The Yankees are turning to Hiroki Kuroda (6-3, 2.39 ERA) in the rubber match against Boston after being blown out 11-1 Saturday night. Kuroda is the unsung hero of the Yankees pitching this season, pitching 7 scoreless innings against the Mets back on May 28th. He left the game with a no decision when Mariano Rivera blew his first save of the year. Boston is turning to their ace Clay Buchholz (7-0, 1.73 ERA) who was supposed to start Friday but was pushed to Sunday due to soreness in his right AC joint. Buchholz has been one of the best pitchers in the league this season, holding opponents to a .194 batting average. This one is going to be a pitching duel with 2 of the best in the AL East, if not the league, going head to head. It is up to the bats to win this one for the Bombers.
Kuroda has been the most consistant pitcher on the team this year, by far, and doesn’t quite get the recognition he deserves with CC Sabathia, Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera always in the spotlight. Manager Joe Girardi said about him, “Kuroda’s been really good the two years that we’ve had him. He’s been very consistent, and you feel like you’re always going to have a chance to win, so we get excited when he goes out there.”
Notes on the game
Jacoby Ellsbury is still out of the lineup for the Sox.
Kevin Youkilis will be starting at third base after being a DH the past 2 games.
Some good news for Yankees fans everywhere:
Derek Jeter played catch on the field at Yankee Stadium again on Saturday for the fourth straight day. He said that he has a CT scan on his left ankle scheduled after this homestand and that he could increase his activity if the exam shows his ankle is healing as expected.
On a side note, a player is coming OFF the disabled list for the Yankees on Monday, yes I said off.
Andy Pettitte is expected to come off the DL Monday to start against Cleveland after suffering a strained trapezius muscle in mid May. In eight starts this season he is 4-3 with a 3.83 ERA. He is excited to get back to the team saying, ”I’m feeling good and I’m looking forward to getting back out there and take my turn. I want to go through this grind with the guys, and that is what I came back for.”
Game kicks off at 8 PM (ET) on ESPN