Game 43: Sonny Aims to Right Ship, Fight Rain, Win Series

Sonny Gray gets the ball in today’s rubber game matinee from Kansas City, where there is a 45% chance of showers at first pitch.

Gray has struggled this season, especially with command of his pitches. He has walked 5.7 batters per nine innings, which is by far the worst rate in his career. Home runs have been a problem too, which he has allowed at a 1.2 per nine rate. His last start saw him regress from two solid outings, where he allowed five runs on nine hits against his former team. Gray is 1-2 with a 2.77 ERA in four starts against Kansas City, but the ERA jumps to 4.15 in Kauffman Stadium.

Facing Gray will be another lefty: Eric Skoglund. It’s been an up-and-down year for the 25-year-old, who has alternated between brilliant starts and not-so-brilliant ones. His last start was a tough luck loss, where he allowed just two runs in 7⅔ innings to the Tampa Bay Rays. His offense, however, could not bail him out. Skoglund has never faced the Yankees before, but has a career 4.95 ERA at Kauffman Stadium.

Didi Gregorius sits again against a lefty starter, as Aaron Boone wants him to “recharge, both physically and mentally, and hopefully he can hit the ground running when we get to Texas tomorrow”. Ronald Torreyes, who’s hitting .392/.404/.510 when in the starting lineup this year, gets another start at shortstop. Despite collecting a double last night, Clint Frazier sits in favor of Brett Gardner in left field. Gary Sánchez gets the day-game-after-a-night-game off, as Austin Romine continues to catch Gray.

After a few hitless games, I’m slightly surprised Boone didn’t decide to rest Aaron Judge in the finale. Giancarlo Stanton could have shifted to right, and Sánchez could have snuck into the lineup as the designated hitter. Just a hypothetical, though.


Royals’ Lineup:

  1. Jon Jay – CF
  2. Jorge Soler – RF
  3. Mike Moustakas – 3B
  4. Salvador Pérez – DH
  5. Whit Merrifield – 2B
  6. Hunter Dozier – 1B
  7. Alex Gordon – LF
  8. Alcides Escobar – SS
  9. Drew Butera – C

 

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