After losing the first two contests with the Tampa Bay Rays 10-5 and 4-0, the New York Yankees look to salvage the series on Sunday at Tropicana Field. The Yankees plan to start Jordan Montgomery in the finale after coming off one of his best career starts as the team looks to build some early season momentum.
On Monday against the Orioles, Montgomery pitched six scoreless innings, allowing just four hits and striking out seven. With exception to Gerrit Cole’s start against the Orioles, Montgomery’s outing was the best of all pitchers through the Yankees’ first eight games.
New York could very much use another strong outing from Montgomery on Sunday. The Yankees have used their bullpen for 9.2 innings through two games against the Rays, and could use a lengthy start from their lefty to rest relievers for the impending Blue Jays series.
Another good start from Montgomery could be what gets the Yankees finally firing on all cylinders. The team looks lost through eight games as they’ve struggled to get consistent hitting and timely pitching. A win could build momentum for the Yankees in the midst of their six game road trip.
However, a loss for New York would put the team at 3-6 on the season. It’s certainly very early in the season and the team will have plenty of time to recover, but you never want to fall into an early hole. Also, a win on Sunday turns the rotation over to Gerrit Cole for Monday’s opener against the Blue Jays. Pitching to a win the day before your ace pitches is often a big booster for team morale.
With a sweep looming, Sunday’s game is an important one for the Yankees. The team could use a strong start from Montgomery to gain momentum and turn their early season misfortunes around.