The New York Yankees’ current win streak in spring training doesn’t matter much in the grand scheme of things.
What does matter? The concurrent streak the team is also on where pitchers enter, pitchers dominate, and then pitchers exit.
One after another. Starters. Bullpen arms. Shuttle candidates. In recent days, there’s been a positive to take away from…pretty much every single outing we’ve watched, and most of the time, those positives have been fairly obvious.
Jordan Montgomery more than kept the line moving on Wednesday, slicing through the Blue Jays’ Opening Day lineup in the longest outing anyone’s put up this spring.
Now two and a half years removed from Tommy John surgery, and entering his first normal campaign since his recovery was completed (properly categorize 2020, you can’t), Montgomery has looked rejuvenated in most of his appearances this March.
On Wednesday, he did it with a few flicks of the wrist against an opponent that really mattered.
Yankees’ Jordan Montgomery is ready for Opening Day.
Yes, that’s five hitless innings on 66 pitches against what’s been thought of as the preeminent offensive challenger to the Yankees’ American League supremacy.
It can be said that spring training numbers don’t matter until they suddenly do, and though we’re all well aware that there’s very little reason to panic about a flat-out terrible line, we all still do it anyway. Everything you see on any given day must be taken with a grain of salt — but that goes for individual regular season and postseason outings too, right? All we can do is use what’s laid out ahead of us to predict the future, as best we can.
And, as far as predictive spring training outings go, shoving for five complete innings against the Blue Jays’ A lineup certainly qualifies.
After all, what was different about this group other than potentially a lax attitude adjustment? These were the names, and they entered Wednesday’s game at the same level of “spring development” as Montgomery.
Montgomery buzzsawed them.
It is certainly possible that, thanks to his experience, supposed durability, and spring training excellence, Montgomery is slotted in ahead of Jameson Taillon in the Yankees’ first turn through the rotation.
Not for nothing, but this was easily the biggest challenge a Yankees starter has been presented so far this spring, and also the clearest success.
Believe what you want to believe, but the Florida locale was really the only thing that separated Wednesday’s game from a regular season affair.