September was also a fulfilling month (2.95 ERA, 4.94 FIP, .241/.322/.430 line for 21 games over 4 starts. 1⁄3 Number of innings pitched), Josiah Gray lowered his ERA to 3.91 that year, finishing his second full season in the majors (And throughout the third season) A strong run put an end to what had been a rough second half (5.79 ERA, 5.40 FIP, .252/.372/.392 against bats in 37 games 1⁄3 IP from July 16th to August 28th).
Although his walks were higher than his 2022 total (80 in 159 IP, 4.53 BB/9; up from 148 in 66 2⁄3 Intellectual property; 4.00 BB/9 ’22), Gray has reduced his home runs by 16 this season (Total of 22 pieces. 1.59 HR/9; dropped from league-leading 38. 22 years 2.30 HR/9), something that Washington’s upper echelons noticed and celebrated.
“It was another good step in his development.” GM Mike Rizzo told 106.7 The Fan on Sports Junkies in D.C. Late September for the entire Gray season.
“He knows walks are a big part of his success and he needs to improve on that, but he has improved a little bit on that.
“Obviously his home run rate has improved, he’s hitting the ball better, he’s got more composure, he’s attacking the strike zone.
“He has some swing-and-miss pitches. So he’s made a big change. It’s been a good year of growth for him.”
It was also the second full and healthy season for the 25-year-old right-hander, acquired from Los Angeles in the Max Scherzer/Tree Turner deal. dodgers In 2021, they won the aforementioned 159 IPs, with up to 30 starts this year.
“We’re starting with 30 people,” Rizzo said. “He got through the season with 30 starts. Next year I hope he takes it and runs with it and throws 180-200 innings. We don’t have to monitor him, we don’t have to worry about him. No.” You don’t have to do anything with him, just give him the ball every five days and let him roll.”
Pulling out Gray’s highlight stats in a season-in-review, the Nationals noted the following:
• In his second full season with the Nationals, Gray was named a National League All-Star for the first time…named a “Good Guy” by DC Media.
• Set career highs in wins (8), starts (30), and IP (159.0)…recorded a 2.55 ERA (ER19/IP67.0) with 5 HR.[s] Twelve starts will be allowed from April 6th to June 9th.
• 6th in the MLB (3rd in the National League) with a road ERA of 2.97… Recorded 21 SO and 5 BB in the last three starts, and had a good performance with an ERA of 2.01 (ER4/IP17.1).
• Ranked in the National League against RISP. SLG (2nd, .232) & opp. AVG (3rd, .195)… RISP allowed only 4 XBH hits (2B, HR) 4 and no hits with the bases loaded.
• 16 fewer HRs than in 2022 (38)…2023 Pitch composition: Slider (24.6%) Cutter (17.8%) Sinker (17.2%) 4-seam (17%) Curve (16.2%) Sweeper (5.5%) Change ( 1.6%).
In a recent interview with MLB Network, Gray was asked how things have changed this season, and he answered, “It starts with how I use my pitches,” and “I know it’s my slider and my curveball, and I’m relying on better pitches.” I wanted to do it,” he said.
The data he and the Nationals’ baseball operations staff looked at caused Gray to rethink his entire approach.
“I knew the reason I was successful with that pitch was because I was pitching,” he explained.
“So how do we make them more emphatic and still be effective? Then we bring in a cutter to give left-handed pitchers a weapon on the inside part of the plate that they have to respect with good velocity.”
Looking at the breakdown of pitching selections for 2022 and 2023, Gray offered the following insight into what stood out.
“I think the first thing you’ll see is that all the pitches are more evenly divided,” he said. “Every pitch had a point of how to use it in my repertoire.
“In 2022, I was a three-pitch guy, and the hitters were prepared for it and acted like they knew what was going to happen.
“So this year, by bringing in a cutter and a more breaking-ball oriented approach, I was able to use my fastball a little more and was more effective this year.”
Coach Gray was happy to see his starter pitch well in his final start against the Orioles in the postseason.6.0 IP, 5H, 2BB, 1ER, 7K), he used his fastball and changeup effectively on the road trip to Baltimore.
“He did really well,” Martinez explained. “He used up all of his pitches. Changeup, he threw a really good changeup today. But his fastball was great. It was electric today. I’m proud of him.”
“He finished the season really strong and we can carry that into next year.”
“That’s what I saw today,” Martinez said. “Really. I think he can repeat every five days what you saw today. And now, like I said, this is great for him, especially how he uses his changeup, how he uses his fastball, It should give him confidence in his grasp of fastball location. This is a big step forward for him and like I said, it’s going to be great to come home this winter and develop that further.”
Gray said a strong September and a good start in the finals against the O’s helped him enter the offseason with a positive mindset.
“I think any time we can finish a strong game, we can go into the offseason with a positive mindset,” he said. “I feel like I can check that box. We’ve had some good outings the last few outings, but I think some of the changes we’ve made in the last three outings have definitely worked. Obviously it’s going to be a lot of fun going into the offseason. [bred] result. So I can focus on those things and have a positive offseason and look forward to coming back from there next year. ”
The Nationals’ only All-Star representative this year said that while he was happy with the last game and the season as a whole, there was clearly still a lot of room for improvement.
“It’s been a crazy season,” Gray said. “Obviously, I never dreamed I would be an All-Star, so just being able to go out there and be successful was surreal just to be in that environment.
“And it was also hard to struggle after the break. I can’t really describe it in words. You know, it was kind of like [question], “Hey, what am I doing here?” Where are things going? ”
“So for me to be able to bounce back from that, obviously with the trust of my teammates and staff, that means a lot. “Every day I go to know there are brighter days ahead. I can go out there and keep working.”
“This has been a good year,” Gray concluded. “But we know there is still much work to do.”