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St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Jordan Montgomery, who was simply traded from the brand new York Yankees to the Redbirds in August, continued the R2C2 podcast and explained the down sides of pitching for the Yankees.
“I was always concerned about getting booed off the mound in NY,” Montgomery told ex-Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia and broadcaster Ryan Ruocco, per Justin Tasch of the NY Post.
“The pinstripes are heavy. Not everyone are designed for it. Personally i think like I handled it OK. I couldve been better, but there is lots of things entering that I assume. But here [in St. Louis], Im just being myself and pitching just how I would like to. I assume the fans have sort of embraced me up to now.”
Montgomery is thriving in St. Louis, going 5-0 with a 1.45 ERA and 0.90 WHIP through seven starts.
His outings add a one-hitter contrary to the Chicago Cubs and five shutout innings in a 1-0 make an impression on his old team. Montgomery has allowed one run or fewer in six of seven starts.
The left-hander, who played at USC, could have converted into a real All-Star in St. Louis. However, he did well in pinstripes, going 22-20 with a 3.94 ERA and 1.23 WHIP in five-plus seasons.
Montgomery had a 3.69 ERA and 1.10 WHIP for the Yanks this season before being moved to the Cardinals in a deal that sent outfielder Harrison Bader to NY.
Still, Montgomery is much-improved in St. Louis, and he credits increased faith in his fastball among the reasons.
“I didnt genuinely have much faith in my own heater at the Yankees,” Montgomery said.
“I have been told that it wasnt that good in comparison to my other pitches and when I was gonna get hit, it had been gonna be on a curveball or changeup, which isnt ways to pitch.”
However, renewed confidence in his heater has resulted in more options when facing a hitter, specifically with two strikes.
“So easily got two strikes on a man, he was probably auto-taking because I was gonna throw a curveball or perhaps a changeup. He was attempting to just foul a changeup off or visit a curveball down. Im throwing my fastball in two-strike counts, Im throwing anything in virtually any count now, so its definitely exposed.”
New York’s loss has ultimately been St. Louis’ gain, because the Cardinals have gone 7-0 in Montgomery’s starts. Thanks partly to his efforts, the 83-58 NL Central leaders have an eight-game lead on the second-place Milwaukee Brewers.
The Cardinals appear well-positioned to achieve the playoffs with a robust lineup led by Triple Crown candidate Paul Goldschmidt, a rotation buoyed by Montgomery, Adam Wainwright and Miles Mikolas and a bullpen backed by closer Ryan Helsley.
Montgomery’s next start the hill will occur Tuesday in the home against Milwaukee.