On Friday, New York Yankees right-hander Sonny Gray threw his second consecutive clunker against an American League East foe. He failed to escape the fourth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays, permitting five hits and five runs while issuing four walks and striking out none. In Gray's previous start, he'd allowed seven hits and six runs versus the Boston Red Sox.
"He was great in Oakland in front of 49 fans, when it didn't matter." Samson said. "Bring him to New York, he's in the fish bowl, he's had I think 15 starts with them, and he's turned into a No. 4 or a 5, which isn't what they bargained for."
Gray's outing on Friday was indeed the 15th of his Yankees career. Across those, he's posted a 4.63 ERA (97 ERA+) and 1.95 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Gray did enjoy success upon first joining the Yankees, putting forth a 122 ERA+ and 2.19 strikeout-to-walk ratio in his initial 11 starts.
So far this season, Gray has battled his command. He's walked 11 batters and has uncorked five wild pitches. He walked 27 and threw four wild pitches in more than four times as many innings with the Yankees last year. How does Samson think Gray can get back on track?
Samson noted the Marlins had pitchers take one of two approaches when they were struggling: tasking them with watching video and dissecting their every move, or having them play Pac-Man as a means of relaxing.
"I'm worried he's having a New York issue, as opposed to a mechanical issue," Samson said. "So my advice to him would to be relax."