February 10th, 2012

February 10 – Happy Birthday Hiroki Kuroda

kurodaWhat happened to Hideki Kuroda during the second half of the 2013 regular season was exactly what I feared would happen to the Japanese native when the Yankees originally signed him as a free agent in January 2012. After going 16-11 during his first year in Pinstripes and having a great first four months in his second, this right-handed native of Osaka, Japan fell apart in August of 2013 and lost seven of his last eight decisions.

He went from being practically un-hittable during the first half of the year to regularly getting shelled during the last two months. Unfortunately for the Yankees, Kuroda picked the very worst time of the year to slump. He lost twice each to Boston and Tampa during his swoon, killing any chance the Yanks had to catch either of their biggest AL East rivals in the process. He finished 2013 with an 11-13 record.

Kuroda uses four pitches, the best of which is his fastball, which he can crank up to 97 mph when necessary. He has decent control but he also gets into stretches when he will surrender too many home runs to that short right field porch in Yankee Stadium and his ERA suffers as a result.

He turns 37-years-old today and the Yankees just gave him a third straight one year deal. I’m hoping he can replicate his 2012 record in 2014 and if he does, the Yanks should reach postseason as a result.

Kuroda shares his February 10th birthday with this long-ago Yankee owner,  this Yankee pitcher who made the Hall of Fame and this other one who should have.

Year Tm W L W-L% ERA G GS GF CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP
2012 NYY 16 11 .593 3.32 33 33 0 3 2 0 219.2 205 86 81 25 51 167 1.165
2013 NYY 11 13 .458 3.31 32 32 0 1 1 0 201.1 191 79 74 20 43 150 1.162
6 Yrs 68 70 .493 3.40 180 179 0 6 5 0 1120.0 1063 473 423 109 257 840 1.179
LAD (4 yrs) 41 46 .471 3.45 115 114 0 2 2 0 699.0 667 308 268 64 163 523 1.187
NYY (2 yrs) 27 24 .529 3.31 65 65 0 4 3 0 421.0 396 165 155 45 94 317 1.164
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 2/22/2014.