Hiroki Kuroda first started to notice the Yankee Stadium crowd reacting to his no-hit bid in the fifth inning, and after he finished his 3-0 complete-game, two-hit masterpiece against the Rangers, he delivered a message to the faithful:

"I feel bad I let down all the fans that expected a no-hitter," Kuroda said through a translator.

Chances are, he will be forgiven.

Kuroda wasn't exactly an afterthought when the Yankees signed him in the offseason, but they didn't expect him to be their top starter heading into September, either.

With CC Sabathia battling a sore elbow, Andy Pettitte unsure of when he will return from a fractured ankle and various other bumps, bruises and unsteady pitching, Kuroda (11-8, 3.06 ERA) is pitching like the Yankees ace.