The Yankees need Kuroda to get back on track against the Mariners

Hiroki Kuroda pitching last season against the Orioles.

Hiroki Kuroda pitching last season against the Orioles.

The Yankees will play what will end up being the second game of their series against the Seattle Mariners tonight at 7:05 p.m. Yesterday’s scheduled game was postponed because heavy rain hit the Bronx for the duration of the day. It will be played on June 2 because both teams have an off day.

As a result of Wednesday’s game being postponed, the Yankees will not have to face the Mariners ace, Felix Hernandez, in this series. Hernandez has 47 strikeouts and a 2.40 ERA this season, and last season, he had 1.38 ERA in 13 innings pitched against the Yankees.

Robinson Cano will be playing in his second game back at Yankee Stadium after playing for the Yankees for the first 10 seasons of his career. The majority of fans booed him in the game on Tuesday, and fans accused him of “selling out” during the game. Cano is hitting .375 in the last seven days and drove in one run in the win for the Mariners on Tuesday. He is by far the most feared hitter in Seattle’s lineup.

Hiroki Kuroda, who has a 6.07 ERA since last August 17 and a 5.28 ERA this season, will pitch for the Yankees. He struggled mightily in his last start six earned runs in 4.2 innings against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. He needs to find his slider to move where he wants it to as it hasn’t worked very well in his previous starts. This is not like Kuroda since before August of the 2013 season he was the most reliable starter in the rotation. They need Kuroda to be reliable going forward because Ivan Nova will be out the rest of the season and it is not known when Michael Pineda will be back.

The Yankees are hitting .296 against lefties this season, which bodes well for tonight since a lefty, Roenis Elias, is pitching for the Mariners. Elias, who has a 3.54 ERA and 21 strikeouts, is only making his sixth start of his career.

Jacoby Ellsbury will return to the lineup after missing Tuesday’s game as a result of a sore left hand. He has lived up to expectations in the beginning of his Yankees career since he has a .312 average, 11 RBIs, 14 runs and eight steals. Mark Teixera has also found his power stroke since he has returned from his injury. In his last five games, Teixeira is 3-13, with three homers, three RBIs and six walks.

If Derek Jeter scores one run, he will be tied for 12th place on the all-time MLB runs list. He would overtake Tris Speaker, who played from 1907-1928.

It has been announced that Pineda will be out for three to four weeks after being shut down for 10 days as a result of his lat injury. Other players have had the same Grade 1 teres major muscle strain injury and been out longer than four weeks, so that timetable is not exact at the this point. David Phelps, who would have pitched yesterday’s game, will take his Pineda’s spot in the rotation.

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