All Sonny Gray needed was a change of clothes.
The former Yankee struggled through the first four innings of his start on Wednesday, allowing a pair of runs on seven hits. After surrendering two runs in the fourth inning, Gray decided to swap outfits in search of better luck.
“I came into the clubhouse and I got completely naked and I changed everything that I was wearing except for my cleats,” Gray told reporters after Wednesday’s game. “I tried to cool off. I changed my jersey, my pants, my underwear and my socks — I guess that’s all I was wearing — and just tried to reset and start over.”
Following the wardrobe change, Gray retired the final nine batters he faced and notched five strikeouts. The Reds offense, too, turned the game around, scoring five runs across the final three innings to beat Kansas City, 5-2.
Gray admitted to waking up Wednesday morning “super nervous,” noting that he felt like he was going to vomit all day.
“I was a little angry elf,” Gray said. “Some days just be like that, I guess.”
It’s not the first time that Gray has resorted to changing clothes mid-start. In an outing against the Marlins in 2019, Gray labored through the first three innings, allowing two runs in the third. After the inning, Gray stripped in the clubhouse and proceeded to retire the final nine hitters he faced.
“I’m 2-2 with it,” Gray said. “Hopefully, I won’t have to do it much down the road, but I’ll always keep it in the memory bank in case I need to again.”