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Game Preview: Jon Gray vs. a pitcher who is not Jon Gray and is therefore less interesting

The Rockies face the Padres today in a game in which only one of the pitchers is Jon Gray.

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

The Rockies face the Padres in Denver this evening. One of the pitchers is Jon Gray. The other pitcher is not Jon Gray.

The Rockies starter in this game is the pitcher who is, in fact, Jon Gray. Gray will make his third career start and his second at Coors Field. He has impressed in his first two outings.

In Gray's first, he labored through a long first inning and ultimately allowed three runs on five hits in four innings. It was one of those games where what you saw with your eyes trumped the final line. For Gray's second start, the visuals dovetailed precisely with the statistical performance. He pitched six innings on just 75 pitches and allowed just one hit and a couple of walks while striking out five. The one hit was a home run, so it wasn't exactly a perfect outing.

Through two games and ten innings, Gray has a 2.70 ERA, has struck out about eight batters per nine, and has walked a mildly disappointing 3.6 per nine. His Dream Factor+ is off the charts, too.

The Padres counter with a pitcher who, by virtue of his non-Jon Grayness, remains a mystery. Google is also mystified as to any aspect of this pitcher's identity aside from the absence of Jon Gray qualities.

Further research did yield information. Nick Hundley, who has caught Jon Gray for his first two starts, previously played for the San Diego Padres. Hundley has, in fact, caught games for this pitcher during the pre-Gray era, 2012-2014. Sources indicate that his name is Andrew Cashner. Further sources indicate that "Andrew Cashner" is indeed not Jon Gray. And yet further conferencing with Purple Row boss Bryan Kilpatrick indicates that I should stop dicking around and say something substantial about Cashner.

Cashner throws a sinker and a four-seam fastball that both sit in the mid-90s. He complements those pitches with a slider and a changeup. Cashner has five career starts against the Rockies, though tonight will be his first of the 2015 season. Two of Cashner's five starts have come at Coors Field, though he hasn't started a game in Denver since 2013.

Jon Gray is 0-3 with a -100 OPS+ in his career; Gray will attempt to record his first hit today against Cashner.

Today's Lineups

Yangervis Solarte - 3B Charlie Blackmon - CF
Yonder Alonso - 1B Jose Reyes - SS
Matt Kemp - RF Carlos Gonzalez - RF
Justin Upton - LF Nolan Arenado - 3B
Jedd Gyorko - 2B Ben Paulsen - 1B
Derek Norris - C DJ LeMahieu - 2B
Alexi Amarista - SS Nick Hundley - C
Melvin Upton Jr. - CF Kyle Parker - LF
Not Jon Gray - RHP Jon Gray - RHP