Friday, August 30, 2013

Hiroki Kuroda Is Tired & We Shouldn't Be Surprised

I want to begin this post by apologizing to all our followers and readers both here and on twitter. I am frustrated and do not exactly take losing well especially against a team like the Toronto Blue Jays with our best pitcher on the mound in Hiroki Kuroda. When the Yankees got down 6-0 early I went as far, again in frustration and in anger and not in common sense thinking, as to call Kuroda a "faux ace" which could not be farther from the truth. Kuroda has pitched his butt off for two seasons now and has been the ace for both of those seasons and I sounded ungrateful Wednesday night and I apologize for that.

With that said should we really be surprised that Kuroda is struggling towards the end of the season? I thought so until I looked at Kuroda's 2012 stats from August, September, and October. Kuroda had allowed three runs or less in 15 of his 21 starts heading into August only to see a bit of a regression due to what we can only guess is stamina problems. From August until the Yankees were eliminated Kuroda would allow three runs or more in seven of his final 12 starts not counting his post season stats of course. Granted Kuroda finished with a 6-4 record during that time including a no decision that the Yankees ended up winning but you have to remember that the Yankees put up a total of 57 runs in those 12 starts for nearly five runs of support per start, something unheard of for Kuroda this season.

Jump ahead to 2013 where Kuroda was putting himself in the American League Cy Young discussion before the calendar turned to August and the imaginary wall has seemingly slapped him in the face once again. In five August starts Kuroda has allowed three or more runs in four of his five starts including allowing seven twice and five once. Granted Kuroda has only been given nine runs total in those games but no pitcher can expect to win very much when allowed five or more runs three out of five times in the rotation.

Kuroda is not pitching much more than he normally has pitch wise although he has thrown over 100 pitches in 18 starts this season with a season high 116 pitches thrown August 6th against the White Sox in a loss. It is also worth noting that during that time Kuroda has thrown 99 pitches three times, 98 once, and above 90 pitches two other times during that stretch. While you want your ace to give you 7 IP or more every time out there, which Kuroda has done 14 times this season, we have to remember that he is soon to be 39 years old and has to show signs of aging at some point which looks to be around this time every season.

I appreciate everything Hiroki has done for us this season and last season and I know I have not always acted like it, especially during games we are losing. I can be a little fiery at times during games and I apologize for that but I think it shows my love and passion for this team and shows that no one can ever doubt or question my devotion to this team. I do not like to lose, I do not like to miss the playoffs, and I do not like holding my emotions inside. With that said I have a feeling I have a lot more frustration coming my way if history is going to repeat itself once again with Hiroki, and we all know that history has a naughty habit of repeating itself at the worst possible times. I'm not blaming Kuroda at all here but if he pitches this September like he did last September I think come October I may find myself writing about free agency targets and qualifying offers and not about possible World Series aspirations.

1 comment:

  1. Well done. Takes a big man to admit being flat out wrong. I understand the emotional element that comes out during a game. Kuroda has been so big for us over the last 2 seasons and I am extremely appreciative of all he has done even if he does regress a little at the end of the season. Hope we get him for next year but I doubt he'd want to stay on this team with the amount of run support he's gotten


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