It was about as unfair a final pitching line as one can have. And in the quiet of the Yankees' clubhouse, everyone knew it.
"Really can't ask for anything more than he did," Russell Martin said of Hiroki Kuroda, who took the loss after allowing three runs and five hits in 72/3 innings. He did not walk a batter and struck out 11, matching his career high.
But that told only a small part of the story regarding Kuroda, 37, who made his first start on short rest in his major-league career.
He was perfect through the first five innings, recording eight strikeouts.
Trailing 1-0, he struck out the first two batters he faced in the eighth before he was removed after consecutive singles by Omar Infante and Austin Jackson. Had second-base umpire Jeff Nelson correctly called out Infante, who over-ran second base after Jackson's hit and clearly was tagged out by Robinson Cano after Nick Swisher threw behind the runner, Kuroda's line would have been more representative. But Boone Logan and Joba Chamberlain allowed two inherited runners to score, putting the Yankees in a 3-0 hole. "Hiro pitched great today," Mark Teixeira said. "We couldn't have asked for much more from him.''
Day of rest
Joe Girardi won't be spending the off day with his team in Detroit. He'll be in East Peoria, Ill., for the funeral of his father, Jerry, who passed away Oct. 6. Several players expressed an interest in going with him, but he asked them not to. "No, I want our players to rest," he said. "And I want them to enjoy their off day and come ready to play Tuesday."
Girardi didn't want to use David Robertson and Rafael Soriano. "I can't blow them out," he said. Robertson, who pitched in four of the previous five games, was ready, though. "I get a little sore, I think everybody does," he said. "I'm sure if you ask everyone in this locker room, they're going to tell you they're a little sore. But it doesn't matter. When it comes down to the postseason, you go out there and you pitch and you give it everything you got."