Managing to keep the ball in the park since June 30, the 38-year-old Kuroda (11-9, 2.71 ERA) yielded four homers to Tampa Bay’s lineup.
Regardless, having clearly supplanted Andy Pettitte and CC Sabathia as New York’s stopper, Kuroda remains one of the primary reasons the Yankees (68-60) have survived and sit a mere 3.5 games behind the Oakland Athletics and Rays in the Wild Card standings.
Robbed of being an All-Star, Kuroda is now 68-65 with a 3.27 ERA since debuting as a Los Angeles Dodger on April 4, 2008.
If New York somehow slithers into the playoffs, the Yankees’ fortunes will greatly hinge on the veteran’s right arm.
Nevertheless, before even considering October, Hiroki Kuroda needs to stifle the Blue Jays’ lineup Wednesday in Toronto.by