Chris Young made 34 appearances and 18 starts for the Royals this season, over which the eleven-year veteran put up a 3.06 ERA, a 4.52 FIP, 43 walks (3.14 BB/9), 83 Ks (6.06 K/9) and a .202/.270/.360 line against in 123 ⅓ innings pitched.
Kansas City's 36-year-old starter makes his second postseason appearances of the year and his first postseason start since 2006 this afternoon in the Rogers Centre in Game 4 of the ALCS with the Toronto Blue Jays.
Young faced the AL East division winners back in July, giving up five hits, two walks and three earned runs in six innings of work, taking the loss in a 6-2 game in Kauffman Stadium.
"He's got great numbers," Royals' skipper Ned Yost told reporters when asked about making Young the Game 4 starter.
"He's always had great numbers. He's had good success against some of these hitters. His height and his deception in his delivery, his competitiveness.
"He had a great outing against Houston in Kansas City and his last two starts were really, really good. He's a good choice for us."
Yost said that he didn't have any concerns about sending Young out in the Blue Jays' home, which is known as a hitter-friendly ballpark.
"If he's got the fastball and slider going he's going to be very, very tough," Yost said.
"Again, every pitcher has to execute. If a pitcher executes he's going to be in good shape. If he doesn't, he probably won't be in good shape. But we expect Chris to execute tomorrow."
R.A. Dickey's on the mound for the Blue Jays today, as they look to tie things up with the Royals, coming off an (11-11) season in 2015 in which the knuckleballing righty put up a 3.91 ERA, a 4.48 FIP, 61 walks (2.56 BB/9), 126 Ks (5.29 K/9) and a .240/.303/.405 line against in 214 ⅓ innings pitched.
In the first postseason start of his 13-year major league career, Dickey went just 4 ⅔ innings in Game 4 of the Jays' ALDS matchup with the Texas Rangers.
He said yesterday his goal going into the start was to pound the strike zone, though he admitted that it sounded like an odd thing for a knuckleballer to say.
"I think that for me, and this is going to sound paradoxical, I think, but it's important for me to always be pitching to contact, with my knuckle ball," Dickey told reporters.
"And that means I need to be relentless throwing strikes with it. I think it's important for me to take a shot or two out of the strike zone.
"But the great thing and the beauty about a knuckle ball is that it can be in the strike zone and be just as effective as out of the strike zone, because it moves so chaotically, so late. If I'm inducing a lot of weak contact, it's great.
"And that's something that when I pitched against them last time I really tried to attack the strike zone, and I was fortunate because they're a swinging team. And they were hitting pieces of the ball because it was moving well.
"And hopefully I can repeat that."
Dickey will take the mound against the Royals at 4:00 PM in the Rogers Centre...
|KANSAS CITY ROYALS||TORONTO BLUE JAYS|
|Alcides Escobar - SS||Ben Revere - LF|
|Ben Zobrist - 2B||Josh Donaldson - 3B|
|Lorenzo Cain - CF||Jose Bautista - RF|
|Eric Hosmer - 1B||Edwin Encarnacion - DH|
|Kendrys Morales - DH||Chris Colabello - 1B|
|Mike Moustakas - 3B||Troy Tulowitzki - SS|
|Salvador Perez - C||Russell Martin - C|
|Alex Gordon - LF||Kevin Pillar - CF|
|Alex Rios - RF||Ryan Goins - 2B|
|Chris Young - RHP||R.A. Dickey - RHP|
Dickey vs the Royals:
Young vs the Blue Jays: