It was an easy mistake to make. There was a man that took the mound for the Yankees last Friday night that was wearing the number 18. He was a little over six feet tall and appeared to be a gentleman of Japanese descent in his late thirties. For all intents and purposes, it certainly looked like it was Hiroki Kuroda. But that's completely impossible, because the person (or thing) that started that game was absolutely terrible, and Hiroki Kuroda is awesome.
I have gathered up various bits of evidence to prove to you, the purveyors of this fine blog, that Yankees star pitcher Hiroki Kuroda was either replaced by an alien duplicate or possibly a cybernetic lookalike. For starters, Kuroda had only once allowed four home runs in a start in his entire career, and that was against the Nationals in 2011 at Nationals Park. Nationals Park has a neutral park factor of 100, as compared to the 95 for Tropicana Field. Seems kind of fishy that he would repeat this dubious occurrence in one of the best pitcher's parks in the league, no?
During his curious start, "Kuroda" pitched to a Win Probability Added of -0.386, his lowest on the season and worst since May 6, 2011 against the Mets when he was still with the Los Angeles Dodgers. His Game Score of 28 was eclipsed only once this year by his low of 20 against the Orioles on May 22nd, a game in which he lasted all of 2 1/3 innings. And the seven earned runs that he allowed was tied for the highest amount he has ever given up in his career, an event that had occurred just twice before. Doesn't sound like the performance of a pitcher who has been in the discussion for the Cy Young Award now does it?
There will be some of you who will claim that I am a tinfoil hat-wearing conspiracy nut who has his shades drawn and keeps his money under his mattress because he thinks the Illuminati control the banks. Well, you would be correct in assuming that. But do not march along with the rest of the "sheeple" that are ignoring all the signs. The actors for committing such a devious crime were all in play. The game took place in Florida, which is the home of NASA. NASA has been known to be involved in all sorts of weird experiments and technological innovations. Perhaps they brought a specimen back from space and used it to create a Hiroki Kuroda replicant...for science! Or, it was all a plot by the devilish Rays. Manager Joe Maddon is known for his quirky strategies on the field and GM Andrew Friedman is known for trying to find the next market inefficiency. Perhaps the newest evolution of "Moneyball" is replacing other teams stars with inferior duplicates! And on the cheap!
It's up to Brian Cashman and the Yankees' brass to find out where the real Hiroki Kuroda is being kept and rescue him before his start tomorrow. The Yankees cannot afford to have his doppelganger go out there and do his best Phil Hughes impression again. Or, if that was the real Hiroki Kuroda out there on Friday, he just needs to pitch a lot better. But I'm sure he doesn't need me telling him that.