New York Yankees: 3 major takeaways from “Monty’s” win over the O’s

New York Yankees, Jordan Montgomery

The word of the day is shutout. Last night the New York Yankees shut out the Baltimore Orioles 7-0. Starter Jordan Montgomery was brilliant, Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton were powerful, and the New York Yankees went 3 for 6 with men in scoring position. Although everyone didn’t take part in the party, the Yankee bats came to life.

Jordan Montgomery has the best start of the season

Last night against the Baltimore Orioles, Jordan Montgomery was totally dominant. He had command of all of his pitches and put down Oriole after Oriole. He went six innings striking out seven O’s, without issuing a walk. And, of course, he did not allow an Oriole run. In tandem, Luis Cessa replaced him in the seventh inning and continued where Montgomery left off pitching two clean innings while striking out 3. To complete the excellent night, Aroldis Chapman closed out the ninth inning striking out three.

It probably shouldn’t be a surprise that Montgomery pitched so well; in his 3 spring training starts, he had a tiny ERA of 0.90 across 10 innings of work. Last year Monty didn’t have the best of seasons, going 2-3 with an ERA of 5.11 but rebound nicely in the postseason with an ERA of 2.25. His career average ERA is 4.14. “Monty” is very positive this year, two years out from his Tommy John surgery, and is poised to become an important part of the rotation, if last night’s performance is any indication he seems headed for success.

471′ Grand Slam for Giancarlo Stanton

Few baseball players hit the ball as hard as Giancarlo Stanton. Last night against the Baltimore Orioles, he showed off with the New York Yankees’ first Grand Slam of the young season. The night started with Aaron Judge hitting a cheap 340′ home run off Jorge Lopez, just over the short right-field wall. But with the bases loaded in the fifth inning and with two outs, Giancarlo Stanton walked up to the plate and slammed a homer 471′ far into the stands for the Yankees 6-0 lead.

It was reported by Michael Kay of the YES Network that the homer was off a pitch that was thrown at 92 mph by Orioles pitcher Shawn Armstrong but exited Stanton’s bat at 115.1 mph. After playing in only 18 games during the 2020 regular season, Stanton came alive in the postseason, hitting 6 home runs in just seven postseason games. Last night he had the first of many home runs to come.

Part of the secret to the New York Yankees’ success in 2021 is to keep both Judge and Stanton healthy. If they can stay on the field together, there will be no stopping the Yankees. In games that both Judge and Stanton have hit home runs, the Yankees have a record of 8-0.

The Yankees hit with men in scoring position

Yesterday I wrote an article critical of the Yankee’s ability to hit the ball. Over the last 12 games of spring training, the Yankees scored only 3.1 runs per game. In the first 3 games of the new season, they scored just 2.1 runs per game. Anyone that knows anything about baseball knows that thy kind of run production doesn’t win games.

I pointed out that this was not a new problem for the Yankees, pointing out that it happened for periods last season and in past postseasons when the championship was on the line. Last night the Yankees showed what they could do hitting, and hitting with men in scoring position. Now they have to find a way to be consistent with their hitting.

The Yankee ace Gerrit Cole will face the Baltimore Oriole’s Dean Kremer in a 6:35 pm game at Yankee Stadium tonight. Cole in his first start struck out 8 in a no-decision game. Tonight he will get his chance to get his first win of the season, hopefully, the Yankee bats will cooperate. The game will be broadcast in Baltimore and in the New York area on the YES Network.

 

 

Knicks’ biggest problem is smacking them right in the face

new york knicks, julius randle

Most would say that Kyrie Irving was the difference in the New York Knicks’ loss to the Brooklyn Nets on Monday evening, and they would be right. Irving posted 40 points, shooting 15-of-28 from the field and 5-of-12 from downtown, but his biggest moment came in the final seconds of the fourth quarter when he executed a perfect step-back three-pointer, breaking Julius Randle’s ankles in the process.

