What's the best way for the Yankees to stop a mini-slide? Well, so far in 2013, the cure to all of the Yankees' ills is to play the Toronto Blue Jays. I jokingly titled tonight's game thread as "Do the Yankees always play the Blue Jays?" And part of me was annoyed because I'm sick of them already and it's only mid-May. Now, I realize I was being silly after the Yankees' 5-0 victory.
Earlier today, the Yankees got the news that Andy Pettitte was placed on the 15-day DL because of his trapezius strain (IT'S A TRAP!) and after dropping two of three to the Seattle Mariners, they needed Hiroki Kuroda to continue what he's been doing pretty much all season and that is to come out and shut down the Blue Jays lineup.
And that's just what he did.
He lasted eight innings and only allowed two hits. This is the fourth straight start that Kuroda's gone at least seven innings and allowed two earned runs or less. What he has done for this ball club during his tenure he has been remarkable. He was the team's ace last year when CC Sabathia and Pettitte were lost to injuries.
Once again, Kuroda is picking up the slack and is emerging as the ace.
For the Blue Jays, starter Mark Buehrle, who usually has trouble with the Yankees, actually started off pretty strong, he scattered two runs in the first six innings on three hits. The Yankees finally broke through against him in the seventh when Austin Romine hit an RBI double that scored David Adams. Buehrle was taken out and replaced by Aaron Loup. Brett Gardner hit an RBI single that scored Ichiro Suzuki and allowed Romine to advance to third. Jayson Nix came up and hit a sacrifice fly to score Romine.
All of those runs were Buehrle's. He finished his day having given up five runs on six hits, with three walks and four strikeouts.
Preston Claiborne came in to pitch the ninth and made things exciting by giving up two hits but he also struck out one and didn't allow the Jays to score.
Some notes from Katie Sharp on Twitter (if you are not following her, you really should be):
- Buehrle has now lost 8 straight decisions vs Yankees, the longest active losing streak by a pitcher vs Yankees
- Since start of 2012, Kuroda has 5 starts with 8+ scoreless IP. Only other AL pitcher with more is King Felix (8). That's good company.
- David Adams is the 1st Yankee with an XBH in 2 of his first 3 career games since Steve Balboni in 1981!
Seriously, follow her if you are on Twitter.