Taiwanese pitcher Chen Wei-yin (陳偉殷) threw seven scoreless innings in another solid start as the Baltimore Orioles defeated the Atlanta Braves 2-0 in Atlanta, Georgia, on Sunday to clinch his seventh win of the season.
He was dubbed “Chen-sational” by teammate Adam Jones after his stellar performance in the final matchup of the three-game interleague series between the two teams.
“In the bullpen, I felt really great,” Chen said through an interpreter. “Today, I knew I would have a really good performance.”
The rookie left-hander yielded only six hits and one walk over seven frames, while striking out two in his first road win. He threw 101 pitches — 70 of which were strikes — and led in batting counts for most of the game, thanks to his strong command and clever pitch selections.
Chen pitched more curveballs than usual to go along with his four-seam fastballs and sliders, and threw fewer changeups. The vast velocity difference between his fastball and curveball distracted the Braves hitters, while Chen’s strikeout victims were caught on his slower curves.
“He came over here basically without a changeup and a lot slower to the plate,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said on the team’s Web site. “[Orioles pitching coach Rick Adair has] done a great job getting him some more weapons to defend himself at this level. He’s a quick learner. He’s grasping very quick.”
Baltimore’s defense also helped secure the team’s second back-to-back shutout since Aug. 28 and Aug. 29, 2010. Atlanta’s chances to score were spoiled by three double plays in as many innings.
“I felt it was an easier game today maybe because [Orioles pitcher Jason] Hammel held them in check in the last game. Also, the defense was very helpful and this was successful teamwork,” Chen said.
Chen also helped his own cause at the plate with a sacrifice bunt in the sixth to move up Steve Pearce, who eventually scored.