Tuesday, April 30, 2013

G27 Game Notes: @ New York Yankees

The Astros come off their 1-game winning streak to take on the Yankees in the 2nd game of a three-game series. Winning one of the next two games would make it onto a 2013 Year-In-Review, so the Astros send out amazingly-still-starting pitcher Phil Humber against Hiroki Kuroda.

*Kuroda, 38, pitched for the Hiroshima Toyo Carp from 1997 to 2007 and won a bronze medal with Japan in the 2004 Olympics.
*Following the 2007 season, he did not use the posting system (which would have allowed his team, the Hiroshima Toyo Carp, to earn some fat bank), but declared free agency - meaning all 30 teams could negotiate freely with Kuroda. The Rangers, Mariners, Royals, Diamondbacks, and Dodgers all showed interest, and he ended up signing with the Dodgers for 3yrs/$35.3m on December 12, 2007.
*He re-signed a 1yr/$12m deal with LA for 2011 and was the first Dodger starting pitcher to lose at least 13 games in consecutive seasons since Orel Hershiser (1992-1993). The Dodgers were looking to trade him by the 2011 deadline, but Kuroda refused to waive his no-trade clause, and he finished the season 13-16 with a 3.07 ERA.

*Currently Kuroda is 3-1 with a 2.79 ERA/1.03 WHIP, having allowed 23H/9ER, 22K:7BB in 29IP.
*He'll be making his 6th start of the season. Aside from his Opening Day 1.1IP 4H/2ER outing, in his last four starts Kuroda has thrown 27.2IP, 19H/7ER, 21K:6BB, 2HR and 63% of his pitches for strikes.
*In 2013, opponents are hitting .215/.271/.299 against Kuroda. RHBs have a .478 OPS while LHBs have a .644 OPS.
*At Yankee Stadium, where he is 2-1, opponents are hitting .234/.279/.344 for a .623 OPS (much better for hitters than Kuroda's road OPS of .493).
*With runners in scoring position (21PAs), opponents are hitting .133/.286/.133. That's two hits, both singles, and three walks.
*Opponent OPS, by inning:
1st: 1.184
2nd: .821
3rd: .445
4th: .133
5th: .154
6th: .364

*Kuroda has faced the Astros a few times. In his last five starts against the Astros, Kuroda is 2-0 in 31IP with 26H/7ER, 18K:8BB.
*Of course, with his last start in 2011, this team looks a little different. Ronny Cedeno has the most career PAs against Kuroda and is 3x15 with a walk. Carlos Pena has the highest OPS, going 2x5 with a walk.

*The Astros send out Phil Humber, who with five losses has already matched his loss total for 2012 (26 games, 16 starts). Humber is sporting a 7.99 ERA/1.82 WHIP.
*In his last 5IP (two starts), Humber's ERA has gone from 2.89 to 7.99. He has retired 15 of the last 36 batters he has faced, and those 21 batters who have reached have a 1.580 OPS against him - .563/.611/.969.
*In three road starts, Humber has a less-ugly 6.11 ERA/1.53 WHIP (13.50 ERA/2.67 WHIP at Minute Maid).
*Humber, with 0 outs: .460 OPS-against. With 1 out: 1.302 OPS. With 2 outs: .960 OPS.
*With Castro behind the plate: .779 OPS-against. With Corporan: 1.281 OPS-against.