The Yankees scored Hiroki Kuroda only one run and the lack of offense came back to bite the Yankees as Rivera blew a rare save after allowing a home run to Adam Jones with Markakis on first base on a steamy, humid July summer day. Through seven innings, Kuroda threw only 88 pitches. The seventh inning was clearly his worst, where he was beginning to lose the plate when he walked Matt Wieters with two outs. I still believe that Hiroki Kuroda could have easily pitched the eighth inning but Kuroda missed his last start with a sore hip flexor so Girardi took precautionary measures to make sure Kuroda would be fresh in his next start. The Yankees need Kuroda because the rest of their staff can't even light a candle to the righty. He leaves today's game with a 2.77 ERA and still has a record of only 7-6 record in an All-Star caliber year. It's a shame that he didn't make the team initially but Kuroda will surely end up at Citi Field as a replacement for an injured player or for a pitcher who's start doesn't line up with next Tuesday's festivities. Hiroki Kuroda is the All-Star starting pitcher even though he wasn't chosen to join the team because of the stability he provides to the Yankees rotation with Sabathia having a so-so year and Andy Pettitte's dominance fading into the latter part of the season. The Yankees have never been able to provide Kuroda with many runs in support of his starting pitching efforts. Kuroda has had a very slim margin of error as shown today with his one run lead turning into a one run deficit as Rivera blew his first save opportunity at Yankee Stadium since the start of 2011.
The Yankees need to forget about this game and begin a new winning streak tomorrow as the Kansas City Royals come to Yankee Stadium for three games. The starters for tomorrow will be Jeremy Guthrie and Phil Hughes. Hughes has had two straight quality starts for the Yankees even though he only got one win in that span.