Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Know Your Enemy: Hiroki Kuroda

New York Yankees (0-1) @ Houston Astros (1-0)

The Astros won their second consecutive season opener last night in a 6-2 win over New York. The Astros were 1-5 against New York last season, winning the first game of the season series and dropping the next five including three losses to end the season.

Opposing pitcher: Hiroki Kuroda
*6'1" 205lb RHP, 39 years old.
*His father, Kazuhiro Kuroda, was a professional player for the Nankai Hawks, while his mother was an Olympian at the 1964 Olympics in shot put. . 
*Kuroda finished 2013 with a 3.31 ERA/1.16 WHIP, allowing just 191 hits in 201.1IP with 150K:43BB. His 1.92 BB/9 rate was 8th-best among pitchers who threw 200+ IP in 2013. 3.8 WAR last season.
*Kuroda is basically the picture of consistency in terms of IPs, H/9, BB/9, K/9 and ERA+.
*In 2013, he threw his 91.5mph sinker 41.1% of the time, with an 84mph slider 29% of the time, and an 86.4mph four-seam 17.7%.

*Kuroda pitched against the Astros once last season - on April 30 - and threw 7IP, 4H/0ER, 8K:4BB, tying a season-high for strikeouts and walks.
*Dexter Fowler has faced Kuroda 22 times, going 4x21 with a triple, two strikeouts and a walk. Jose Altuve and Jason Castro are a career 2x6 against Kuroda. 

*Jarred Cosart gets the nod for the Astros.
*His middle name is Lynn.
*Cosart has never faced the Yankees before, but Jacoby Ellsbury (three PAs) and Kelly Johnson (one PA) are hitless against him in their careers.