American League Preview from The Sports Network|
Tuesday, April 24th
(All times Eastern)
New York Yankees (10-6) at Texas Rangers (13-4), 8:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: New York - Hiroki Kuroda (1-2, 5.00)
Texas - Yu Darvish (2-0, 3.57)
(Sports Network) - A pair of Japanese hurlers square off this evening when
Texas' Yu Darvish opposes Hiroki Kuroda from New York in the middle test of a
three-game series at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.
This will be the seventh matchup between Japanese starters and the first since
2010 when Kuroda, who was then part of the Los Angeles Dodgers, hurled eight
shutout innings to defeat Hisanori Takahashi and the Mets, 2-0.
The other five matchups consisted of Kenshin Kawakami against Daisuke
Matsuzaka in 2009, Matsuzaka against Tomo Ohka in '07, Ohka against Mac Suzuki
in '02, Suzuki against Hideo Nomo in 2000 and Suzuki against Hideki Irabu in
Tonight's matchup, though, could be the biggest of them all, as it pits the
fifth-winningest Japanese pitcher in Major League history (Kuroda) against
perhaps the most-hyped hurler (Darvish) to come out of Japan.
"This is not a one-on-one game," Kuroda said, through a translator, when asked
if facing Darvish would be a special matchup. "It's the Rangers against the
Yankees. I'm going to do as much as possible so that our team is going to
Darvish, who the Rangers committed over $100 million to this offseason, has
yet to live up to the hype, but has shown flashes at times and comes into
tonight's tilt sporting a 2-0 mark to go along with a 3.57 earned run average.
However, he has walked 13 batters in 17 2/3 innings.
"This is his fourth time, and as I said, he gets better with each one," Texas
manager Ron Washington said. "I expect him to have another good one. I don't
think he's thinking about [the matchup]. He's thinking about keeping his team
in the game. It could be an American pitcher."
Darvish held the high-powered Tigers offense in check on Thursday, holding
them to a run and two hits in 6 1/3 innings to get the win. He did walk five
Kuroda, meanwhile, was awful in a loss to Minnesota on Wednesday, as he
allowed six runs and 10 hits in 4 1/3 innings to fall to 1-2 on the year to go
along with a 5.00 ERA.
The Yankees drew first blood in this series on Monday, as Derek Jeter had four
hits, two runs scored and an RBI to propel New York to a 7-4 win. Alex
Rodriguez added a three-run home run and Curtis Granderson knocked in a pair
of runs for the Yankees, who earned their fourth straight win.
CC Sabathia (2-0) allowed four runs on seven hits and a walk while striking
out eight through eight innings for the win. Mariano Rivera closed the door in
the ninth for his fourth save of the year.
"I thought his command was much better tonight," said New York manager Joe
Girardi about Sabathia. "I thought his slider and changeup were good. He did
great mixing up his pitches."
Derek Holland (2-1) gave up seven runs on nine hits and four walks in six
innings to suffer the loss.
"I didn't do a good job of attacking the zone right away," said Holland. A
couple of pitches here and there weren't where they needed to be and they came
back and got me."
Craig Gentry had two RBI as Texas lost for the second time in three games.
The Yankees won seven of their nine meetings with the Rangers last season. In
fact, since 2002, the Yankees are the only American League team with a winning
record against Texas in Arlington, going 26-14 in that building during that
04/24 10:38:28 ET