becomes that much more impressive. This team has far exceeded expectations so far and things should only improve when the big-name reinforcements arrive.

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

          This is all true – but last year proves that our record at this point of the year, while impressive given our roster right now, is not necessarily indicative of where they’ll be at year’s end.

          • FIPster Doofus

            Of course. But it’s pretty nice to get off on a great foot a quarter through the season.

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

      Poster Will the Thrill:

      “I’m already looking forward to 2013. Yankees have dug themselves into a hole that in the AL East is too deep to climb out of.”

      Good times, man, good times.

    • Havok9120

      Or dear God. I remember that thread.

      On another note, I really miss OMG! Bagels. For both the name and because he’s a pretty cool dude.

  • Come back Jeter

    I think the real question to ask about Francisco is why does he always hit in the middle of the lineup when he does play?

    • hogsmog

      Because if we didn’t go righty-lefty-righty-lefty, Girardi would punch somebody.

  • mustang (The Has Been & Wannabes Bunch 2013)

    This is the most fun I have had as a Yankees fan in a long time. Watching this team win, watching all these kids play and just the daily struggle of watching this organization tackle all these problems this year.

    Even here you can see how people are so much into it its just so much fun.

    REALLLY loving being a Yankees fan this season.