Game #80 Preview: Blue Jays vs. Yankees

Tom Szczerbowski

The Blue Jays try to sweep away the Evil Empire tonight at 7:07 as Drew Hutchison takes the mound against right-hander Hiroki Kuroda. The Japanese veteran has been a little off this season and is heading for his first ERA north of 4.00 since he came to the MLB in 2008. He's been hurt by an unlucky 63.9 LOB%, so there's a chance this season could turn around for him, since the rest of his peripherals are pretty much in line with his career norms. The problem for the Yankees is that even in a down year for Kuroda, he's still the team's second-best starting pitcher behind fellow Japanese righty Masahiro Tanaka.

As is widely known across baseball, Kuroda relies heavily on a sinker, slider, splitter combination of pitches that leads to a bunch of weak contact from hitters. Right-handed hitters see all three pitches fairly equally, but lefties mainly just get the sinker and splitter. The split is without a doubt his put away pitch and has late arm-side action that is nearly impossible to hit solidly:

Kurodaras_medium

via gamereax.com

Hopeful Lineup

  1. Jose Reyes SS
  2. Melky Cabrera LF
  3. Edwin Encarnacion 1B
  4. Adam Lind DH
  5. Colby Rasmus CF
  6. Dioner Navarro C
  7. Juan Francisco 3B
  8. Kevin Pillar RF
  9. Munenori Kawasaki 2B

Find The Link

Find the link between Hiroki Kuroda and #6 on the Chiba Lotte Marines

Gut Feelings

  1. A pitcher's duel is in store for the game tonight.
  2. The USA will lose to Germany, but still advance to the round of 16.


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