Jordan Montgomery shuts down former team as Yankees have longest losing streak of the season

The Yankees lost Saturday night to the Cardinals 1-0 in St. Louis, and the winning pitcher started his MLB career for the first time outside of a Yankees uniform.

It might be a bit odd to see this, but after 6 years and 98 appearances for the Yankees, Jordan Montgomery went out and pitched 5 scoreless innings before being called off as a precaution due to cramps. (It was hot and humid, so the news wasn’t shocking.)

The only inning of the game was actually in the first inning. NL MVP candidate Paul Goldschmidt, who doubled down, scored on a Nolan Arenado single. That’s what all the Cardinals pitchers — led by the latest acquisition — need.

The Cardinals returned to No. 1 alone in the NL Central, one game ahead of the faltering Brewers. The Cardinals have won a season-high six in a row.

The bigger story here, though, will be Montgomery and his former team.

The final move made at the trade deadline was the Yankees trading southpaw Montgomery to the Cardinals.It’s a bit of a headache because the Yankees are looking for a trade for Start pitching. (They’ve added Frankie Montas, but others, as Luis Severino is on the 60-day injured list.) While they’ve brought back center fielder Harrison Budd as an interesting player, But he is currently wearing walking boots and hopes to return sometime in September.

It’s obviously too early to say that move, but Montgomery made them pay on Saturday, and the Yankees in general are in trouble. (Coincidentally, the last time the Yankees lost 1-0 was on Aug. 7, 2020, nearly two years ago, in a road game against the Tampa Bay Rays.)

The loss was their fourth in a row and is now their longest losing streak of the season. Nor is it just this continuity. Going back nearly a month, the Yankees have gone 9-15 since their July 8 victory, with three of those wins coming from the lacklustre Royals. They still have a double-digit lead in the AL East, so they don’t appear to be in any danger there. The Yankees still have the best record in the AL with a 70-38 record, meaning they are still on track to win 105 games.

Through this lens, we can point out that ebbs and flows are common in the 162-game season of Major League Baseball. Even the greatest teams of all time have experienced lulls, even if they were small teams.

However, looking at the Yankees now, the rotation is thin, the offense is pretty top-heavy — and probably too reliant on Aaron Judge. The bullpen is grappling with the losses of Chad Green and Michael King, while Clay Holmes has been ineffective in recent times.

Considering the above factors, this statistic should not come as a surprise:

The Yankees went 14-4 in a game on June 18 (Tribute to Katie Sharp). Since then, they’ve gone 7-11 in such games. In the long run, it’s a statistic that tends to balance, or in cyber baseball, reversion to the mean, and that’s exactly what’s happening.

To reiterate, this may just be a downside phase, but from a Yankees perspective, the trend is certainly concerning.

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