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

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 BSN Rockies and a member of the Baseball Writer's Association of America.