The Knicks’ defense held Brooklyn below their average per game but still fell by two points, with Randle missing the final shot to tie the game. New York continues to force-feed Randle in the final moments, and there has been only a handful of times where he’s connected on the shot, sending the team to overtime just to lose it in the end.

Brooklyn has officially swept New York this season, and the Knicks continue to lose contests that come down to the wire. Recently, they lost to the worst team in the NBA, the Minnesota Timberwolves by one point, the 76ers by one point, and the Nets by five a few weeks ago.

Until the Knicks find the recipe for success and winning games down the stretch, they will continue to trend downward, as beating bad teams simply isn’t enough to make the playoffs. They are currently 10 games behind Brooklyn in the Atlantic standings and nine games behind Philly, who are in 2nd place.

Did Tom Thibodeau lose this game for the New York Knicks?

While Thibodeau has been a fantastic coach this season, making the Knicks somewhat relevant, his desire to provide Randle with a final shot in most games is becoming malpractice.

At the end of the day, RJ Barrett was connecting on shots efficiently, and Alec Burks hit a game-tying three-pointer with seconds left on the clock. You could make the argument that either Barrett or Burks were better options over Julius, who was clearly dealing with an injury in the fourth quarter and was shooting poorly.

In fact, Barrett was 7-of-13 in the game, with 22 points, outscoring Randle. Even Reggie Bullock might’ve been a better option, who scored 21 points and was 50% from downtown. Eventually, Thibs is going to have to give the ball to others, as Randle seemingly doesn’t have that clutch gene.

How does the Sam Darnold trade affect the New York Giants at 11?

new york giants, sam darnold, saquon barkley

The New York Giants currently sit with the 11th overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft, but it seems as if every team is moving around them. The new draft order is far different than it looked about a month ago, with the San Francisco 49ers trading with the Miami Dolphins all the way to the third selection. Miami jumped back to the 12th spot and then traded with the Philadelphia Eagles back up to the sixth selection.

The Giants have essentially been watching everything unfold beneath them, but how does the current outlook of the draft impact their potential selection in less than a month?

Current draft order leading up to the New York Giants:

1. Jacksonville Jaguars
2. New York Jets
3. San Francisco 49ers (from Miami Dolphins via Houston Texans)
4. Atlanta Falcons
5. Cincinnati Bengals
6. Miami Dolphins (from Philadelphia Eagles)
7. Detroit Lions
8. Carolina Panthers
9. Denver Broncos
10. Dallas Cowboys
11. New York Giants

On Monday afternoon, the New York Jets officially traded quarterback Sam Darnold to the Carolina Panthers in exchange for a sixth-round pick in 2021 and 2nd/4th rounder in 2022. While this wasn’t exactly the haul they anticipated, they did get some decent value back in the future for their former first-round selection.

The Jets will now likely draft BYU quarterback Zach Wilson with the second overall pick in 2021, but what does that mean for the Giants as the Carolina Panthers no longer need a quarterback?

With Carolina in the eighth spot, the anticipation was that they could target a player like QB Trey Lance, but now they’re more likely to invest in a weapon or offensive lineman.

Many have mocked a star receiver or Northwestern OL Rashawn Slater to the Giants at 11, but the possibility of either falling dwindles with each passing trade. Nonetheless, there is a bevy of talent available, and with so many quarterbacks expected to come off the board in the top 10 picks, the Giants will have an opportunity to grab a premium talent or trade back for more capital.

As co-owner John Mara said recently, signing Kenny Golladay and Adoree Jackson allows the Giants to be a bit more flexible in the first round, taking the best player available or allocating toward a position of need. However, reaching on a pass rusher in a weak class would be a mistake, especially with players like Micah Parsons or even Jaylen Waddle on the board.

Nonetheless, the impact that Darnold has on the Giants’ draft pick is that Carolina could take a skill player; potentially one Big Blue desires. While it could hurt the Giants, there’s always the possibility they trade back and swap with a team like the New England Patriots who could target a quarterback.