Sonny Gray holds down fort in Yankees’ bullpen debut
Sonny Gray has been struggling as of late and was recently demoted to the bullpen in favor of Lance Lynn. While the move paid off for Lynn, it was unknown whether Gray would ever get to pitch in a high leverage situation.
That high leverage situation would come about in the 11th inning of Tuesday night’s game in Chicago. The Yankees were tied 1-1 going into the tenth when Giancarlo Stanton hit a two run bomb to take a two run lead. Unfortunately, former closer and newly acquired Yankee Zach Britton couldn’t hold down the fort, as he gave up a two run no doubter to Jose Abreu. That was Britton’s first blown save in extra innings.
The Yankees couldn’t get anything going in the top of the 11th, and the Yankees hopes seemed to be doomed as Sonny Gray was one of two available arms left in the pen. With Jonathan Holder, Chad Green, David Robertson, and Dellin Betances being used and Aroldis Chapman “unavailable” due to his 9th inning meltdown Sunday, Gray was in it for the long haul.
Gray was able to strand one runner and over his three innings of work and had four strikeouts, including the game ending one against Nicky Delmonico. Gray was excellent and gave a big yell on the mound to himself after he got the final strikeout. You could tell that Gray was jacked up after the win and it was well deserved.
Sonny Gray just looked more comfortable. He wasn’t overthinking his pitches. He wasn’t trying to do too much with the ball. He just went out there and pitched. His fastball has more of a cutter than anything, and his curveball had a nice hook.
In other news, Miguel Andujar was pretty much a one man show on Tuesday night. Other than the Giancarlo Stanton two run homer, Andujar was the entire offense for the Yankees. He had three hits, a home run, and the go-ahead single in the 13th to put the Yankees ahead for good. Andujar has been probably the most reliable hitter on the Yankees all season. He had a brief slump but is hitting near .300 and will challenge Gleyber Torres for Rookie of the Year.
It’s been an up and down season for the Yankees, but they’re still in the driver’s seat. They already won the series against the White Sox and with time can gain some ground on the Red Sox. If not, then it’s another Wild Card game where things won’t be easy, regardless of who they play. Let’s hope they go on a run and take care of business come September. If not, at least we know Sonny Gray has been fixed, for now.
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