The New York Yankees scored eight runs in their first three games. Then they scored seven in their fourth game.
As you can imagine, after all the heat the offense took, the performance on Monday night made all the headlines. Aaron Judge went yard. Giancarlo Stanton, after starting the year 0-for-9 with four strikeouts, hit a 471-foot grand slam. DJ LeMahieu got a hit with RISP.
But somehow, when the Yankees are winning or losing, the pitching isn”t getting enough credit.
This was the left-hander’s first game in front of the home crowd at Yankee Stadium since 2018! Before he underwent Tommy John surgery in 2019, he pitched on the road twice, so this has been a long time coming.
Gumby delivered in a big way by completely shutting down a Baltimore Orioles offense that just absolutely abused the Boston Red Sox in a sweep at Fenway Park.
Six shutout innings. Zero runs. Four hits. Zero walks. Seven strikeouts. One victory. That curveball. That changeup. He threw 73 pitches, 55 of which went for strikes. That’s the best performance of any starter thus far. And we’ve already seen the big guns (Gerrit Cole and Corey Kluber) as well as the best spring performer (Domingo German).
He followed up his gutsy performance in Game 4 of the ALDS back in October by shoving in his 2021 debut, and it couldn’t have been more comforting for fans to witness given all of the question marks surrounding the starting rotation.
The Yankees are one of the more bizarre teams in Major League Baseball. While pitching will never be their downfall, that aspect of their roster has hardly been the strongest over the last five years. That recognition has always gone to the offense, and yet that unit has cost them in the postseason for the last three years as it’s gone completely silent when it’s been needed most.
But heading into 2021, with the rest of the AL getting worse around the Yankees, fans knew that they needed a lethal combination of offense and starting pitching to be considered a true contender and get back to the World Series.
The rotation has many questions to answer throughout the 162-game marathon, but Montgomery’s debut gave us positive feelings about the starting five being much more stabilized out of the gate than many would have expected.
Who knows, perhaps the lefty emerges as the Yankees’ No. 2 this year. Crazier things have happened.