Yankees Make It 8 Wins In A Row And Move Closer To First

I love everything about tonight’s start for Jordan Montgomery. Thanks to a rough first inning, we could see him work out of a jam. Thanks to a potent offense, we could see how he pitches with a lead. Most importantly to me though, we saw him challenge a guy and lose, so now he knows what that feels like. With a 7-run lead in the 7th inning, it was the perfect time to make a rookie mistake that didn’t cost the team and provides an opportunity to learn.

After a strong 4.2 innings in his first start, Montgomery had a leash of 100 pitches if needed, but Girardi decided that 88 pitches in 6+ innings was enough. You don’t ever want to see a pitcher leave the game after starting an inning and recording no outs, but for a rookie number 5 starter we were just looking to stay in the game. That’s with a lineup that Twitter HATED at around 3:30pm today when it came out. Even though there were questions about the lineup and we all wondered why Montgomery was getting a “B Squad” again, they delivered a solid 7 runs with a lot of contributors.

Starlin Castro gave us 3 hits and scored twice to keep his average up at .365. Asking him to bat cleanup seems like a stretch to most people but Girardi sees Castro as a guy who can find a way to drive in runs without a ton of power. Headley also got in on the action by driving in another run on 1 hit, but in the 2nd inning showed an aggressiveness that I really liked. After reaching on an error, Headley tried to stretch it to reach 2nd and was thrown out when the ball bounced right back to Abreu, who turned and made a perfect throw to 2nd. Headley has made a lot of mistakes over the years, but he’s hot right now and at the time we had won 7 games in a row by being aggressive. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

On top of all of that, Judge had a home run and 3 RBI to further cement himself in this lineup as the right person to be starting in right field. For some reason, there were questions coming out of Spring Training but all doubts are now gone. Instead of being the strikeout machine that we saw in 2016, Judge is a legitimate threat to go deep every time he comes to the plate. He’s also a huge upgrade over the defense that Beltran had given us the last few seasons, and that’s hardly talked about.

Lastly, after missing a couple of games with a stiff back, Matt Holliday set the tone with a 459 FOOT 3 RUN BLAST. If we can keep Holliday out of the field and healthy, he is going to be a huge part of this team and provide the leadership a young roster needs. After 7 wins in a row, it would be easy to get complacent and drop a game to a bad team like Chicago. Instead, Matt Holliday set the tone and we’re closing in on first place.