After his first start against the Rays, the usual "NL Pitchers don't translate to the AL East" critics started to worry a little about Hiroki Kuroda, but he proved he can very much hang in the American League this afternoon, pitching eight shutout innings in the Yankee Stadium home opener. Kuroda dominated all game, striking out six batters, walking only two, and allowing just five hits to complete his day. The outing was by far the most impressive by a Yankee starter we've seen so far.
David Robertson came on in the ninth inning after Bobby Abreu reached base against Kuroda and abandoned his Houdini act completely, inducing a ground ball double play from Albert Pujols and striking out Kendrys Morales to end the game.
The majority of the damage done against Ervin Santana came in the first inning when he loaded the bases before giving up a three-run double to Nick Swisher. Alex Rodriguez led the offense in hits from his new spot in the lineup with two singles, a stolen base, and a long home run to straightaway center to tie Ken Griffey Jr. for fifth all-time. Curtis Granderson also went yard in the game for his second home run of the season.
The offense has been remarkably consistent so far, scoring at least five runs in each game except the Jeremy Hellickson shutout. The Yankees have had a little difficulty with leaving too many men on base, but the fact that they are putting so many people on and scoring a good amount of runs has to be a great sign for things to come. Once the pitching straightens itself out like we expect it to, this team will be even more dangerous.
Phil Hughes and the Yankees get C.J. Wilson tomorrow afternoon on Fox. Joy.
Comment of the Game: bango31 for sharing the eloquence of Sterling and Waldman's game calling.