New York Yankees’ Hiroki Kuroda Faces Texas Rangers’ Yu Darvish in Great Japanese Pitching Matchup

Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees are back in action tonight after a day off to face the Texas Rangers in a marquee pitching matchup that should be a great start to an intriguing series. The Yankees’ Hiroki Kuroda will pitch against fellow Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish.

The two pitchers’ stats are surprisingly similar, with Darvish getting more of the publicity than Kuroda. Darvish is 7-3 with a 2.84 ERA and 137 strikeouts in 15 games pitched this year. Kuroda is 7-5 with a 2.78 ERA but only 62 strikeouts in 15 games pitched.

This will be the first time that Darvish pitches in the Bronx at Yankee Stadium, but the bright lights of the city will not deter him from pitching a great game. The only time that Darvish pitched against the Yanks was on April 24 of last year and he pitched a gem: throwing eight-plus shutout innings, while striking out 10 in the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Darvish will not see the same lineup as last year either, with an obviously depleted Yankees team due to all the injuries.

Kuroda is 1-2 with a 2.57 ERA in three career starts against the Rangers. The last time that Kuroda pitched against the Rangers was in August of last year in which he pitched a complete game shutout only letting up two hits.

If the last time that these two pitchers threw against their opponents is a foreshadowing of what is to come tonight, it should be a pitcher’s duel and could be decided by which team’s bullpen is better. Both teams have impeccable closers and setup men. So in the end, the outcome really could depend on just one mistake from any pitcher, starter or reliever, that happens to be on the mound at the time.

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