Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
Game 4: Chris Young
Perhaps the biggest and best surprise for the KC Royals this postseason has been the 6′ 10″ 88 MPH fastballer Chris Young. His first postseason appearance of the season came during game one of the ALDS, when he relieved starter Yordano Ventura and pithed innings 3-6. During that stint he allowed one run on just three hits while striking out seven (seven batters in 3 innings!!!!). Keep in mind, Young’s fastball rarely reaches the 90 MPH mark and for some reason, hitters cannot pick up on his timing.
With his ALDS game one relief performance, Young earned himself a start in game four of the ALCS in Toronto; he tossed 4.2 innings while allowing two earned runs on three hits. The Royals won game four, 14-2 and secured a 3-1 lead in the ALCS.
The Royals came into game four up 2-1 in the series, with the threat of another Toronto victory quickly disappearing their 2-0 series lead after two games in KC. The Royals desperately needed a win to keep their series lead, and Chris Young delivered. Young showed manager Ned Yost that he can come up big in clutch situations and thus, earned himself a World Series start. Young will take on lefty Steven Matz in game four at Citi Field In New York.
“CY” Young has started 9 career games at Citi Field; opponents hit .210 off of him in 235 total plate appearances. Although he has given up 44 hits at Citi Field, he has allowed 8 long balls in a ballpark that sports a 370 foot right field porch.
The key for CY will be his fastball command; if he can keep his fastball away from the middle of the plate and command it the way he wants to, he will wreak havoc on the Mets hitters and pull out a victory on the road.
All In All:
Overall, the Royals mediocre pitching rotation has stepped up during the postseason and has been able to pull out big innings and victories. Coupled with the outstanding bullpen, the Royals pitching is going to be just fine during the World Series. The Royals only concern should be Johnny Cueto, who needs to be sharp to help not only his team, but his stock once free agency comes.