Kuroda: “I hope people will be rooting for the Yankees”

Suffice it to say that tonight’s game between the Yankees and Rangers will play on a big stage in Japan.

Hiroki Kuroda and Yu Darvish are going head-to-head, and even though they technically don’t have to face each other, try telling that to the large crowds that will be tuning in on what will be a morning dose of baseball overseas.

“I try not to think about it,” Kuroda said yesterday. “I don’t want to make it any bigger than it is.”

Darvish is something of a curiosity at this point, even as his adjustment to the big leagues is continuing, and Joe Girardi wondered aloud if his fastball would get on hitters more quickly than expected or if it’d be about what the Yankees anticipate.

Darvish has an immense following — Kuroda called him one of the greatest pitchers Japan has ever produced. Kuroda chuckled when I asked him whom he thinks more people in Japan will be rooting for tonight.

“I really don’t know,” he said. “I hope people will be rooting for the Yankees.”

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