Sonny Gray had pitched in Yankee Stadium once before, in 2015 with the A’s, so he knew the hazard that right-field porch represented to a pitcher, but if he indispensable a visible reminder, Jacoby Ellsbury’s two-run home run in the fourth-inning positively got his attention.
Ellsbury’s line drive was positively no some-more than a double anywhere else in the majors, and no doubt it had Mets fans screaming about how the Stadium plays shorter than in right margin than the ballpark in Williamsport, Pa., home of the Little League World Series.
Jacob deGrom substantially had a few choice difference for the place himself, as the two-out home run was the pivotal blow in the 5-2 win over the Mets, as the Yankees done it two true in this Subway Series, with two games to go in Citi Field.
Yes, the not-so-big ballpark in the Bronx can mutilate a diversion for any pitcher at any time, even someone like deGrom having a shining season.
It even took the gleam off an differently widespread first home start for Gray, as Mets’ rookie Dom Smith hit an opposite-field home run into the front quarrel of the left-field bleachers — which is positively some-more legitimate than right field, anyway.
But for the many part, Gray looked right at home in his new ballpark — even flourishing a late shock by Aroldis Chapman, who gave up a two-run home run in the ninth.
With the tough penetrate and late transformation he gets on his fastball, Gray is a ground-ball pitcher whose repertoire creates him befitting for success here in Yankee Stadium — one reason GM Brian Cashman was peaceful to give up 3 top prospects to get him at the trade deadline.
In that one prior start in the Bronx, Gray went 7 innings, permitting 3 runs in a clever outing, and on Tuesday night, he dominated the Mets for 6 innings, shutting them out on 3 hits while gripping out of the air for the many part.
To that point, Gray couldn’t have pitched much better. On YES, in fact, David Cone was frequency impressed.
“He brought his ‘A’ diversion tonight,” Cone pronounced after 6 innings. “We are seeing the sum package. His pitches are darting all over the place.”
That’s what you notice many about Gray, now that he has done 3 starts for the Yankees. He gets a lot of late transformation that creates it tough for hitters to block up his fastball, as good as his bend and change-up.
That transformation is what Brett Gardner removed so vividly about confronting Gray before the Yankees got him.
“The round explodes on you,” Gardner said. “That transformation creates it tough to tub it up, and it creates it tough to get it in the air.”
The other thing you hear from scouts about Gray is that he’s a meditative man’s pitcher, not just in the way he attacks hitters, but in the way he pitches to lineups.
“It’s singular when you see him get kick by the big man on the other side,” was the way an AL director put it at the time the Yankees traded for him. “He’ll representation around guys, even with runners on base, rather than give in to someone he’s identified as the man he’s not going to let kick him.”
For the Mets that man is Michael Conforto, a prohibited hitter and, as a lefthanded hitter maybe even some-more dangerous in Yankee Stadium than Yoenis Cespedes.
So when Cespedes reached on an one-out infield hit in the fourth inning, with the Yankees heading 1-0 at the time, Gray clearly pitched around Conforto, walking him on 4 pitches _ no doubt assured he could hoop the hitters behind him.
Sure enough, he got Wilmer Flores on a pop-up and Smith on a ground-out to second to shun trouble, and looked smart doing it.
Finally, in the seventh, Gray walked Flores heading off as he upheld the 100-pitch mark, and maybe he was overpowering at that point.
On many a night that walk would have assured Joe Girardi to go to his loaded bullpen, but, in truth, there was no reason to consider Gray was in any genuine trouble, generally given he had overmatched Smith and Amed Rosario, the next two hitters.
However, at 5-foot-10, 185 pounds, Gray has a comparatively tiny support for a pitcher, and the A’s frequency pushed him much past 100 pitches — 108 was his high this deteriorate — so maybe there is a extent to how low he can go in games.
In any case, Smith took a fastball the other way for a two-run home run, and that was that for Gray.
The Yankee bullpen did the rest — even with Chapman’s unsure ninth — and given the offense actually scored runs for him for the first time given he came aboard, Gray’s home entrance was a rousing success.
For that matter, he has pitched good in any of his 3 starts, and so distant seems to be accurately what the Yankees were anticipating for, a No. 2-type starter who has done their starting revolution distant some-more October-worthy.
Especially if he can continue gripping the round out of the air in his home ballpark.
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