DENVER – Clayton Kershaw.
In a rut the Colorado Rockies have to face seven-time All-Star, three-time Cy Young winning left-handed stud, who might be one of the best 10 pitchers ever Clayton Kershaw.
LA is 20-2 when Kershaw starts this season, leading baseball’s best Los Angeles Dodgers from the rubber. One of those two losses for the stud came against Jon Gray and the Rockies.
On Thursday night, the Rockies hand the ball to Gray to stop a long-term skid. This is indeed the games where aces are born.
The Dodgers, however, are doing the same. Losers of 11 of their last 12 they turn the ball to their undisputed ace, the best and most fearsome one in baseball.
Some have questioned Gray’s fortitude when it comes to games like this, does he want the ball? “Yeah, yeah,” he responded Wednesday night.
“There can be some pressure because you know what you have to do,” Gray said. “At the same time, you try to ignore that on the mound and make pitches, which is the best thing to do.”
Going toe-to-toe with Kershaw to see which can be deemed king of the hill for the night is a challenge almost every pitcher in baseball losses, Gray is 1-0 this year in such bouts.
“I just like to go show it off,” the righty said. “It’s a game where you’re the underdog and it’s going to be a lot of fun, it’ll be a good atmosphere. I’m just going to go out there and show what I got, try to be the guy, make a difference, be nasty. Do whatever you can to shove.”
In 19 starts this year Gray is riding a 6-4 record and a 4.26 ERA. He’s had some bumps after missing almost the entire first half with a foot injury but the time for Gray to stake his claim as the leader of the youthful Rockies rotation is now, in Chavez Ravine tonight.
“Absolutely, it’s a lot of fun, it can seem like a different game but you have to make it seem like any other game,” Gray said.
The Rockies play the first of eight straight on the road against L.A. and Arizona tonight at 8:10 MT.