Baseball

Fun with WAR

By WAR standards, Hiroki Kuroda is having a Cy Young type season. (Getty Images)




















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*Brilliant reader Jackson wonders if Kuroda’s season has a chance to be the best of any Japanese pitcher in Major League history. It’s a great question.



Kuroda in 2012: 12-8, 2.96 ERA, 167 IP, 125 Ks, 38 walks, 17 homers, 141 ERA+.



He would basically be going against:



• Dice-K in 2008: 18-3, 2.90 ERA, 167 2/3 IP, 154 Ks, 94 walks, 12 HRs, 160 ERA+.



• Hideo Nomo in 1996: 16-11, 3.19 ERA, 228 1/3 IP, 234 Ks, 85 walks, 23 HRs, 122 ERA+.



• Hideo Nomo in 1995: 13-6, 2.54 ERA, 191 1/3 IP, 236 Ks (led league), 78 walks, 149 ERA+.



Obviously, it depends how he finishes out the year. But by WAR, he only trails Dice-K in 2008 … and not by much. One interesting thing to note is how different he is from Nomo and Matsuzaka. They were power pitchers, strikeout pitchers, and they walked quite a few people (Dice-K led the league in walks in 2008, even in only 167 innings), while Kuroda is much more of a control pitcher. He gives up a few more hits but has really held the Yankees staff together.




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