Russell Martin fielding a loose ball to Hiroki Kuroda as Yanks beat Orioles 2-1
NEW YORK — The Yankees knew they had a tough task when they faced Jason Hammel before today’s game, but with Kuroda’s gem the Yankees (13-9) were able to take the series opener with a 2-1 victory.
KURODA PITCHES GEM: Hiroki Kuroda (2-3) pitched an absolute gem for the Yankees today. Kuroda went 7 innings giving up 1 run on 4 hits while striking out three. Kuroda was also able to lower his ERA to .3.69. First Nova, then CC then Hiroki–is Hughes up next for a fantastic outing? I guess we’ll see. Here was what Girardi had to say on Hiroki Kuroda:
GIRARDI: “He pitched effectively inside. The putout was a great play but as a manger your scared because his knees were somewhat exposed. It’s really tough to block those splitters so you don’t know which way the ball is going to go. Hiroki is starting to be the consistent pitcher that we thought when we got him.”
CHAVEZ, OTRA VEZ: Eric Chavez hit his 3rd homer of the season which gave the Yankees the 2-1 lead. As a matter of fact–that was the only offense of the game. For a bench player, Eric Chavez seems to be doing quite well so far. I say he should be put in the lineup more often.
NUNIE MAKES LF DEBUT: In any other normal game, it would be Brett Gardner patrolling LF. But today, this wasn’t just any other game. Gardner was on the DL until Thursday, Yankees only had Andruw Jones on the bench and Raul Ibanez was playing RF for the injured Nick Swisher. That was when Girardi made the call to the bench and put Nunez in to play left. For a debut in LF, Nunez didn’t do bad at all. As a matter of fact, he was rather comical–so comical that he had Brett Gardner at ease while putting a smile on his face. Here was what Joe Girardi & Eduardo Nunez said on Nunez’s fielding:
GIRARDI(Joking): “So much for balls not being hit his way.”
NUNEZ: “I really enjoyed it. I just didn’t want to make a mistake. Once a ball was hit to me, I said to myself ‘it’s going to be a long night.'”
Before the game, Andruw Jones spoke to Nunez and said, “I want you to prove to me that you can go out there and show them what a great athlete you are.” When asked who told Jones those same words when he first came up, Jones answered that it was Marquis Grissom, a former teammate when both of them were on the Atlanta Braves. There was so much heart in the Yankees clubhouse tonight and it was very touching.
WHAT’S NEXT: Phil Hughes gets the baseball for the Yankees as he will face Brian Matusz in the second game of a 3 game set. What Yankees fans would really like–for Phil Hughes to have a good outing. First pitch will be at 7:05pm.