Mariners Insider

Young adds to Safeco legend in pitching Mariners to 5-1 victory over Angels

Post by Bob Dutton / The News Tribune on May 26, 2014 at 3:52 pm with 7 Comments »
May 26, 2014 5:41 pm

Put Mariners right-hander Chris Young on the mound at Safeco Field, and he’s in a class by himself. For proof, to steal a line from manager Lloyd McClendon, just check the book.

Young worked into the seventh inning Monday on a glorious Memorial Day afternoon at Safeco Field, and yielded just two hits in a 5-1 victory over the Los Angeles Angels.

“What a godsend for this rotation,” McClendon said. “He’s just been tremendous. In and out. Up and down. He never wavers. He knows what he wants to do. He executes it pretty well.”

Now, about the book: This makes eight career starts for Young at Safeco, and he’s 5-0. No other pitcher has made as many as seven starts at the corner at Edgar and Dave without suffering a loss.

That tidbit comes courtesy of the Elias Sports Bureau. That’s the book.

   “It’s a great fit (for Young at Safeco),” catcher Mike Zunino said. “He’s not afraid to throw to contact. He knows exactly what he wants to do. That’s what helps him. He’s so well prepared for his outings.”

Young, 4-2, carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning and didn’t lose his shutout  until the seventh. Charlie Furbush, Danny Farquhar and Fernando Rodney closed out the victory.

“I had a nice rhythm,” Young said. “I made some adjustments in-between this start and my last one. I just tried to be aggressive in the strike zone early.”


“It’s just minor stuff,” he explained, “like putting the slider a little bit deeper in my hand, creating a little more depth on it. Working with my glove side to stay closed a little bit longer and staying through the target.”

It worked.

“I don’t think he was doing anything we didn’t expect,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “He was really efficient pitching above the zone at times…He put the ball into some gray areas, and we didn’t square it up very well.”

The Mariners, in contrast, roughed up Angels starter Tyler Skaggs, 4-2, for two runs in the first inning and three more in the second before he settled into a groove and pitched through the seventh with no further damage.

Skaggs contributed to his own problems in the first by throwing to the wrong fielder on a play at first. A two-out error by shortstop Erick Aybar opened the door to three unearned runs in the second.

Robinson Cano had RBI singles in both innings, while Michael Saunders had a gift single in the first, on Skaggs’ blunder, and an RBI triple in the second. Cano finished 3-for-4 and raised his average to .332.

The Angels didn’t get their first hit until Kole Calhoun lined a one-out single back through the box in the sixth inning. Calhoun was hitless in his previous 14 at-bats since returning from the disabled list.

Young retired the next two batters and took a five-run lead to the bottom of the inning. He lost the shutout when Albert Pujols opened the seventh by driving an 87-mph fastball over the left-field wall.

After a one-out walk later in the inning, Young exited to loud cheers from the crowd of 22,710. He had thrown 98 pitches when replaced by Furbush, who retired the next two hitters.

Farquhar pitched a one-two-three eighth before Rodney worked the ninth in a non-save situation. The victory pulled the Mariners back to .500 at 25-25.

“(Young) has pitched incredible all year,” Saunders said. “Obviously, he went out there and did it again today…Even the games he has lost, he’s kept us right in the game.

“He doesn’t have the most overpowering stuff, but he knows how to pitch. He’s an All-Star. He’s a veteran. You not only know what you’re getting on the mound, but he brings a great veteran presence to the clubhouse as well.”

Young professed to being aware of the no-hitter — but only marginally so.

“I try not to get caught up in results,” he said. “They hit some balls hard early, balls that easily could have been hits. I just want to go out and help the team win. Execute good pitches.

“If you do that enough, chances are you come out on top.”

It’s a winning formula, for Young anyway, at Safeco. It’s in the book.


Leave a comment Comments → 7
  1. AZBubba71 says:

    Chris Young or Randy Wolf? Randy Wolf or Chris Young?

    Which would I rather have on my team if I were the GM of the Mariners? The guy that is now 4-2 and eats up innings for the Mariners…or the guy that was signed by the team with the worst starting pitching in the majors (Diamondbacks) and couldn’t advance beyond AAA with that organization, then released by Arizona and signed by the Marlins and struggled in his first start with that team.

    Hmm….I think that I’ll take Chris Young.

    There was a great deal of hand wringing and criticism for Z on this site when Seattle attempted to force Wolf into what would have been essentially a 45 day tryout with the Mariners and settled (so thought at the time) by signing Young to a slightly larger free agent deal once he was released by the Nationals (a team with solid starting pitching).

    Now? GM Z on line one awaiting all of your apologies.

  2. Can’t speak for anyone else, but I thought it was not an intelligent move with Wolf because of the risk that they took for a small amount of money. I think Young is a better pitcher at full strength and said so at the time. But they were fortunate that he became available. There was no guarantee. Name me another vet out there that they could’ve signed to pitch well if Young hadn’t become available? If only the majority of Cue Ball’s moves worked out like this one they might not be looking for their first winning season since 2009.

    P.S. Haven’t heard much about Romero and Miller lately? And Elias’ ERA has now gone up over 4. Still think Elias should be in the rotation though.

  3. AZBubba71 says:

    Veterans get cut from teams that have deep rosters every spring. They weren’t really risking anything with Wolf because he was largely ineffective during the spring and likely would not have stuck around for the duration of the season anyway (as the Diamondbacks confirmed and the Marlins will likely confirm in the coming weeks).

    Romero is young and will struggle, but he is the long term future. Elias is still great as a #3 LH pitcher…consistently keeps his team in games and eats up innings. He needs an offense that can score with regularity. Stunned about Miller! He looks lost and has horrible body language. Not the same player that I saw last year or in spring training this year when he nearly hit .500 and was playing above average defense. Still confident in him long term, but he needs to develop confidence in himself.

  4. AZBubba71 says:

    Chris Young
    Freddy Garcia
    Aaron Harang
    Joel Piniero
    Erik Bedard

    All available and all could give you as much or more than Wolf in 2014. I’m sure that there were others, too.

  5. AZBubba71 says:

    If anyone is leaving the rotation, it won’t be Elias. I would start with a guy that has the appropriate initials of BM.

  6. Maurer is certainly the first to go and rightfully so. I still like what I see from Elias. Didn’t expect him to keep up that pace. I’d expect him to end up with an ERA between 4 and 4.5 and give the team a chance to win generally when he pitches.

    Haven’t given up on Miller yet. Hopefully tonight will turn things around. They don’t have any other viable options at SS really right now with Taylor hurt. Franklin isn’t hitting and isn’t good over at SS.

    I’ll give you Harang, but the other 3 are almost laughable. And the M’s would’ve had to beat the money Atl gave Harang by a good margin to get him here I would bet. Pineiro hasn’t pitched in the bigs since 2011. Garcia pitched 80 innings in 2013 and was bad for most of them. Bedard is still serviceable, but you’re fortunate to get 5 innings a start out of him. We’ll never know if Wolf would’ve been decent here. Doesn’t matter now, and I’m glad they got Young.

  7. AZBubba71 says:

    All I’m claiming is that finding someone to replace Wolf and what he would have given you (ineffective starts) is not that difficult to do. All of the above are comparable to Wolf, so why commit money to Wolf for a full season when you don’t have to?

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