Ned Yost had zero worries about sending Chris Young to the mound against his former team in the pressure cauldron of the World Series.
"Chris Young doesn't have problems focusing ever," Yost said before Saturday night's Game 4. "He's an amazing competitor at the top of the class for me and terms of all the people -- all the players that I've ever had in terms of being a competitor. I mean, nothing affects him. He's going to go out and he's going to pitch his game under any circumstance."
Latest Mets stories
Saturday night's circumstance had the soft-tossing 36-year-old Young, a Met from 2011-12, facing 24-year-old Steven Matz, the Mets' gas-throwing lefthander.
Young, though departing with his club trailing 2-1, did not disappoint his manager. Young allowed two runs and two hits -- all of that in the second inning -- in his four innings, removed for pinch hitter Kendrys Morales in the fifth.
Matz allowed two runs and seven hits in five-plus innings.
The 6-10 Young, who picked up the win in the Royals' Game 1 victory with three scoreless innings in relief and who entered the game 1-0 with a 2.31 ERA overall this postseason, started his night with an 87-mph fastball to Curtis Granderson, a ball. He fell behind the Mets leadoff hitter 2-and-0 before getting Granderson to bounce into a 4-3 putout, the first out of a perfect 10-pitch first inning in which the righthander's fastest pitch came in at 88 mph.
Young retired the first six Mets he faced before rookie Michael Conforto led off the third with the first of his two homers on the night, driving an 87-mph fastball down the rightfield line and into the second deck to make it 1-0. Wilmer Flores followed with a single and, with Matz at the plate, moved to second on a wild pitch. Matz's sacrifice bunt put Flores at third and Granderson's sacrifice fly to right brought in the run to make it 2-0.
Rightfielder Alex Rios delayed his throw home, perhaps thinking there were three outs, but was nearly bailed out as replays showed Flores might have left early, though replay umpires Bill Welke and Ron Kulpa disagreed when the Royals challenged.
Young pitched a perfect fourth, striking out two.
"No matter who you play in the World Series, it's special, it's what every player should play for," Young said Friday. "I have a lot of friends over there, I have a great respect for their organization. I'm grateful for the opportunity they gave me. And certainly to see them and their success over the last few years, since I last played here, it's great. I'm happy for them. I just hope we find a way to beat them."