Sonny Gray has two very good reasons to smile this afternoon. The 24-year old ace of the Oakland Athletics pitching staff was named the American League Pitcher of the Month for the second time this season. Gray becomes the first A’s pitcher since Barry Zito in 2001 to win the award twice in one year.
Gray went 5-0 in July with an ERA of 1.03 in his five July starts.
After an inconsistent June, Gray worked with pitching coach Curt Young to work on his pitches and make adjustments that helped with sharpening his curve ball. He had a strong bounce back July. He also used his change-up more than he has during his entire career.
Gray becomes only the third pitcher since 2005 to win five games in any month (Bartolo Colon in June 2013, and Gio Gonzalez in September of 2011 are the others).
His 1.03 ERA was the third lowest in all of baseball behind Chris Sale of the Chicago White Sox (0.85) and new teammate Jon Lester (0.93) during his month with the Boston Red Sox