From the start, something was amiss. Even in his scoreless innings, Jordan Montgomery put multiple runners on base.
“I just wasn’t commanding the fastball,” the Yankees’ left-hander said. “I was throwing changeups, curveballs, sliders for strikes, more accurately than fastballs, which just can’t happen.”
It was his poor fastball command that led to one of the more disappointing outings of his brief career.
Handed a five-run lead, Montgomery gave four back, failed to even make it through the fifth inning, and allowed a career-high 10 hits, walked two and threw 86 pitches, 57 for strikes, over 4 ¹/₃ mostly ineffective frames.
He didn’t factor into the decision in the Yankees’ dismal 8-7, 12-inning loss to the Orioles at the Stadium, but Montgomery sure didn’t help matters.
He helped turn what looked like an easy win into an ugly defeat.
After the Yankees sent 10 batters to the plate in the home first, putting up five runs, Montgomery followed by allowing back-to-back hits to the Orioles in the second that sliced the deficit to four runs.
He allowed Tim Beckham’s two-out, run-scoring single in the third, and Danny Valencia’s two-run shot in the fifth.
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“I got to go out there and be more aggressive after that,” he said, referring to the five-run first inning. “I couldn’t get the job done. … I got to make more pitches.”
In the two innings Montgomery put up zeroes, he needed to register big outs to keep the Orioles off the board.
He struck out Valencia to leave two runners on base in the first, and induced Valencia into a key double play after the first two Orioles singled to start the third.
“I thought he was real clean in the first inning, but from there on out, it seemed like he was struggling to find his command,” manager Aaron Boone said. “He just had a lot of innings where it was a grind for him today. It just felt like he couldn’t get settled from a command standpoint.”
Without the fastball command, Montgomery relied mostly on his offspeed pitches, and he was unable to put away hitters. Of the 11 hits he allowed, three came with two strikes. Valencia’s two-run homer in the fifth came on an 0-2 curveball. It was the last pitch Montgomery threw.
“Just a bad curveball,” he said.
It was emblematic of an outing Montgomery would like to forget.