February 10 – Happy Birthday Hiroki Kuroda
What 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.
|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|