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Sonny Gray Flops Once Again As The Red Sox Take Round One of the 2018 Season

New York Yankees v Boston Red Sox

My patience for Sonny Gray to take the next step is waning. He has the stuff to be an ace for a pitching staff, but he just can’t put it all together. He tends to nibble and thus get his pitch count up way too high to get deep in games. Last year his numbers were plenty fine with New York during the second half but he struggled against Boston, losing all three of his starts against them. Some said last night was Gray’s biggest regular season start of his career. Okay, I know it was the rubber match of a road Red Sox series, but come on guys it was April 13th let’s relax. Before last night’s game Gray said he was going to attack hitters and be aggressive, shying away from trying to dot corners and avoiding all of those waste pitches. It didn’t work.

After skating around a few base runners in the first, Gray escaped unharmed, but he would not be as lucky in the 2nd. Sonny’s command betrayed him as he walked two batters while allowing singles to Leon and Nunez. As the Sox continued to play small ball with singles, sac flys, and fielder’s choices the lead grew larger and larger. Just like in game one of the series, the Yankees were in a 4-0 hole after just two frames. Rick Porcello wouldn’t need much more after that as he was as locked in as I’ve ever seen him. Through five innings Porcello held the Yankees hitless and if not for a rain delay who knows how much deeper he would have went in the game without allowing a knock. This team was fucking lifeless for the better part of six innings. By the time they got going in the 9th it was too late. I’m relieved we weren’t shutout (which is such a lame thing to say) and the team showed some life in the 9th, but at the end of the day your starting pitcher, who should be your number two guy, can’t give up six runs in 3+ innings and expect the team to win. There is no excuse for Sonny Gray’s poor outing and I know Boone does not believe in personal catchers but it’s hard to ignore Gray’s numbers with Romine behind the plate. It’s just a matter of comfortability at this point as Sonny looked like a different guy in his first two starts (both with Romine) than he did last night with Gary.

Here are Sonny’s splits as a Yankee. Yes I realize the sample size isn’t great, but the trends keep pointing in the wrong directions, disputing Boone’s claim.

With Romine
2017: 3 Starts| 18.2 IP| 1.45 ERA| 20 Ks| 7 BB|
2018: 2 Starts| 10.0 IP| 3.60 ERA| 12 Ks| 5 BB|

With Sanchez
2017: 8 Starts| 46.2 IP| 4.63 ERA| 39 Ks| 20 BB|
2018: 1 Start| 3.0 IP| 18.00 ERA| 3 Ks | 2 BB|

Do I need more games with Romine to make a real judgement? Without a doubt, but I think Boone has to experiment with this. Sonny Gray is no better than the Yankees #3 pitcher on this staff and that shouldn’t be the case. We can’t have starts like tonight where he was completely ineffective. At the moment this fanbase has little hope in Sonny Sunshine. Whenever he starts we beg for six innings of three run ball and if we get anything close to it we take it. This guy should be going seven strong every goddamn start and it’s frustrating seeing shit like yesterday or even the start in Toronto where he went four innings.

Losing a series to the Sox in April in Fenway is so irrelevant. Getting swept would have sucked no doubt, but even that is something you can get past in the first month of the season. The ’09 Yankees lost their first 8 games against the Sox and they ended up winning the AL East by EIGHT GAMES. They also won this thing called the World Series. There are also reinforcements coming with CC Sabathia feeling much better and likely coming off the DL next week. Aaron Hicks returned last night and although he went 0-4 he saw a ton of pitches, worked good at bats, and fouled off lots of tough strikes. Sliding Hicks back into his center field role, allowing Gardner to go back to left and Stanton to DH will help this team big time defensively. Stanton misplayed a ball down the line very badly last night and made every Yankees fan collectively say “yikes” as he over ran a fly ball. Thankfully that experiment is done for the time being.

Another issue is Tyler Wade. As handsome as the man may be, he cannot hit the baseball. After last night he’s hitting .097 and even committed an error on a play at the plate. I think with Gleyber Torres hitting the baseball once again in AAA and his extra year of service time being gained by next Wednesday, we should see the debut of Gleybermania by next week. The schedule softens over the next 6 games as the Yanks go to Detroit and then follow that up with Miami at home. Both teams combine for a 7-17 record and the Yankees should be able to get some momentum before Toronto comes to town next weekend. Your boy has tickets for next Thursday the 19th and that just might be Gleybermania (G Baby’s) major league debut.

What I’m saying is what I’ve been saying all week: it’s April 13th we’ve got so much baseball left to play. I wish we were off and running, dominating baseball like everyone dreamed, but these things take time to all come together. The only thing I’m worried about these days is that Shohei Ohtani just might be the best player in baseball history.

P.S. Didi Gregorius absolutely positively without question has to go back to his high socks look. Want to know why the red hot Didi cooled for a 2-10 series in Boston this week? You can point clearly to his long pants style. I’ll preach to the day I die that you are instantly a better baseball player with a high socks look….Sonny Gray may be the exception to this rule.