“I think he’ll figure it out. I do. I think he’ll find his stuff and he’ll get sharp for us. He’s just been a little up and down this year. At times he’s thrown better. Tonight he just could never find it. And there are those nights for pitchers. You don’t know when it’s coming. You don’t want to see it. He’ll be back.
Through five starts, Kuroda is now 2-2 with a 5.28 earned run average. A season after he was the Yankees’ most consistent starting pitcher in 2013 (3.31 earned run average), he is now one of the rotation’s weak links. Michael Pineda and Masahiro Tanaka have earned run averages of 1.83 and 2.15, respectively, while C.C. Sabathia is beginning to turn his season around, having posted back-to-back starts with at least six innings pitched and two or fewer runs allowed.
“This is my first time experiencing 39-years-old. I have to make that adjustment,” Kuroda said via his translator, Jiwon Bang, according to NJ.com.
With Ivan Nova out for the rest of this season (and likely all of next season), the Yankees are in desperate need of all the starting pitching they can get and, specifically, they’re in desperate need of Kuroda — once a dependable starter — to get himself back on track.
If he continues to struggle, Kuroda could risk ending his streak of six straight seasons (he was a rookie in 2008) with an earned run average below 4.00. He is expected to get his next start against former Yankees’ second baseman Robinson Cano and the Seattle Mariners on Thursday.