Hiroki Kuroda pitched a real gem in his last time out against Albert Pujols and the Angels so the Minnesota Twins didn’t seem like they would be much of a problem. Instead, Kuroda made one of the worst starts of his career, giving up six runs in just 4.1 innings.
After the game Kuroda explained that lack of movement on his sinker and the absense of his secondary pitches is what did him in.
“My sinker didn’t have much movement today,” Kuroda told Vincent Mercogliano of the Journal News. “My sinker is my core pitch, but I didn’t really have my other pitches working either. In past outings, I was able to go to other pitches and make adjustments.”
The sinker was the big difference for Kuroda. It was his most effective pitch last week, but pitchFX points out that it had less velocity and movement on it this time out and he didn’t command it as well. The good thing is that the differences weren’t huge. So despite the fact that he struggled, a lot of it might have just been facing Justin Mourneau.
Either way, Kuroda has to fix what is not working and figure out a way to gain consistency. Otherwise he won’t ease the fears of his transition from the NL to the AL.