What happened to Sonny Gray?
Well, so much for my dream re-match of the pitcher’s duel that was Games 2 and 5 of the 2013 American League Division Series.
Gray got a no-decision and a loss. Yet, for those of you who remember – Verlander was today’s Clayton Kershaw. He had won the AL MVP and AL CY Young just two seasons prior and was considered one of the league’s best pitchers. For a 23-year-old kid that seems like a lot of pressure and he handled it with grace and confidence.
Personally, I was hoping for a re-match, a re-match that Gray could even win. Verlander has been declining a bit in recent years. Age is no longer on his side and it is now on Gray’s side.
Unfortunately for the Oakland Athletics, that didn’t matter on Wednesday. Their ace, almost always the picture of consistency, just could not find the strike zone.
Everyone was obviously worried that there may be something wrong with Gray but he denies it saying,
“That was two very, very long innings I kind of brought on myself. Physically, I feel fine, I just didn’t have anything today.”
Melvin was also concerned about the health of his ace and the cold 45-degree weather in Detroit which is part of why he removed Gray early. Gray could have thrown a few more pitches, perhaps find his rhythm.
“That’s our guy and we want to make sure he’s healthy next time around,” said Melvin, adding that he didn’t even give Gray the option of coming back out for the third inning.
The A’s eventually lost the game by the score of 9-4 and fans like me were denied the re-match we had so wanted to see. It wasn’t what I hoped it would be but looking on the “Sonny” side of things – at least Gray isn’t injured!