The Seattle Mariners have been one of the more exciting teams in the MLB this season, based on their league-best pitching (2.97 team ERA) led by all-world and likely American League Cy Young favorite, Felix Hernandez.
However, one pitcher does not a whole staff make and the resurgence of hurler Chris Young has played a major role so far this season and could be a big reason why the Mariners earn an A.L. Wild Card spot.
Young went up against the Toronto Blue Jays Tuesday and did not disappoint. He allowed a run in the first inning but did not surrender any more in the last six innings, and he improved his E.R.A to 3.20. Young gave up just two hits, walked two batters and punched out three in the Mariners 6-3 victory at Safeco Field. Kendrys Morales homered and drove in a pair of runs.
Young already has more starts this season than he had in his past five seasons. Durability has always been Young’s bug-a-boo and now that he is healthy, he is displaying exactly what he can do to help an already superior staff.
Young is slated as the pitcher behind Hernandez in the current rotation and while he is not the team’s actual no. 2, he plays the important role of keeping the momentum rolling after the team’s ace dominates opponents.
Young, according to Baseball Reference, came into Tuesday night’s game with a 2.4 WAR and a 1.2 Win Above Average mark. He is basically pitching like an upper-level no. 3 starter and his numbers make him the likely no. 3 guy if the Mariners get by their Wild Card opponent and into the Division Series. The Mariners definitely would scare any current division leader in a series when knowing Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma would likely be obstacles to get around.
If Young can continue along his terrific season, the Mariners could go from a sneaky Wild Card team to a legit threat to reach the American League Championship Series.