After his much-publicized transfer last season from Japan to the Texas Rangers, Yu Darvish has been one of the premier pitchers in baseball, developing into a bona fide ace this season with a 7-3 record and a 2.84 earned-run average. Darvish’s fellow countryman, the Yankees’ 38-year-old Hiroki Kuroda has been one of the surprises of Major League Baseball this season, with an astonishing 2.48 ERA to go along with his 7-5 record.
Don’t think for a second, however, that this pitching matchup between stars from the Land of the Rising Sun is the only reason to tune in to Tuesday night's matchup (which can be seen nationally on the MLB Network).
Though neither the Rangers nor the Yankees have an everyday player batting .300 or above (Texas’ Adrian Beltre has a team-high .298 average, while the Yankees’s Brett Gardner leads his club with a .287 average), both have All-Stars playing the field and succeeding at the plate in 2013.
The Rangers have outfielder Nelson Cruz, who has 19 home runs and 55 RBI this season, both team highs. Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano, meanwhile (16 homers, .354 on-bae percentage in 2013), has firmly established himself as the best player in the game at his position.
Throw in the game’s best closer in history (New York’s ageless wonder Mariano Rivera has 26 saves so far this season at age 43) and a Ranger team that’s coming off of a series sweep of the league-leading St. Louis Cardinals, and this contest becomes a can’t-miss affair. Sounds like a live-blogging opportunity in the making…