Monty & the Bullpen Stifle Rays to Tie Series, 5-1 — 5 Reasons Why

Jordan Montgomery did his best Andy Pettitte, and the Yankee bullpen threw 5 shutout innings to keep the Yankees alive with a 5-1 win over Tampa to even the 5-game series at 2-2.

The reasons why:

1. Montgomery Did His Best Pettitte

Jordan Montgomery reminds me of Andy Pettitte. He is a 6’5 lefty who came up thru the Yankee farm system to little fanfare, and had an excellent rookie season when he simply made good start after good start to go 9-7 3.88 in 2017. Very similar to the way Andy Pettitte made the scene with the Yanks in his rookie season, 1995, when he made good start after good start to go 12-9 4.17 — and be completely overlooked on WFAN radio and local media.

Like Pettitte, Montgomery pitches with a plan and seems in control of a variety of pitches, including his 95-mph fastball with some movement that he uses to get out of jams with strikeouts.

Now — “reminds” is not “is as good as”. Pettitte should have won a Cy Young in his 2nd year, and had a Hall of Fame-calibre career. Montgomery blew out his arm in his 2nd year, and has been struggling to get back since then.

In this game, Montgomery, staked to a 2-o lead in the 2nd, almost immediately gave it all way in the top of the 3rd — a walk to Wiley Adames and a ground-rules double to Kevin Kiermaier and it was 2nd & 3rd nobody out. Someone on twitter said “Tie Game” and I had to look twice to make sure it was still NY 2-0.

Monty got tough — striking out Zunino with an 82 MPH changeup on a 3-2 pitch. He walked Diaz to load the bases, and allowed a run on a groundout by Lowe. But Monty got Arozarena on a groundout to 3rd and Monty got out of the jam with only the 1 run; NY 2 Tampa 1.

Monty allowed 2 runners in the 4th but got out of it. Manager Aaron Boone pulled him after 4 and brought in Chad Green. Monty had done his job — 4 gritty innings, leaving with the Yanks holding a 2-1 lead.

2. Just Enough Offense

Luke Voit to Detroit to start the 2nd and make it 1-0 NY. Tampa’s Ryan Thompson then walked the bases loaded before DJ LeMahieu hit a sac fly to make it 2-0.

Tampa brought in Ryan Yarbrough and he kept Tampa in the game, pitching 3 shutout innings before the Yanks got to him in the 6th, when Brett Gardner singled and Gleyber Torres raked a HUGE home run to make it 4-1 NY.

3. Yankee Bullpen Suffocates Rays

Chad Green relieved Monty for the 5th and blew SMOKE. Strike after strike he cruised thru the inning. Zack Britton came in and was light’s out — strike after strike he cruised thru the 7th and got the 1st two outs of the 8th on strikeouts when Boone inexplicably pulled him for Aroldis Chapman.

Yankee Twitter was bewildered and screaching epitaphs at Boone as Chapman walked his first batter, before getting a strikeout to end the 8th.

4. Insurance Runs

Up 4-1 heading t o the 9th, Yankee Twitter asked for Insurance Runs and the Yanks obliged.

Gleyber Torres got a one-out single, stole 2nd, and Kyle Higashioka — Higgy — hit a line-drive single to left to score the insurance run, making it 5-1 NY.

5. Boone Makes Right Decisions

Chapman blew Smoke in the 9th — striking out Brosseau on an 8-pitch battle to end it.

On the night Aaron Boone had made every right decision:

  1. Boone started Brett Gardner amidst criticism from Yankee Twitter who felt Clint Frazier should be in. Brett Gardner went 2-3 with a walk; 2 runs scored. Aaron Boone made the right decision.
  2. Boone started Higgy at catcher, benching Gary Sanchez. Some on Yankee Twitter criticized this move. Higgy went 2 for 4 with that BIG insurance-run RBI single in the 8th. Boone was right to play him.
  3. Boone was right to start Monty, and was right to pull him after only 4 innings (62 pitches) amidst some criticism. He was right on all counts.
  4. Boone pulling Britton who was cruising with 2 outs in the 8th worked out as well.

The Boxscore

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