Final R H E
St. Louis Cardinals (63-56)
1 2 0
Cincinnati Reds (57-63)
2 7 0
W: S. Gray (8-6) L: M. Wacha (6-6) S: R. Iglesias (24)
Statcast | Gamecast | Game Thread

“We are going to move him if we get the right deal because I don’t think it is going to work out in the Bronx. I don’t feel like we can go through the same exercise and expect different results.”

Yankees GM Brian Cashman

Every time Sonny Gray takes the bump, it’s been a quiet repudiation of the New York Yankees and the way Cashman banished him from the Kingdom of the Pinstripes with a wave of his hand, punctuated by the very public declaration of the divorce.

From the Yankees’ perspective, Gray was just another country bumpkin who couldn’t handle the pressure and bright lights of the Bronx, couldn’t Billy Joel it, couldn’t master the New York state of mind.

From Gray’s perspective, the Yankees organization mishandled him, tried to cookie-cutter him into their pitching philosphy. The Yankees view the slider as the personification of Kate Upton. They wanted him to fall in love with the pitch, making it a staple of his repertoire, much like Masahiro Tanaka.

“They love sliders,” he said of the Yankees. “Sliders are a great pitch. The numbers say slider is a good pitch, but you might not realize how many $%#$@! counts you’re getting in while throwing all those sliders. They wanted me to be Tanaka and I’m way different from him.”

Kudos to Derek Johnson, Caleb Cotham, and Gray’s inquisitiveness to learn about the nuances of Spin Rate vs. Spin Efficiency. All of that did what the Yankees were unable or unwilling to do:  unlock Sonny Gray.

The Good

Sonny Gray may not sport the dreadlocks, but there are a couple of interesting comparisons with Johnny Cueto, who has the longest win streak at GABP at 7 back in 2012. Sonny Gray now has 6. Gray only allows 16% of runners who get on base to score. The major league average is 30%. That also reminds me of Johnny Beisbol.

Phil Ervin had a walk and a double, getting a rare start against a right-hander. Jose Iglesias had 2 hits, as did Eugenio Suarez, including an RBI.

Robert Stephenson looked dominant in one inning of work. Michael Lorenzen bounced back from a couple of nightmare appearances. I was in Cincinnati last week. And each time he came into the game, GABP held its collective breath. Tonight was a breath of fresh air for Michael.

The Bad

Joey Votto’s back. Y’all can talk about decline all you want. I think he’s been fighting a balky back for more than 2 years. In a season where Rawlings has injected its baseballs with Red Bull, attributing Votto’s power outage solely to age seems all the more suspect. Dude is hurting.

The Ugly

Just me.

The Second Guess

Go ahead. Say it. No second-guessing David Bell, who was perfecto tonight. From leaving Gray in to bunt in the 5th; to not being tempted to ride him for one more inning when he was sitting on 97 pitches; to lifting Lorenzen with 2 outs in the 8th for Raisel Iglesias; to giving Ervin the start against a righty.