WASHINGTON – Josiah Gray, 24, has been with the Nationals for less than a calendar year.
But the right-handed pitcher ranks among the career leaders for the club in an overlooked category.
According to research by Federal Baseball, Gray ranks third in starts by African-American pitchers in the history of the Nationals, since 2005.
He made his 19th start on Saturday at the Angels and went 5.1 innings and allowed three runs as the Nationals won 7-3.
“It means a lot,” Gray told reporters of beating the Angels with Mike Trout, Anthony Rendon, and Shohei Ohtani. “Being able to trust my stuff and go out there with full confidence and be able to get those guys out is just another boost to my confidence. I can go out there every outing on the mound and know that my stuff plays at this level and I can get the best hitters out.”
Gray came to the Nationals last July from the Dodgers in the deal that sent Max Scherzer and Trea Turner out west.
A native of upstate New York, Gray pitched in college at LeMoyne.
The leader in the category for most starts by an African-American pitcher for the Nationals is Joe Ross, who grew up in the Bay Area and has made 76 starts since his debut with Washington in 2015.
Ross is currently on the Injured List, as is Stephen Strasburg.
Second on the list is Edwin Jackson, who was born in Germany to a military family but went to high school in Georgia.
The right-hander made 44 starts for the Nationals – 31 in 2012 when the team won its first National League East title and then he made 17 starts in 2017 for the club.
Jackson last pitched in the majors for the Detroit Tigers in 2019.
Gray didn’t get through six innings but he got the win Saturday night.
“He battled, and he got out of some big moments,” manager Dave Martinez told reporters.
“And for me, that’s just a learning curve for him. Every time we see him go out there every five days, he’s starting to get better, he’s starting to stay within himself, he’s breathing a lot better. It was a big day for him, and I talked to him about that: ‘You’re getting a whole better at staying in the moment and making your next pitch.’ “
As for Washington events for May 9 from baseballreference.com for 2015:
“Bryce Harper continues his insanely hot streak, as he connects for a two-run walk-off homer against Cody Martin to give the Nationals an 8 - 6 win over the Braves. This comes a day after he became the youngest player ever to hit five homers in two days; he is also the first player in ten years to have hit 6 homers in 3 games, since Hee-Seop Choi in 2005.”