After less than flattering comments, New York Yankees pitching coach Matt Blake fires back at St. Louis Cardinals starter Jordan Montgomery.
Last week, new St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Jordan Montgomery credited the organization for trusting him to throw his fastball more … and at the same time, took a shot at his former team, the New York Yankees, who he said “didn’t really have much faith in my heater.”
Montgomery added: “I’ve got a good fastball. They trust me here (in St. Louis). The Yankees … didn’t want me throwing fastballs.”
When asked about his comments, Yankees pitching coach Matt Blake fired back at Montgomery. Via the New York Post, Blake said: “I don’t think we would change anything about how we used him. There’s definitely something to him being convicted to his plan and trusting the four-seamer when he throws it. But if you look at his pitches overall objectively, it’s the least of his pitches. That’s why it’s hard to validate that he should throw more often. … The way he’s using his four-seamer is more than we would advise him to throw.”
So far, it’s hard to argue with Montgomery considering the numbers he’s put up with the Cardinals. In eight starts, he has a 2.05 ERA and 44/9 strikeout-to-walk ratio, and has made a decent rotation into a very strong unit headed into the postseason. And considering Montgomery’s emergence, along with Jose Quintana’s arrival, there is reason to believe that it’s one of the best rotations among National League postseason contenders.
Combined with an offense that features two MVP candidates and solid complementary players, it makes the Cardinals a legitimate World Series contender. But it’s been the breakout of Montgomery, and especially his fastball, that has helped take the team to the next level.
So if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Because despite what Blake and the Yankees believe, Montgomery’s fastball is a weapon – and the Cardinals are reaping the rewards.