Everyone knows how CC Sabathia feels about hitting. And even a day after his first big league hit, Ivan Nova was still laughing and smiling about it yesterday. Phil Hughes plays everything pretty cool and calm, but even he has been wiggling a bat at his locker the past few days. It’s a fact – well, I guess maybe it’s not a fact, but I think it’s true — that most American League pitchers really like the idea of getting an at-bat or two. It’s a no pressure situation with zero expectations.
But do you know who has the most career at-bats of any pitcher on the Yankees roster? It’s the one guy really dreading stepping to the plate.
In his four years with the Dodgers, Hiroki Kuroda had 198 at-bats (eight more than Andy Pettitte’s had in his 17-year career). In those 198 at-bats, Kuroda has 20 singles, one double, three RBI and 68 strikeouts. He’s a career .106 hitter, and unlike Nova on Monday and Sabathia on Tuesday, Kuroda has absolutely no desire to bat tonight.
“It’s something that I’m not really good at,” he said. “If someone hit for me, I think we would have better results.”
Kuroda will be facing a pretty good pitcher in Tim Hudson. Initially, tonight’s Braves starter was listed as TBA, but they’ve since announced that Hudson will make the start with his 4-2 record and 3.83 ERA.