Hiroki Kuroda Stats To Watch
Kuroda had his worst start in nearly a month in his most recent outing last week, allowing four runs in seven innings against the Braves. He had given up a total of two runs in his previous four starts combined over 28 innings.
He allowed only six hits but really struggled to get outs in key scoring situations. The Braves walked three times and got three hits in nine at-bats with runners in scoring position against Kuroda; in his previous five starts combined, Kuroda had allowed only three hits in 27 at-bats with RISP.
On a positive note, Kuroda's slider was sharp against the Braves, netting a season-high eight swings-and-misses on the pitch while allowing just one hit in 10 at-bats ending in a slider.
Kuroda hit a rough patch last month when he allowed five homers over a two-start span from May 11-16. Since then, Kuroda has given up just three home runs in his last six starts combined.
In those two starts against Seattle and Toronto, Kuroda allowed 12 flyballs and four became home runs (one homer every three flyballs). Since then, he has allowed a total of 39 flyballs, but just three left the park (one homer every 13 flyballs).
The average major-league pitcher allows one home run every 10 flyballs. Is Kuroda due for another correction as he returns to the Bronx?
Josh Tomlin Stats To Watch
Tomlin has made one career start at Yankee Stadium and it was a disaster. Last year on June 12 he gave up six runs on 12 hits in five innings as the Yankees beat the Indians 9-1.
The Yankees' lefty batters crushed him with nine hits in 14 at-bats in that game. However, he has had success getting lefties out recently, holding them a .217 average over his last three starts, which came against the Cardinals and Reds.
The Yankees also tagged his slider in that start last June, getting six hits in 10 at-bats ending in the pitch. However, in Tomlin's most recent start on June 19, the Reds were just 1-for-11 against his slider, the third time this season he’s gotten double-digit outs with the pitch.
Welcome to the Bronx
The Yankees are 26-9 against the Indians at home since 2002, their third-best regular-season home record against any team during that span behind the Twins (30-7) and Royals (31-10). They only series they lost was in May 2008 when they dropped two of three games.
A trio of Yankees -- Alex Rodriguez, Curtis Granderson and Robinson Cano -- have really enjoyed facing the Indians at the new Yankee Stadium.
Each is hitting better than .400, with Cano leading the way at .489 (23-for-47). Granderson has 12 hits, including five doubles, in 29 at-bats (.414). A-Rod is slugging a ridiculous .923 in 26 at-bats, with seven of his 11 hits going for extra bases.