DENVER  – It would be tempting to look at Jon Gray’s seven innings of dominance against the Philadelphia Phillies and dismiss it as a good game against a team that is well out of contention behind an offense that took all the pressure off of him by scoring 10 runs.

And while there is some validity to such thinking, none of that explains the uptick in Gray’s fastball velocity or the extra torque he was getting on his slider, a pitch that used to rank among the best in baseball in terms of getting swings and misses.

Pitching coaches and manager Bud Black confirmed to the media before his start—which had been pushed back a few days to allow pitchers in better rhythms to start in Arizona—that Gray spent his extra time working on a faster tempo to his motion.

Or, as Gray put it to BSN Denver, “Pitching more free and easy.”

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Drew Creasman
Author

Drew E. Creasman was born in Grand Junction, Colorado and currently resides in Boulder, CO. He is a full time Rockies beat writer managing editor of   Education: Studied Philosophy and Political Science at the University of Colorado along with Music History and Composition.   Career: After six years as an independent musician and doing sporadic political work, I began to write about the Colorado Rockies for PurpleRow.com in the winter of 2013. Three years later, I came to BSN Denver to run the Rockies content. In short time, I found myself interviewing GM Dan O’Dowd and forging relationships with countless individuals in and around the organization.   A few highlights include hosting the only daily Rockies talk show in the world, a podcast that has welcomed Nolan Arenado and Jon Gray among others, and our wall-to-wall coverage of the 2017 Wild Card Game. I’ve also been a regular on 850 koa, 104.3 The Fan, Mile High Sports Radio and numerous podcasts.   Most Memorable Sports Moment: Game 3 of the 2007 NLDS. Ubaldo Jimenez, blackout, and the Rockies win their first postseason series.   The finest sports book I’ve ever read: Shoeless Joe by W.P. Kinsella.   One sports movie I can’t live without: One!? Just one!? Ok … Sugar. But Field of Dreams and Friday Night Lights come incredibly close.   Most memorable experience as a reporter: Either the aforementioned Arenado interview or, and this is an odd one, spending time swapping stories with other reporters at Marc Stout’s going-away party.   The sport that started it all: Clearly baseball. I’ve been watching baseball since before I can actually remember watching baseball. It’s just always been a part of me. I can still recall the feeling of wanting to be old enough to play T-ball. I love other sports, but I had loved and played baseball for years before I was even aware anything else existed.