The Yankees edged the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 2-1 on Monday night at Yankee Stadium for their third win in four games. Hiroki “Hiro” Kuroda threw eight shutout innings for his 11th win of the season. Kuroda recorded seven strikeouts to improve his season total to 110.
Kuroda has been the best starter on the Yankees this season and should get consideration for the CY Young award at the end of the season. He is currently second in the American League with a 2.33 ERA and is fourth in the AL with a 1.02 WHIP. Kuroda has also only allowed 12 homers in his 24 starts, has allowed zero runs in a start nine times and has limited the opposition to a .226 batting average (eighth in the league).
Kuroda is also deserving of the CY Young because the Yankees would not have anything close to the 60-57 record that they have now without him. He has only allowed five runs in his last 48 innings pitched is a stat that stands out. Put another way, in those 48 innings or seven starts, Kuroda has an out of this world 0.94 ERA. One more stat about Kuroda’s season is that at Yankee Stadium Kuroda has a 1.54 ERA.
A highlight on the offensive side was the Curtis Granderson, who led the majors 84 homers combined in 2011 and 2012, hit his third homer of the season in the seventh inning, which turned out to be the game winner. Granderson now has three homers in six career at-bats against Garrett Richards, who was the starter for the Angels.
In the third inning, Brett Gardner’s single to center drove in Eduardo Nunez. He now has a seven-game hitting streak and his driven in five runs in those seven games. He is not generally thought of as a run producer, but Gardner had two Gatorade showers after his two game winning hits in the series against the Tigers. Gardy is actually fourth on the team with his 39 RBIs.
The Yankees went into the ninth inning leading 2-0, but Boone Logan and David Robertson actually pitched instead of Mariano Rivera because he had pitched in three of the past four games. Rivera had blown saves in three of those games, even though the Yankees ended up winning two of those games. Logan, who had not allowed a run in his last six appearances, allowed a run to score, which caused Joe Girardi to bring in the closer of the future, David Robertson.
David Robertson came in and struck out the final two batters including former Yankee Chris Nelson, after smartly walking Erik Aybar and allowing a cheap double to Josh Hamilton. D-Rob gave the fans at Yankee Stadium some nerves, but it certainly made sense to walk Mike Trout, who is on his way to another possibly MVP season.
There was drama, but all that matters is that the Yankees got the win and they have now won three out of four games for the first time since July 10-13. CC Sabathia, who pitches Tuesday night, will need to continue his solid pitching from his last start to continue the team’s momentum. Before his last start, he had allowed 19 runs in three starts.
The Yankees are now 6.5 games behind the Tampa Bay Rays for the second Wild Card spot.