When the Yankees need a win, they turn to Hiroki Kuroda. He shutdown the Rangers for his 10th win earning the Yanks a split of the four-game series in Arlington. Kuroda worked seven scoreless before turning it over to David Robertson and Mariano Rivera, who picked up his 40th career save against Texas in the Yanks’ 2-0 shutout.
”I don’t I had any particular pitch that was working well, and from the get-go I didn’t have a good outing,” Kuroda told an interpreter. ”But I think I was able to get big outs and have a decent outing.”
It’s been a tough rookie year for Austin Romine. However, the 24-year old backstop had a strong day recording his first three-hit game in the majors including a pair of doubles and a run scored. He also threw out Ian Kinsler trying to steal second. Romine has received unfair criticism in limited action due to hitting below the Mendoza line. It would be nice if fans were more patient. He’s only here due to starter Francisco Cervelli’s injury and is getting valuable experience behind the plate. He came around to score the first run in the sixth on a Brent Lillibridge RBI double.
”He’s Mo. Every time I go out there and he comes in, I’m excited more so than any point in the game,” Romine praised of the legendary closer who was presented with cowboy boots and a Texas hat before the game by 1996 closer John Wetteland and Rangers’ closer Joe Nathan, who idolizes him. ”To catch a guy that’s done it day in and day out for a long time. …. Everybody looks, everybody watches and they see how it’s done.”
”Mo looks good in a hat like that,” manager Joe Girardi said. ”It was nice who they had. … It’s a pretty special group of people that put out there with him.”
Rivera continues to amaze in his final season picking up his 33rd save in 2013 and all-time best 641st. He’s only blown two saves all year and has a 1.69 ERA. The 1-2 punch of Robertson (1-2-3 eighth) and Mo are Yankee trademarks since ’96. It once was Rivera to Wetteland before becoming Jeff Nelson and Graeme Lloyd to Mo and so on. Even amidst all the controversy surrounding Alex Rodriguez and general manager Brian Cashman off the field, every appearance Rivera makes should be cherished. He’s a throwback.
The win improved the Yanks to 54-48 pulling them within two and a half of Baltimore for the second wildcard. The Orioles lost to the Royals 7-1. The focus should be on the field. Especially with much rumored Alfonso Soriano on the verge of returning.