When the Yankees entered this three game series against the Seattle Mariners, they thought David Phelps would have a chance to pitch in place of Michael Pineda tonight and they would face Felix Hernandez tomorrow. Instead, the Yankees will face rookie Roenis Elias and they will skip Phelps to bring in the veteran Hiroki Kuroda who easily had his worst outing in his start against the Angels.
“He just didn’t seem to be real sharp,” Girardi said about Kuroda’s last start where he surrendered eight runs in four and a third innings. “His stuff just seemed a little flat. He’s been a little up and down this year. At times, he’s thrown better.”
Now, Kuroda returns to the mound tomorrow night and faces the Mariners, a team which has former Yankee Robinson Cano.
Many believed Kuroda’s age has finally caught up with him and he would need to make some adjustments. Kuroda gave an amusing answer when asked if he felt adjustments needed to be made since he’s now 39-years-old.
“I don’t know,” Kuroda said. “This is the first time I’ve been 39,”
Don’t worry: For those that like the seriousness of Kuroda, he gave an honest evaluation about his pitches and what he plans to do to improve them so he can have an effective start.
“Right now there are certain pitches that are inconsistent,” Kuroda said. “I need to make an adjustment and make sure I get them back. The biggest thing is to improve the quality of breaking balls.”
Although Kuroda has been struggling, he does have good numbers against the Seattle Mariners: He’s 2-2 with a 3.27 ERA in five career appearances. Let’s hope that Kuroda can bounce back and be the Kuroda that Yankees fans are used to seeing.