Sonny Gray gets Game 5 start over Bartolo Colon

Ever since the the Tigers shoved a knife in the hearts of the A’s and their fans Tuesday by rallying in Game 4 to tie the ALDS, the hot storyline in the series has been surrounding who would get the start in the deciding Game 5 for the A’s: rookie Sonny Gray or 40-year-old Bartolo Colon. It’s Colon’s scheduled start in the postseason rotation, but Gray was lights out in Game 2 with nine strikeouts in eight scoreless innings.

Wednesday afternoon was when Bob Melvin’s decision was expected to be announced. Wednesday afternoon has now passed us. And… hopefully you like your eggs Sonny side up.

Either way, the A’s would have been sending to the mound a pitcher who has impressed in his own ways this season. Colon at his age has turned the heads of many with his suspicious surprising 18-6 record and second lowest ERA (2.65) in the AL and has emerged as the A’s alpha dog in the rotation. Gray, only a 23-year-old rookie, has been a rock ever since being inserted to the rotation (5-3, 2.67 ERA, 9.42 K/9) midway through the season. Game 2 proved that.

But as all the debating indicates, there are pros and cons for each pitcher being given the ball with the entire season at stake. Let’s take a look at them.

PROS of Bartolo Colon starting:

  • He’s a veteran
  • He’s the team’s ace
  • He was one of the best pitchers in baseball this season.
  • Allows for Gray to come out of the bullpen, a role he excelled in earlier this season.

CONS of Bartolo Colon starting:

  • Roughed up in Game 1
  • Tigers have owned him since 2003 (0-7 record, 6.93 ERA)
  • Has been erratic on the mound at times this season.
  • Sonny Gray would likely have to pitch on the road in Boston in the ALCS, if the A’s win.

PROS of Sonny Gray starting:

  • Dominated the Tigers in Game 2.
  • Tigers still have seen him only once. He’s still relatively unknown to them.
  • He pitches better at the Coliseum.
  • Went pitch for pitch with freakin’ Justin Verlander, who will also start Game 5, in Game 2.

CONS of Sonny Gray starting:

  • You’re giving the ball to a rookie with the season on the line.
  • His peach fuzz mustache.
  • Sonny Gray puns.
  • He’s a rookie.
  • He’s a rookie.
  • He’s a rookie.

Personally, I would have stuck with Colon. He’s been The Man all season (suspicions aside). Don’t outthink yourself. Stick with the guy who was supposed to pitch. That would have allowed Gray to come out of the pen if necessary. But Bob Melvin clearly sees it otherwise. A’s fans better pray to the divine being that is the ghost of Coco Crisp’s afro that Melvin is right.

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