Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Number 18, Hiroki Kuroda
Fast forward five months later to last night. Kuroda took a no-hitter into the 7th inning. He gave up only 2 hits en route to a 3-0 shutout victory over the Texas Rangers, a team with what might be the most potent lineup in all of baseball.
Kuroda has come such a long way from his dreadful start to the season, one that I, for one, never thought he would fully overcome. I thought he would pitch better but, not this much better. In his last 10 starts he is 5-1 with a 2.42 ERA. Couple this with Sabathia's injuries and the inconsistency of guys like Hughes and Nova, and Kuroda emerges as a constant. A go-to guy. The ace.
So this Japanese custom of the ace wearing number 18 is perfectly suitable right now. Hiroki Kuroda has earned the privilege and he should wear it with pride.