Chris Young remembered being at Yankee Stadium for Game Five of the 2001 World Series. Only now he was on the mound, not looking down from the stands.
"I didn't get caught up in it," Young said. "It's another mound for me."
The big rookie kept New York off balance in his first start against the Yankees, outpitching Kevin Brown and leading the Texas Rangers to a 5-3 victory Friday night.
Perplexing the Yankees with a 72 mph breaking ball on a chilly night, Young (2-1) prevented New York from extending a winning streak to three for the first time this season. A 6-foot-10 former All-Ivy basketball player at Princeton, Young allowed three runs or more in each of his three previous starts this year.
But New York's only run off the 25-year-old right-hander came on Hideki Matsui's RBI double in the fourth. Young then struck out Alex Rodriguez, Jason Giambi and Tino Martinez, and would up allowing four hits in 5 2/3 innings with a career-high seven strikeouts and two walks.
"He's tall. He's deceptive," New York's John Flaherty said. "He throws hard, and the ball is on top of you. And the curveball comes at you at the same angle."
Young said he tried hard not to get caught up in the history and tradition of Yankee Stadium. When he attended the World Series game four years ago, New York got a tying home run with two outs in the ninth for the second straight night against Arizona. He recalled the chants for Paul O'Neill, who was playing his final home game.
"Maybe the coolest thing I've ever seen in my life," Young said. "It was awesome."
After Young came out, four relievers finished, with Nick Regilio throwing a called third strike past Rodriguez with two on to end the eighth.
Francisco Cordero got two outs for his major league-leading eighth save, giving up an RBI double to pinch-hitter Jorge Posada before striking out Derek Jeter and retiring Bernie Williams on an easy fly to end it.