Thursday, April 25, 2013

Kuroda Wins the Battle

The Yankee starter, Hiroki Kuroda did not have it early; serving up two home runs in the first two innings. He gave one up to Encarnacion after walking Bautista in the first, and promptly yielded another long ball to Brett Lawrie to lead off the second inning. However, after the Lawrie home run Kuroda really settled into a groove. He didn't surrender another hit after the second inning when Kawasaki hit a double following Lawrie's homer. Kuroda was able to locate all of his pitches after initially struggling to throw effectively for strikes. He returned to looking like the Kuroda who pitched a shutout against the Orioles and who made the Jays look foolish in Toronto earlier in the week. Hiroki Kuroda has answered any questions people may have had regarding his ability to repeat the year he had in 2012, then new to the American League East. He looks stronger out of the gates this year after his first two starts were sub-par because of a finger bruise. The Yankee starters have pitched to an ERA of 3.09 over their last fifteen games, and that is what wins games.

Mark Buehrle is still looking for a win against the Yankees, who he has not beaten since April of 2004 while he was still with the White Sox. The southpaw dominated in the early going but the Yankees got to him when Vernon Wells hit a solo shot into Monument Park off Buehrle followed by a Cano three-run shot and capped off with a Cervelli solo home run. Vernon Wells has owned Buehrle in his career with video game like numbers off the lefty pitcher. Cano blasted his team leading seventh home run tonight, and off a lefty nonetheless. Cano is really a stabilizing force in the Yankees lineup with all of their stars out, and after an off year for him last year in the RISP category, he has looked like his old self in the early part of the season. Francisco Cervelli is a pleasant surprise for the Yankees. In addition to being a great clubhouse presence, Cervy knows how to handle the pitchers and has shown some power this year, hitting three home runs so far, and it's only April 25th.

The Yankees will try to create a winning streak tomorrow night as Ivan Nova takes the mound for the Yankees. This is a huge start for Nova, who will likely not be given many more shots to prove himself with Vidal Nuno waiting in the wings to take his spot. Josh Johnson will pitch for the Blue Jays. He was erratic in his last start against the Yankees, but was able to get his team a win after Nova and the Yankees bullpen imploded late in the game.

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