The M’s remain undead thanks to Chris Young.
And Monday he actually looked like more than a placeholder.
We have a whole series coming on “outliers” — of which Young certainly is — but Monday Young was actually less of an outlier and a bit more of a “normal” pitcher.
First let’s look at what he did:
- Five strikeouts in 6.1 IP, after coming off outings with 1 and 0 K. His season high is 6 K in 7.0 IP on April 23.
- 12 swing-and-miss pitches, after 3 and 0 the prior two outings. Again, the high was on April 23, and it was 9.
- Yet he kept up his “special skill” of keeping everything in the air — allowing only four ground-balls-in-play.
Did he have a bit more oomph? Maybe a bit, and maybe that’s all he needs, given his height, mechanics and deception.
Brooks had him averaging just over 87 on the fastball, which was the first time he’s been over 87 since his first outing of the year, which was in relief. I’m not certain that the difference is that meaningful. but it can’t hurt.
Perhaps more importantly, Young was also mixing in his changeup, which he threw 10 times, and got two swings-and-misses. Based on BrooksBaseball.net, that appears to be the most he’s used the change this year, and most effective he’s been with it.
So an ounce more zip and more confidence in the change might lead to a step up for Young.
I know he’s been having success, but Monday’s game was one of the rare times when it didn’t seem like a deep mystery.
- Hyper-detailed baseball-reference.com boxscore here.
Robinson Cano in May: .367/.407/480.
His BABIP is .389, but his K-rate is only 8.3%.
Which makes me wonder: is Cano heating up because he’s trying to hit like Ichiro? We’ll have to follow that one up with a full article.
The First 50 games ended up, as indicated by the headline, at an even 25-25.
Of course, you can look at that two ways. Maybe they’re about to bust out (exciting new pitchers on the way!), or maybe they’ve just shown their mediocrity (new pitchers won’t help that much).
They are still right in the thick of the Wild Card race, but so is everyone else.
The biggest problem is still finding a second legitimate bat, and Corey Hart‘s injury doesn’t help in that department. And as much as we love Jabari Blash, I think he’ll have growing pains if he’s rushed.
- Tacoma was held to two hits and lost the final game of its series with the Chihuahuas of El Paso despite a solid start from Andrew Carraway (7.0 IP, 2 ER).
- Jackson got an even better start from Tyler Olson — 6.2 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 8 K — only to see the lead evaporate once the bullpen came in.
- High Desert also lost late, though Jordy Lara got his 9th home run, and Tim Lopes contributed three hits including a double.
- Clinton lost as well, and — shockingly! — it was a 10th-inning collapse against usually-bulletproof Emilio Pagan. I guess he seems a little more real if he screws up occasionally. Amazingly, the 4 ER he gave up doubled his total for the year, and were the 8th, 9th, 10th and 11th earned runs given up in his entire pro career. Yeah, we’re fans. Even though he just coughed up a game.
Oh yeah, here’s the song, from the year 1969: