The 26-year-old Taiwanese lefty is still a rookie, still learning how to pitch in the major leagues.
Just when there was thought that he might be hitting a wall – after two of his past three starts were subpar – Chen pitches arguably his best game of the year on the road against a division rival.
On Wednesday, he allowed just seven hits and no walks while allowing just one run in seven innings as the Orioles beat the Boston Red Sox, 2-1.
He outdueled Josh Beckett. And he did it on just four days’ rest, which he seems to be adjusting to pretty well.
Here are some quotes about Chen from various Orioles and Red Sox:
Matt Wieters: “He was good. He pitched out of two jams where he really was able to keep them to one run (or less) and the rest of the innings he knew what he wanted to do. He used all of his pitches today. He was able to put guys away with his off-speed and his fastball today.”
Wieters on Chen getting out of a two-on, one-out jam in the seventh in which he didn’t allow any runs: “It’s nothing I haven’t seen before. He has been like that pretty much the whole time he has been here. Whatever the situation is he’s not going to get too overwhelmed with it. He’s a guy who every time he goes out there is the model of consistency. He’ll go out there and nothing is going to get him too excited.”
Robert Andino: “I like Chen. Chen, he comes from Taiwan, he’s a rookie in this league, but he ain’t scared. He ain’t scared. He’s going to pound that zone. He kept us in the game, gave us a chance to score runs.”
Buck Showalter: “We've been trying to be careful with him rest-wise, but he was crisp from the get-go. You come in this ballpark, left-handers, command of the fastball, you have to have it here with the right-handed hitters you're going to see. And obviously (it’s) a right-handed-hitter favored ballpark a lot of times. He was the difference.”
Boston’s Jarrod Saltalamacchia: “He was making his pitches. He’s got a good fastball, cutter. He’s got five or six pitches. He was just mixing them up, making the pitches at the right time and we weren’t able to do anything.”
Boston’s Bobby Valentine: “He’s still throwing 94 with movement late in the game. He had good stuff.”
Boston’s Mike Aviles: “He was throwing a lot of strikes. He just kept pounding the zone with strikes and missing barrels. I think this is the second time he’s pitched against us and he’s pitched well against us. Just knows how to pitch. A good pitcher all around. Throws all his pitches for strikes and keeps pounding the zone. Next thing you know, you’re down 0-2 or not making solid contact. He’s a pretty good pitcher.”