Yankees Game 4 starter Sonny Gray is ready to redeem himself as he looks to help his team tie the ALCS at two apiece.
Since his loss in Game 1 of the ALDS, Gray has not seen live action in 12 days. So, as he is handed the chance to help the Yankees even the series, he is excited for the opportunity to make peace with his previous start.
"Nervous, no I'm excited," Gray told Newsday's Steven Marcus.
Gray certainly showed some nerves in that road start against the Indians as he sturggled with command of his pitches resulting in four walks over 3 2/3 innings. Yankees GM Brian Cashman blunt in an interview with WFAN Monday when asked what happened with Gray in his loss.
"He hasn't been commanding the zone as much," Cashman explained. "He's got great stuff, but ultimately, this is October baseball...If Gray's going to take Game 4, it's because the guys in front of him were pitching better. It's as simple as that."
The Yankees' starters have done exceptionally well in their starts, so Gray will look to follow suit. To do so, he'll have to get ahead of an Astros lineup that takes advantage of mistakes.
"I got to go out there and throw some pitches," Gray said. "I got to throw strikes and give us a chance to win. I'm excited to try to continue the way that we throw the ball. Hopefully, we can continue to pass the ball along. I think we've made really big pitches in big spots. To shut down a good offense, they're going to put pressure on you. If you can get out of the innings where they really put pressure on you it's big for us. It's another game that we need to win. It should be a fun opportunity."
Gray will go up against Lance McCullers Jr. who has battled injuries in the second half of the season. Astros head coach A.J. Hinch isn't sure what he is going to get out of his starter who threw only 16 innings since August.
But if McCullers is healthy, he can be dangerous.
"Well, I think that's the unknown," Hinch said. "He's a really good pitcher. He's got really electrifying stuff, some of the best stuff in the big leagues."
Since coming over to the Yankees at the trade deadline back in July, Gray has posted a 5.65 ERA with a .227 opponent batting average in 28 2/3 innings at home.