Sonny Gray Deserves the Cy Young Award


On the eve of the 2015 All-Star game, Dallas Keuchel was named the American League starting pitcher. Does that mean he’s the best pitcher in his league? Absolutely not.

The ace of the Oakland Athletics, Sonny Gray, deserves honors as the best pitcher in the American League. Since Gray started on Sunday, he won’t be eligible to pitch in the ASG. Despite that, he probably would not have been named the starter even though he should be given those honors.

Going back to Keuchel, he’s had it a lot easier than Gray this season. Who would have ever guessed that the Houston Astros would have one of the best records in the American League? Certainly not me.

As a fan of the Oakland Athletics, it’s extremely frustrating to see the success of Houston. The Astros have only scored five more runs than the Athletics going into the All-Star break, yet Oakland has eight less wins than Houston.

However, things are looking better for the “Green Collar Baseball” club because Houston has only won two of their previous 10 game. With a dominate Sonny Gray and a roster that’s close to full health, the Athletics are on the verge of climbing upwards in their division.

We all know that the Athletics’ bats are horribly inconsistent, but that doesn’t mean all hope is lost. The team simply needs to string  more wins together with less slumps. However, that’s easier said than done.

Let’s face it; Sonny Gray is the main reason that the Athletics don’t already have 60 or more losses. Gray even gives the team a solid chance to win when he isn’t eligible for a game’s win. Sure, Sonny gives up some runs like anybody else, but he doesn’t let things get too ugly. There have been numerous times when he’s been taken out of a game during a tie, yet the Athletics end up surging ahead to give the reliever the victory.

The point here is that Gray is the true definition of an ace and an All-Star. More importantly, his development to this level of success has been incredible. There were quite a few games in previous years that Sonny acted like a flustered mess on the mound after giving up some runs.

However, he has greatly improved his composure and even his endurance this season. Nothing ever seems to phase this guy. Inning after inning, Sonny appears just as confident as he does at the start of a game. The rest of the world outside of Oakland has finally noticed and recognized him for those efforts.

Sonny Gray may only be 25 years-old, but he pitches like a seasoned veteran. He has a stellar fastball and a nasty curve that really makes him standout from the competition.

His complete game shutout on Sunday was the perfect end to his outstanding first half of the season. He was an absolute tank against the Cleveland Indians, and hardly anybody made good contact on Sonny’s pitches. In regards to Gray’s performance, the San Jose Mercury News quoted Stephen Vogt saying:

"“Today’s a day I’ve been looking forward to for two years now, catching him in a complete-game shutout. You never know when it’s going to happen. It could happen every five days.”"

Sonny’s team, and especially his catcher, loves playing with him. He’s a guy with great character, and his positive attitude is simply infectious. If some people don’t find a reason to root for Sonny Gray, there is something wrong with them. He represents the Athletics and the entire MLB with an unmatched level of class and talent.

Aside from Gray’s complete game shutout, Vogt lead the offense with his two-run homer. Think about that for a moment. These guys are the Athletics’ two All-Star Game selections. In the final game before the break, the shutout by Gray and the blast by Vogt converged for a very special victory. This duo is definitely one of the most fun and exciting things about the Athletics in recent history. They are a battery made for the ages.

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Even if the Athletics don’t find postseason success, this is a year that Vogt and Sonny will always remember. This next idea might be a bit premature, but it’s worth entertaining the notion that Gray should be considered for the Cy Young Award. He’s on pace for 20 wins, and he has the best ERA of 2.04 in the American League.

Sonny Gray will have a Hall of Fame type career. That is an inevitability, so the league might as well recognize him as the best pitcher in the American League now. Along with that, I am confident that the Athletics will eventually win a World Series in the Sonny Gray era. Yeah, it would be great if he won a Cy Young, but winning the Series with Sonny would be absolutely perfect.

Next: Oakland Athletics: Praise for Stephen Vogt