There were several that questioned the Oakland Athletics choice to start rookie pitcher Sonny Gray in the ALDS. Sure, he had been very successful in the regular season but there is a big difference between that and starting in the MLB postseason, right? Well, sure there is. For Gray however the difference seemed to be that he was way more successful during the postseason than he even was in the regular season.
Who among rookie starting pitchers can say that they outdueled Justin Verlander during the postseason while he was pitching with his best stuff? Verlander went seven shutout innings and looked almost as dominant as Gray did. Read that one more time. One of the, if not the best starter over the last several seasons in all of MLB was almost as good as Gray. If Gray goes on to be the best starter over the next five years or if he fades away a little bit, no one will ever take this game from him.
For his line Gray put up 8 shutout innings giving up 4 hits and 2 walks while striking out 9 Detroit Tigers. Quite simply it just doesn’t get much better than that. The fact that the Athletics won in a walk-off hit in the bottom of the ninth inning is just perfect considering the way the game went. It has been said that the Tigers will have to be near perfect to beat the Athletics and Gray did not allow them to do anything on offense in game two, thus they lost.