Frankie Montas STINKS in Debut. St Louis 12 Yankees 9

Frankie Montas stunk up the joint in his debut for the Yankees, allowing 6 runs in the first 2 innings to blow a 4-1 lead he had been given.

The Yankees came back to tie the game 6-6 in the middle innings, but lost 12-9 when Albert Abreu and Jonathan Loaisiga failed in relief, and then new reliever Scott Effross really effed up – allowing 3 runs in the 8th to allow the Cardinals to blow the game open.

On a HOT, HUMID Sunday afternoon in St Louis — game time temperature 93 degrees, but 103 degrees on the field said Suzyn Waldman.

“I was missing my spots a lot,” said Montas afterwards. “My mechanics weren’t in synch. I didn’t have the best delivery today. I was all over the place.”

The loss was the Yanks’ 5th in a row. Their record fell to 70-39 (.642 pct) and their 1st place lead shrunk to 9.5 games over Toronto and 11.5 over Tampa, 13.5 over Baltimore, and 16.5 over Boston. St Louis improves to 60-48, 2 games over Milwaukee.

1. Montas Sucked

But the real story was the PUTRID start by Montas, which left Yankee Twitter thinking they’d gotten another “soft” starter from Oakland, like Sonny Gray.

NY gave Montas a 1-0 lead in the top of the 1st off a DJ LeMahieu double and Matt Carpenter sac fly, but Montas gave it back immediately in the bottom of the 1st, allowing:

  • a single,
  • hit by pitch,
  • popup,
  • single to Nolan Arenado to tie the game 1-1.

Thus his debut as a Yankee. It got a lot worse. NY got him a 4-1 lead in the top of the 2nd, but the bottom of the 2nd went like this:

  • Walk,
  • Walk,
  • Strikeout,
  • Double for 2 runs — 4-2 game,
  • Walk,
  • Sac Fly to make it 4-3 NY, and
  • Homerun by Nolan Arenado — St Louis 6 NY 4.

Yes Montas just came off bereavement, and yes he hadn’t pitched in a week and a half (since July 26), and yes it was 93 degrees out but 103 degrees on the field and HUMID as all hell.

But Montas said he “was feeling pretty good; just had some mechanical issues. I’m not used to walking a lot of guys, so obviously my delivery wasn’t right.”

“He had a hard time putting guys away,” said manager Aaron Boone about Montas afterwards.

Montas finally got the final out in the 2nd and pitched a relatively easy 3rd, allowing a 2-out single but finishing the inning. Manager Aaron Boone lifted him after 3 — Montas was at 64 pitches.

Jared Carrabis was first to point out when the Yanks acquired Montas, that “since the start of 2020, Frankie Montas has a 4.79 ERA in 141 innings when he doesn’t pitch in Oakland with all that foul ground, a 5.01 ERA in 32.1 innings this year away from Oakland.”

And of course the Yankees traded Jordan Montgomery as a consequence of acquiring Montas — and Monty had:

  1. Proved he could pitch in NY, and
  2. Has a Lower WHIP than Montas, and
  3. Has allowed 3 runs or fewer in 18 of his 22 starts on the season.

Not to mention NY gave away one of their best young pitching studs in Hayden Wesneski in the trade for Montas.

2. Judge & Yankee Offense Did Their Best

The Yanks unloaded 16 hits on the day, out hitting St Louis 16-11. But of course as Aaron Boone has said, ‘baseball is a scoring contest, not a hitting contest.’

The much-maligned Aaron Hicks got 3 hits on the afternoon. The first was an RBI single in the top of the 2nd to put the Yanks on top 2-1.

Aaron Judge did the most damage for the Yanks — coming up BIG with two, 2-out, clutch, 2-RBI hits in the game. The first was in the top of the 2nd, when with 2 out, and 2 strikes, he ripped a single to center off 40-year-old starter Adam Wainwright for a 4-1 Yankee lead at the time.

Down 6-4, Judge tied the game in the 5th with a 2-out, 2 strikes, CLUTCH double to deep center to make it 6-6.

3. Bottom of the 5th Dooms Yanks

The bottom of the 5th took about 3 hours it seemed. It was the Yanks undoing. Albert Abreu allowed a 1-out single to Laars Nootbaar and a double by Paul DeJong to give St Louis a 7-6 lead.

Jonathan Loaisiga came in and got an out before allowing a single to center by 2nd baseman Tommy EdmanAaron Hicks threw home to Jose Trevino who made a terrific catch and tag to gun DeJong out and end the inning. But the Cardinals challenged the play and it was overturned.

It was a key play in the game. It made it 8-6 St Louis and the inning continued.

Loasiga then walked the next two batters and was lifted for Lou Trivino, who walked Paul Goldschmidt for a run before getting the final out.

St Louis 9 NY 6.

4. Yanks Come Back

But the Yanks were relentless. They raked Chris Stratton — whom St Louis had picked up from Pittsburgh just before the trade deadline — with the following in the top of the 6th:

Finally the Cardinals lifted Stratton and brought in Jordan Hicks who got LeMahieu to ground out.

5. Effross Effs Up

And so it was 9-8 St Louis, and anyone’s game until the bottom of the 8th when Scott Effross, whom the Yanks acquired at the trade deadline, allowed a 3-run homer to Paul DeJong to make it 12-8 St Louis.

6. LeMahieu Homer a Tease

DJ LeMahieu hit a homer in the 9th off ace reliever Ryan Helsley — a tease. It would’ve tied the game had St Louis not scored 3 in the 8th — if Helsley threw the same pitch with a 1-run lead versus the 4-run lead. Hard to say but it was still, Insult to Injury.

Helsley got the last 2 outs for the old ballgame.

The Boxscore

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