Kuroda downplays Japanese pitcher showdown

Japan will surely be excited on Tuesday when Japanese stars Hiroki Kuroda and Yu Darvish face-off against each other as the Rangers host the Yankees. However, Kuroda is trying to downplay the matchup.

“I try not to think about it; I don’t want to make it any bigger than it is,” Kuroda told Mark Feinsand of the NY Daily News with the help of a translator. “This is not a one-on-one game. It’s the Rangers against the Yankees. I’m going to do as much as possible so that our team is going to win.”

Darvish also downplayed facing the Yankees for the first time in his career.

“It’s not like from childhood I’ve been following the major leagues,” Darvish said through a translator. “I don’t have an image that ‘it’s the Yankees’ and I have to think particularly about them. I’m going to treat it as a baseball game.”

For two pitchers trying to downplay the significance of this game, it certainly is the biggest matchup between two Japanese pitchers. Still, Kuroda has better things to focus on so it is good to see him trying to ignore it. He has already had one really good start, but two stinkers. He needs to focus his energy on creating consistency in his starts.

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