Chris Young's career-long success at Safeco Field was highlighted in our story in Tuesday's edition on the Mariners' 5-1 victory over the Angels. (He's 5-0 in eight career starts, which makes him the only pitcher ever to make at least seven starts at Safeco without loss.)
As is typical, Young deflected any attempt to tie the effectiveness of his performance to his individual won-lost record.
"I try not to get caught up in the results," he said. "Regardless of where I am, I try to make good pitches. I’ve had good games in hitters’ parks, and I’ve had bad games in pitchers’ parks. It’s about going out and making good pitches. It’s not the ballpark that makes the player. It’s the way the player performs."
Young is not alone in being dismissive of a pitcher's won-lost record. It's an increasing trend in the game. For Young, though, the view is based on personal experience.
"I know I’ve never won at Citi Field," he said. "I had nine starts there for the Mets (in 2011-12). Eight of them were quality starts, and I didn’t win one game. I learned not evaluate on wins and losses."
His memory is dead on.
Young was 0-4 with five no-decisions in those nine starts with a 3.75 ERA. Take away the one non-quality start, seven runs in 4 1/3 innings, and he was 0-3 with a 2.74 ERA in eight starts at Citi Field.
Waiting on Paxton
Attention tonight at Safeco, at least before the game, will center on James Paxton's recovery from the triceps tightness that surfaced after his rehab start Saturday for Triple-A Tacoma. That start marked his first game action since exiting an April 8 start against the Angels because of a strained back muscle.
Paxton and club officials characterize the triceps issue as minor and routine, but...we're talking about the pitching arm of one of the organization's top prospects. So, there's concern.
The club, not surprisingly, is taking a cautious approach with Paxton, which is why he didn't have his usual bullpen workout prior to Monday's game. (Starters typically throw such a workout two days after the previous start.) And Paxton admitted he's unlikely to do more today than play catch — even if everything checks out.
That effectively rules out any possibility that he'll replace struggling Brandon Maurer for Thursday's series finale against the Angels. It now seems probable that Paxton will make at least one more rehab start. That's to be determined, though. We should know a little more later today.
After 50 games
Through the season's early weeks, and particularly during an eight-game skid in April, manager Lloyd McClendon often said it requires 50 games to get a reasonable read on a ballclub.
The Mariners reached that threshold in Monday's 5-1 victory over the Angels. They're 25-25. Our John McGrath checks in with his evaluation.
***The Mariners are 18-16 against AL West opponents.
***Michael Saunders has hit safely in eight of his last nine games and has four multi-hit games in that span. He is batting .394 (13-for-33) in that run with seven runs and 10 RBIs. His average is up to .274 from .226.
***Robinson Cano is batting .332, which ranks second in the American League to the .341 by Detroit designated hitter Victor Martinez. Cano went 3-for-4 in Monday's victory, which marked his 122nd career game with at least three hits.
***Cano also wears out the Angels. He is 20-for-47 against them since the start of last season.
***Lefty reliever Charlier Furbush shows signs of shaking off his early-season troubles. He has allowed only one hit, and no runs, in his last eight appearances, which covers five innings.
***The Mariners are 25-25. A year ago, they were 21-29 after 50 games. Their best record at this stage, as is the case for virtually all stages, came in 2001, when they were 38-12 en route to a 116-46 record.
On the farms
***Triple-A Tacoma is in a hitting drought after ranking as one of the Pacific Coast League's top attacks for much of the season. The Rainiers got just two hits in a 3-1 loss to El Paso (Padres), as our Christian Caple reports.
***Double-A Jackson wasted six shutout innings by Tyler Olson in a 6-3 loss at Mobile (Diamondbacks). From the Jackson Sun.
***Hi-A High Desert got a homer from Jordy Lara but lost 5-4 at Bakersfield (Reds). From the Victorville Daily Press.
***Lo-A Clinton trailed 2-0 in the fourth inning to Wisconsin (Brewers) when rain forced the game to be suspended. The game will be resumed from that point later today. From the LumberKings website.