He represented his native Taiwan in the Olympics four years ago. He overcame all the obstacles of pitching in a different country, shining for four seasons in Japan with the Chunichi Dragons.
When Chen won his 12th game of the season Aug. 19 in Detroit, he became the first Orioles’ pitcher to record that many wins since 2007. But Chen struggled down the stretch, losing his last four decisions heading into the postseason. As his inning count rose, doubt that he has hit the rookie wall grew.
The big stage was never an issue with Chen. But rest proved to be the perfect resolution.
Working on six days rest for just the fifth time this season, Chen held the
"The experience of playing in Japan and the states is a totally different feeling, and of course like today, [I wanted to] win the ballgame," Chen said through translator Tim Lin. "But that's not just because of me, that's because of our team. Those guys behind me did a really good job tonight, especially [catcher
Chen hadn’t won a game in more than seven weeks, a span of seven starts. But on Monday night, he threw career-high 112 pitches — his previous high was 109 on July 24 — and he has now pitched to a 2.10 ERA when getting six or more days rest.
As he left the game with one out in the seventh, the sellout crowd of 48,187 at
"I'm really proud of Wei-Yin," Orioles manager
Chen overcame a 21-pitch first inning — three of the first four batters he faced reached base — but pitched his way out of trouble as the game went on, including retiring
The last time Chen faced the Yankees — Sept. 7 at Camden Yards — he lasted just 4 2/3 innings and allowed a season-high seven earned runs in an 8-5 loss.
But on Monday night, Chen kept dodging jams. With runners at first and second in the third, he got Cano to hit a weak comebacker to the mound for a inning-ending ground out. In the fourth, he loaded the bases but got
"In and out, in and out. He didn't leave many pitches over the middle of the plate at all," Yankees first baseman
Had it not been for Suzuki's pirouette around home plate in the first inning — he dodged catcher Matt Wieters' tag along the baseline, then scooted around the batter's box to touch home — Chen would have opened the game with six scoreless innings.
But that didn't matter to the lefty. All that mattered was the win to even the series.
"Of course I'm feeling like its a little different now because this is the major leagues here," Chen said. "But there's one thing: We want to win. I want to help the team to win. That's my hope and my dream."