New York Yankees: Jordan Montgomery ready to make the most important start of his life

Andres Chavez
New York Yankees, Jordan Montgomery
Apr 21, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Jordan Montgomery (47) throws to first base against the Toronto Blue Jays during the second inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

For the New York Yankees, the moment of truth has arrived. If they win tonight against the Tampa Bay Rays, they will force a decisive Game 5 in the division series, one in which they will presumably start Gerrit Cole on short rest. If they lose, they will go home and their season will end.

Tasked with the responsibility of holding the suddenly hot Tampa offense is left-hander Jordan Montgomery. In the regular season, Monty had a bloated 5.11 ERA in 10 starts and 44.0 innings. However, his peripherals tell a different story.

His 3.87 FIP is very decent, even good, and it is supported by a 3.65 xFIP, 9.61 K/9 and only 1.84 BB/9. He had some bad luck when it comes to his strand rate: the 65.0% mark is significantly lower than his career 72.7 register.

Montgomery, the Yankees card for silencing the Rays tonight, was shelled by his current foe on September 2, allowing five hits, four runs and a walk in 0.2 innings. He will try to leave that day behind and propel the Bombers to a victory.

“I’m excited to get the opportunity,” Montgomery said to Mandy Bell of MLB.com. “I’ve been waiting since 2017, especially since I got hurt. So I’m really excited to go out there and just pitch again.”

“This is what I’ve been working, really, my whole career for,” Montgomery said. “Especially when you haven’t been out there in a while, you get a little antsy and you feel like you want to get out there even more.”

The Yankees are counting on him

It has been a while since his last appearance, but the Yankees’ lefty says he has been staying in physical and mental shape.

“I’ve been staying ready mentally since I got in the bullpen,” Montgomery said. “This deep into the season, I’m pretty confident about where I’m at right now.”

He now has the New York Yankees’ season resting in his left arm. But he’s ready for the challenge.