There is a major snub on the American League All-Star Team; this player is a New York Yankee, he is from Japan, and he leads the league in ERA. I am, of course, talking about Hiroki Kuroda and yes, the above statement is correct — after his five shutout innings he pitched in a rain-shortened outing, Kuroda is now the American League leader in earned run average with a 2.65 ERA.
In my opinion, ERA is the most crucial and telling stat that can be accumulated about pitchers. Wins, which seem to be overcompensated, are much too reliant on run support; some pitchers are blessed with their teams’ bats exploding when they are on the mound, and other pitchers’ teams sticks disappear when they are on the mound. WHIP accounts for the amount of runners that pitchers let on base; this is an important stat, but it doesn’t matter if the pitcher doesn’t let those runners cross the plate, which would affect the more important stat — ERA. Strikeouts are flashy and emphatic, but they can rack up a pitch count and, after all, an out is an out.
What I’m trying to say is that ERA is the most important stat for pitchers, and the American League leader in that stat is not an all-star. Granted, every pitcher on the all-star roster is very deserving, but the most effective pitcher in not letting up runs, in the best division in baseball is not a part of that list of ball players. Basically, it is a tragedy that Kuroda is not appreciated enough, maybe it’s his quiet demeanor or that he is not even considered to be the ace of his own team (even though he’s proven otherwise), but either way, he is more than deserving to be playing in Citi Field on Tuesday.