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A Hiro at home

Hiroki Kuroda is turning in one of the best seasons by a Yankee pitcher we’ve seen in the past 35 years. The only other Yankee to have  a lower ERA this late into the season was Ron Guidry in 1978, when he finished at 1.74. Although Kuroda has been solid all around, his numbers at home are off the charts – and his presence on the mound in the Stadium gives fans confidence.

After last night’s 8 inning shutout performance which resulted in a win, Kuroda is now 7-2 with a 1.54 ERA in 70 IP in the Bronx. His home ERA is good for first in the American League among pitchers with at least 40 IP. He has a 13/51 BB/K ratio, while holding opposing hitters to a .209 average.

Overall this season, Kuroda is 11-7 with a 2.33 ERA, second in the AL behind Felix Hernandez. He’s given up just 129 hits in 154.2 IP, and hasn’t given up more than three earned runs in a start since June 30. Kuroda’s run from July up until now has been remarkable. In 7 starts over that time period, he’s 4-1 with a sparkling .94 ERA. Opponents are hitting .215 off of him, accumulating 37 hits in 48 IP. Even more impressive is that Kuroda has only walked 8 guys over this span, while also allowing no homers. Keeping guys off base and staying away from the big swing will get you results.

Kuroda should have more wins to show for his efforts this season. He receives 3.34 runs per game from the Yankee offense, so he has little room for error. Although his record is somewhat unimpressive, that shouldn’t sway voting in the Cy Young Award race. After all, it was Hernandez who won the award in 2010 with a record of 13-12.

In a season that’s seen multiple injuries and inconsistent play from the starting pitchers, Kuroda has been the rock – the ace – that has anchored the staff. Without his performance this season, the Yankees may very well be looking at a last place finish. For General Manager Brian Cashman, it’s one of the greatest signings he’s ever had.