If the New York Yankees are going to have any chance of making the playoffs, they are going to realistically have to win a minimum of 31 out of their remaining 56 games.
They got off to a good start with accomplishing that feat tonight because they had their best pitcher on the mound and he performed like the ace he has been the entire year; and it is not CC Sabathia.
In a year that has been filled with injury, disappointment and controversy, one player that has stood out amongst the rest is pitcher Hiroki Kuroda. Sabathia and Andy Pettitte were supposed to anchor the rotation for another postseason run but both have an ERA over 4.50 and it has been Kuroda who has quietly gone 11-7 with a 2.33 ERA this year.
In fact, in the years that Kuroda has been in pinstripes he has more wins (26) and a better ERA and WHIP than the big money Sabathia.
Kuroda turned in one of his best performances of the year tonight against the Los Angeles Angels when his team needed it most: eight innings, three hits, no runs, one walk and seven strikeouts.
The Yankees have a ton of winning left to do to try and make a postseason push, but Kuroda is proving that he can be counted on as the guy to give the ball to in a big game and has become the unquestioned ace of the staff for 2013.