In some ways, Monday night marked the worst performance of Jordan Montgomery’s otherwise stellar season.
The left-hander allowed a session-high five runs—all in a disastrous third inning—against an Athletics lineup that averaged just 3.18 runs per day, good for a 29th-best in MLB. was.
And yet, in other ways, Montgomery’s final line—which included six strikes in 6/ innings at the Yankees’ 9-5 comeback win – may also be considered for one of their best.
“He did a great job of getting deep into the game and pitching anyway,” said manager Aaron Boone.
With one runner in the first innings and two dismissals in the third inning, Montgomery appeared to be hovering over the 2/₃ scoreless innings.
But that third out proved elusive. The left-hander broke, making five two-out runs, burying the Yankees in the opening hole 5-1.
“I wasn’t just executing pitches,” Montgomery said.
Then, all at once, Montgomery’s fortunes reversed.
Instead of fading, he rebounded, ending his night on a positive note. Montgomery retired Christian Pache for trapping a runner and being out in the third inning. Including Pache, he faced 12 of the final 14 batsmen, pitching in the seventh innings.
And as he departed from loyal Yankee Stadium to the tune of a cheery cheerleader, the crowd recognized what his efforts had meant. Although the Yankees still trailed 5-3, Montgomery kept him in the game, giving the team’s powerful batsmen a chance to make a comeback.
“I think it really just comes down to three bad pitches,” Boone said. “Some errant pitches hurt him, obviously. But there’s always something good about Monty, whatever it is he just keeps on struggling. And to get us into seventh place, it’s an exciting outing.” Is.”
Overall, Montgomery’s outing – once a ticket to disaster – wound up being the third longest start of the season.
For Montgomery, the flaws would be hard to ignore. His ERA rose again to 3.27, falling to 2.70 before starting three times.
This is the fatal third innings he wants back.
“I expect too much of myself,” Montgomery said. “I’m sick of giving runs and I know I’m good enough. So I just have to keep grinding.”
But, the rest of his outing, which turned into the Yankees’ 54th win in a league-leading season, offered something to build on.