Sonny Gray is the Bright Spot of the A’s


In a recent Oakland Athletics game against the Houston Astros, Sonny Gray rose above Dallas Keuchel. Gray may have been behind Keuchel in the American League Cy Young standings, but Oakland’s ace should now be considered the league’s best pitcher.

Gray produced a complete game victory against the Astros, and he allowed only five hits. Keuchel, on the other hand, pitched 7.2 innings with 10 hits and three runs allowed. Of course, one game shouldn’t determine which of these two aces should win the Cy Young. It’s about their full season of work, and Sonny Gray is certainly the more impressive pitcher.

The Houston Astros are first in the American League West, and Keuchel has a ton of support from his team this season. At the bottom of the division is the Oakland Athletics, and their team offense, pitching, and fielding has been inconsistent all year. Despite the woes of the A’s, Sonny Gray turns this ball club into a different team every time he takes the mound. Gray seems to ignore that the A’s are bad this year, and he pitches his heart out.

Therefore, Gray’s current 12 wins are far more impressive than Keuchel’s 13 wins. Plus, Sonny leads the entire American League with his low ERA of 2.06. For how young Gray is, he’s pitching like a veteran who has seen it all.

Whether or not Gray should be awarded the Cy Young Award is up for debate, but his level of dominance is an absolute fact. Gray has the rare ability to take complete control of games with his high energy and positive attitude. If you haven’t seen a pitching performance by Sonny Gray, you’re greatly missing out on something special.

A lot of people would agree that baseball isn’t the most exciting sport to watch. However, Gray is one of the gifted pitchers who make baseball worth watching. He plays with a fast and urgent pace that keeps opposing batters off balance. Gray’s quick delivery style also helps his supporting defense in the infield and outfield stay more alert throughout the entire game.

It’s also refreshing that Gray is such a straightforward person. He was asked about getting the best of the other Cy Young contender, and CSN Bay Area quoted Gray saying:

"“I think every time there’s a game like this with a really good guy going on the other side, you ask me the same question every time and I give the same answer. I’m not really pitching against the other pitcher. It’s the other team and their lineup. That’s really what my focus is going in.”"

Honestly, Gray’s quote there is perfect. He’s frank, and he gets to the point. In Sonny’s perspective, his starts aren’t about the pitcher on the other team. Gray stays concerned with himself and his own performance.

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Sonny isn’t the type of player who will brag and hype up himself. His style of pitching is “Green Collar,” and he does his job without letting distractions get in his way. Cy Young debates are certainly a distraction, so it’s nice to see that Sonny isn’t getting a fat head from the talks of his talent.

If Sonny won’t talk highly about his ability, his teammates certainly will. The A’s catcher, Josh Phegley, had a lot to say about his pitcher.

The same CSN Bay Area article from above quoted Phegley’s praise of Sonny Gray:

"“I haven’t seen anyone better. The stuff that he’s managed to do, with our record and us losing a lot of games this year, has been tough. He goes out there and puts together a performance every time he’s on the mound. So he’s right up there.”"

It’s clear that Phegley and the rest of the A’s love having Sonny on their side. He’s a huge bright spot for a team that’s been pretty bad this season. Without Gray, this A’s team probably wouldn’t have a lot to play for through the next couple months. Aside from personal stats, the rest of the A’s should do everything they can to help Sonny win the Cy Young Award.

All Sonny has to say in regards to the award potential is, “there’s a lot of season left, man. I don’t think that really matters.”

Next: Oakland Athletics: Aaron Brooks Recharges Rotation