After seven brilliant innings of one-hit ball, Hiroki Kuroda departed with a 9-0 lead and a sore left foot. The Yankees lost Kuroda for the night but held the lead and beat the Mets 9-1. The wonder now is if Kuroda left because the lead was so expansive or is the injury something serious?
X-rays on Kuroda’s foot were negative, but the right-hander hobbled in pain. He wore a wrap at the base of his ankle and left the clubhouse on crutches.
Kuroda told reporters he wanted to pitch the eighth and ninth but was dissuaded by the training staff. Joe Girardi said he “absolutely” would’ve brought Kuroda out to pitch the eighth had it not been for the injury. It occurred on a line drive off the bat of Daniel Murphy that was hit so hard it sailed to Alex Rodriguez, who caught it for a bizarre 1-5 popout.
Kuroda said he would make his next start on Wednesday in Atlanta. Girardi wasn’t so sure.
“He’s pretty sore,” Girardi said. “We just have to see how he does the next couple days. I think any time you get hit in the foot like that you have to be somewhat concerned.”
He has now allowed two or fewer earned runs in eight of his 12 starts this season.
• The Yankees rocked Johan Santana for four home runs, giving the Mets ace a rude welcoming on the heels of his no-hitter last Friday. The four homers matched the most ever allowed in a game by Santana, who had never allowed back-to-back-to-back jacks until Robinson Cano, Nick Swisher and Andruw Jones peppered the outfield seats in the third.
Logic dictated that the Yankees would exercise patience against Santana after he threw a career-high 134 pitches last week. No so, said Cano, who belted two homers, including a two-run shot in the second that ended Santana’s 19-innings scoreless streak.
“The only thing I know is he’s a guy who throws a lot of strikes and that’s when you want to go and be aggressive,” said Cano, who now has 11 home runs. “You don’t want to get behind in the count because he has some great pitches.”
• The three straight homers in the third were the first back-to-back-to-back shots by the Yanks since last Aug. 28. Those were hit in Baltimore by the same three batters.
The Yankees had actually only gone back-to-back one other time this year. Derek Jeter and Curtis Granderson led off with homers against Minnesota on Apr. 16.
• Jeter is now hitless in his last 17 at-bats. It’s his longest hitless stretch since an 0-for-18 skid from 5/18-5/25/08, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Elias also said that Jeter had reached based safely in his last 34 games against the Mets.
• Granderson has been working OT. He had played all 503 innings this season in center before he was replaced in the eighth.
• Ryota Igarashi wasn’t particularly sharp in his debut. He walked two and allowed an RBI single to Lucas Duda in the ninth that ended the shutout.
Kuroda and Igarashi are the only pair of Japanese pitches to pitch in the same game for the Yankees. Igarashi joined Kuroda, Hideki Irabu (1997-99), Hideki Matsui (2003-09) and Kei Igawa (2007-08) as the only Japanese players to ever play for the Yankees.
• Brett Gardner began his rehab assignment tonight for Charleston. He went 1 for 3 with a run scored and a stolen base and played five innings in left field.
• Terry Collins was upset with himself after the game. He felt Santana was rusty pitching on six days’ rest.
“Every mistake he made, he got hammered,” Mets manager Terry Collins said. “He doesn’t make that many mistakes in any game he pitches.”
• Santana dropped to 0-3 with a 12.21 ERA in three career starts at the new Stadium. This time, Collins pointed the finger at himself.
“That’s exactly what we did. We erred on the side of caution and it cost us a game tonight,” he said.