4. Chris Young Dominating In Long-Relief
Chris Young opened the season as the Kansas City Royals no. 5 starter. In a word, he was awful. Young gave up 26 home runs in 56.0 innings pitched until his ERA bottomed out at 6.90.
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Ned Yost finally pulled the plug on July 5 and moved Young to the pen. He hasn’t given up a home run in 16.1 innings since.
Oh, and after giving up four earned runs in a 13-0 blowout against the Angels on July 26, Young hasn’t allowed an earned run in his last 11.0 innings.
What seemed to be happening was that teams looked for the high fastball when he was a starter. Given a chance to prepare, and the mindset to look for his deceptive, but slow, 88 mph “fastball”, hitters were crushing it. But, when following an inevitably harder-throwing pitcher with a more typical delivery, the 6’10” Young regained his mojo.
Suddenly, the worst starting pitcher in baseball became an effective reliever.
Next: Reason No. 3