ARLINGTON, Texas — For only the seventh time in major-league history, two Japanese-born pitchers will face one another when the Yankees’ Hiroki Kuroda and the Rangers’ Yu Darvish meet tonight. In anticipation of the event, the game will be broadcast live in Japan, where there should be plenty of eyeballs despite a first pitch projected for the morning rush hour Wednesday morning.
Yet, for all the anticipation, the 37-year-old Kuroda downplayed the meeting.
“This is not a one-on-one game,” Kuroda said. “It’s the Rangers against the Yankees. I’m going to do as much as possible so that our team is going to win.”
The Rangers emerged as the winners of a battle to sign the 25-year-old Darvish this winter. Counting the posting fee, the Rangers spent $107.7 million to land the talented Japanese star, who has improved in each of his three starts so far.
“I’m aware that our team is going to be facing one of the greatest pitchers that Japan has produced,” Kuroda said. “But my concern is to contribute as much as possible for our team to win.”