Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Washington: 'Tip your hat' to Hiroki Kuroda
By Mike Mazzeo / ESPNNY.com
NEW YORK -- Just how good was New York Yankees right-hander Hiroki Kuroda on Tuesday night?
“It’s obvious. He threw a shutout,” Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington said after Kuroda flirted with a no-hitter and limited his club to just two hits over nine innings in a 3-0 loss. “What, he had a no-hitter though (six)? He had a good sinker, good slider and threw them when he wanted. I think he got 16 or 17 groundballs. So it just goes to show you that his stuff was good tonight and he certainly stayed off our barrel and didn’t put much in the middle of the plate. You have to tip your hat.”
The Rangers, who were blanked for the third time this season, reached base just four times against Kuroda. Elvis Andrus, who had walked in the first inning, ended the 37-year-old veteran’s no-hit bid with an infield single up the middle leading off the seventh.
Michael Young ended an 0-for-12 drought with a single up the middle leading off the eighth, while Mitch Moreland walked in the third.
“He was throwing the ball just off enough where it looked like it was going to be a strike, and we just expanded the zone,” said Josh Hamilton, who saw his 11-game hitting streak come to an end. “And then knowing he’s got 94-95 in his back pocket makes it a little tough, but he did a good job of mixing it up, sliders to righties, split to lefties, he did a good job.”
The Rangers, who have scored more than two runs just once in their last five games, came in leading the majors in both runs scored and batting average, but Kuroda shut them down.
“I feel like this offense can get something going,” David Murphy said.
It had better if the Rangers want to earn a split in the Bronx.