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ERA is up, but Yankees’ Sonny Gray isn’t down

Yankees starting pitcher Sonny Gray walks to the

Yankees starting pitcher Sonny Gray walks to the dugout after the top of the fifth inning against the Orioles at Yankee Stadium on April 7. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Sonny Gray’s demeanor isn’t dreary at all. Sure, the first three weeks of the season have not been his most sterling fortnight and a half, but there’s a reason why the sport’s regular season touches parts of seven months. Three starts don’t make a season. Sometimes three starts don’t even make a month.

Regardless, Gray’s first three starts haven’t been what he’s looking for. The 28-year-old is 1-1 with a 6.92 ERA. He’s struck out 15 batters and walked seven in 13 innings. He lasted only three innings in his last start, a 6-3 loss to Boston on April 12. Gray allowed six runs on seven hits and struck out three in that start, watching his early season numbers balloon to uncomfortable heights.

But it’s three starts, and Sonny isn’t worried — even though he had been working with pitching coach Larry Rothschild to alter his delivery.

“It’s still very early in the season and I feel good with the exception of one start,” Gray said at an autograph signing event sponsored by Steiner Sports and Sports Water at the Roosevelt Field Mall Wednesday night. “But, it’s way too early to take one start and look into it too much. So, I think if I just continue to stay on course and understand that there’s a long way to go and there’s a lot that’s going to happen, I think it’ll end up OK in the long run.”

Gray had reason to feel good entering the Boston start. He allowed three runs on four hits, struck out four, and walked two in six innings of an 8-3 win over the Orioles.

“There’s a lot to build off,” Gray, who is scheduled to pitch against the Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium Friday night said. “But, I have to get back to being athletic and filling up the strike zone. I think I’ll be ok.”

Gray’s season, in some ways, is a microcosm of the Yankees’ first three weeks. They stand at 8-8, third in the AL East, entering a four-game series with second place Toronto at Yankee Stadium that begins Thursday.

But, again, it’s still early.

“I think everyone wants to win and we’ve had a lot of weird circumstances early, with some injuries and some rainouts and weather,” Gray said. “There’s been a lot of things going against us, but I feel like we’re still hanging strong and we feel good in the clubhouse.”

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