As Jon Gray prepares for his first start at Coors Field this season, he comes in with a pair of games under his belt, and a pair of different results.
On Opening Day, March 29 in Arizona, Gray’s start drew unfortunate comparisons to the 2017 National League Wild Card game. He surrendered two runs on two singles, a walk and a double. before recording an out
He bore down, and retired the next nine he faced, with six grounders and a pair of strikeouts in that stretch. But the damage was done, and after a single and another couple of walks in the fifth, his day was done at a short 4.2 innings.
On April 4, he continued his track record of dominating the San Diego Padres, dealing seven shutout innings in Petco Park. While it wasn’t the wipe-out, 16-strikeout-game he threw in September 2016, it was the first time this season he’s shown fans his true ace potential.
Tonight, Gray will make his first start in a pivotal 2018 in the notorious hitter’s heaven, a place where he’ll have to find success if the Rockies are to do the same. Gray is the uncontested No. 1 on this staff and will have to be the one to lead the way if his team is to return to October baseball.
While he salvaged his first start to some extent, he will have to look more like the pitcher he did in the second one on a consistent basis to achieve that.
Let’s break down what has gone wrong and right so far for Jon Gray, as he begins his home season.