May 25, 2016

Former Mets Pitcher Who Came Back To Haunt Them In the World Series: Chris Young (2011-2012)

Christopher Ryan Young was Born on May 25, 1979 in Dallas, Texas. The tall six foot ten inch right hander was a star pitcher & basketball player in high school. He tossed two no hitters in baseball & led his team to a Texas State Championship in basketball. 

Young attended Princeton University & became the first Ivy Leagues two sport Rookie of the Year. He was selected in the third round of the 2000 draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Young went to the Montreal Expos & Texas Rangers organizations as he was rushed through the minor leagues. He debuted with the Rangers at the Ballpark in Arlington on August 24th earning no decision against the Minnesota Twins. He earned a loss next time out then went 3-1 in the month of September.

The next season he was 12-7, tying a Rangers record for most wins by a Rookie. He also posted a 4.26 ERA which were both second to Kenny Rodgers on the Ranger staff. Young led the team with 137 strike outs in 164 innings pitched.

That winter he was involved in a big trade with Adrian Gonzalez and Terrmel Sledge going to the San Diego Padres for, Adam Eaton, Akinori Otsuka & minor leaguer Billy Killian.

In 2006 he developed into a top pitcher, after a 3-3 start in San Diego he went on to win four straight. He allowed just four earned runs in 38 innings winning the Pitcher of the Month Award that June.

On the road he had the league’s best ERA (2.41) & held opponents to the lowest batting average (.206). In September he almost threw the first Padres no hitter, taking it into the 9th inning when Joe Randa spoiled it with a two run HR. Young took three different no hit bids into the sixth inning on the season. He finished up at 11-5 with a 3.46 ERA (6th in the league) making 31 starts while striking out 164 batters in 179 innings.

In 2007 he returned, and continued a streak of 25 straight road games without a losing decisions. He was leading the league in ERA & was 7-8 by the All Star break earning a spot on the NL All Star team. He took the loss when he allowed the first ever All Star Game inside the park HR to Ichiro Suzuki.

Prior to the All Star game he was involved in a bench clearing brawl at Wrigley Field when he hit the Cubs’ Derek Lee on the wrist with a pitch. The incident came a day after Alfonso Soriano had homered & took his time running the bases.

Young & two others were ejected & he had to serve a five game suspension. He bested his record to 9-3 but lost his last five decisions on the season finishing up at 9-8 with a 3.12 ERA.

In 2008 he was hit in the face with a line drive off the bat of Albert Pujols. Young fell to the ground & lay there for several minted getting assistance from the teams trainer as well as team mate Tony Clark. The play was disturbing & shook up Pujols as well. Young suffered a broken nose went on the DL but returned.

That season he went 7-6 then fell to a 4-6 record in 2009 with a 5.21 ERA. That year his season was over in June when he needed arthroscopic surgery to repair partial tears in his labrum. In 2010 he strained his shoulder & missed most of the year going 2-0 in just four starts. In January of 2011 he signed a contract with the New York Mets.

Young is the second tallest player in MLB history (the same height tied with three others) & is more of a control pitcher rather than a power pitcher for his size. His delivery is slow so base runners have a field day running on him, as he led the league in most stolen bases allowed in 2006.

On April 5th he made his first Mets start beating the Phillies on the road of course, allowing just one run in five innings of work. In his second start he pitched seven innings allowing just one run to the Nationals but earned no decision. On May 1st he pitched seven innings of shut out ball in a much needed win at Philadelphia, avoiding a sweep on the historic night the United States killed  Osama bin laden.

Young had been one of the Mets most consistent starters early on, but then the worst happened. He suffered a torn anterior capsule in his right shoulder, the same injury that sidelined him in the past. He opted to get the surgery to repair the injury missing the rest of the season. 

He returned to the Mets in June of 2012 earning a win in his second start of the year, an 11-2 Mets win at Tampa over the Rays. After a win to close out June, he lost four straight games thru July.

His best outing of the year was on August 2nd, when he pitched seven innings allowing one run with four strike outs in a win over the Giants in San Francisco. His next start was his worst allowing seven runs to the Marlins in a 13-0 loss. In the only outing of the year where he gave up no runs, he got no decision as the Mets dropped a 3-0 loss to the Reds in Cincinnati.

On the year he went 4-9 with a 4.15 ERA, striking out 80 batters walking 36 in 115 innings of work in 20 starts. He was granted free agency & signed with the Washington Nationals but was released.

He then signed with the Seattle Mariners and won the Comeback Player of the Year Award winning 12 games (12-9) with a 3.65 ERA & 108 strikeouts in 165 innings pitched.

He was granted free agency & signed on with the Kansas City Royals. Young won 11 games with the World Champion Royals going 11-6 second most wins on the staff. He posted the best ERA of all the starters (3.06) as he got 18 starts pitching in 34 games.

Post Season: In the ALDS he pitched three innings of relief in Game #1of a 5-2 loss to the Houston Astros. He got a start in Game #4 of the ALCS in Toronto, he allowed two runs earning no decision in the 14-2 Royals win over the Blue Jays.

World Series: Young came out of the bullpen to pitch in Game #1 of the World Series against his old Mets team. He would come into the game in the 12th inning & pitch three scoreless hitless innings shutting down the Mets while earning the win.

He got the start in Game #4 at Citi Field, giving up a solo HR to Michael Conforto & a sac fly RBI to Curtis Granderson. He left the game down 2-0.

A rough start in 2016 saw him fall to 1-3 with an ERA over six toward the end of April.

Trivia: His wife Elizabeth Patrick is granddaughter to Lester Patrick, namesake of the former NHL’s Patrick Division & the Lester Patrick Award.

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