First Pitch: Yankees need a Hiro

NEW YORK -- If the New York Yankees want to get in the playoffs, they'll need their ace to get back to form.

Hiroki Kuroda

Hiroki Kuroda

#18 SP
New York Yankees

2013 STATS

  • GM27
  • W11

  • L10

  • BB31

  • K123

  • ERA2.89

The ace, Hiroki Kuroda, hasn't been himself over his past three starts.

He's 0-3 with an 8.10 ERA. Opponents are batting .382 with a .400 on-base percentage over that span.

Kuroda gets another chance to turn things around tonight against the Chicago White Sox.

"These games are really important to us. And we need him to pitch well because he's been a staple to us on our rotation," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "He's struggled a little bit the last two outings. He got an extra day off so maybe that will get him going again."

Before his recent rough patch, Kiroda was the unquestioned ace of the Yankees' staff.

He was 11-7 with a 2.33 ERA. The stakes will be high for Kuroda and the Yankees.

They enter play three games behind Texas/Oakland for the second wild-card spot with 25 games to play.

If they hope to make up the remaining deficit, they'll need Kuroda to get it together.

Up now: Mike Mazzeo dissects Derek Jeter's big day at the plate and a big decision looming for Girardi. I look at the Yankees' eight-run fourth inning against the White Sox.

What's next: Wallace Matthews and Andrew Marchand have you covered from the Stadium tonight.

Question: Do you think Kuroda can turn it around in time for the Yankees?