Miami Marlins

Wei-Yin Chen wraps up one of the most perplexing years ever by a MLB pitcher

Miami Marlins starting pitcher Wei-Yin Chen (54) throws during the third inning of a baseball game against the Washington Nationals in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
Miami Marlins starting pitcher Wei-Yin Chen (54) throws during the third inning of a baseball game against the Washington Nationals in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta) AP

We may never seen another season like the one just turned in by Wei-Yin Chen, which is a good thing for him.

Chen quietly set what is believed to be a major league record on Wednesday when he wrapped up his season by allowing four earned runs and taking the loss in the Marlins’ 9-3 rain-shortened defeat to the Nationals.

The result left Wei-Yin Chen with a road mark of 1-9 and major league-worst 9.27 ERA. That wasn’t the record for the worst ERA posted by a pitcher with at least 12 road starts (Chen made 13). That distinction belongs to Drew Hutchison of the 2015 Toronto Blue Jays, who ended with a 9.83 road ERA.

But Chen broke Hutchison’s record for greatest disparity between home and road ERA. While Chen was dreadful on the road this season, he was quite good at home, going 5-3 with a 1.62 ERA. Only the Mets’ Jacob deGrom, who is the frontrunner to win the Cy Young Award, posted a lower home ERA -- 1.54 -- among National League starters.

The difference between home and road for Chen was 7.65, surpassing Hutchison’s spread of 6.92.

Neither Chen nor the Marlins were ever able to figure out why he pitched so well in the 305 area code but so poorly outside it.

“I hate to have that kind of be the narrative of his year,” said Marlins manager Don Mattingly. “There’s no real explanation for the road thing. But it is something he’s going to have to overcome.”

Said Chen: “I don’t know how to explain it. We tried to find out why I had such a drastic difference. But we couldn’t find any answers. Over-thinking wouldn’t help.”

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