New York Yankees: Don't Overlook Jordan Montgomery's Tremendous Start
May 23, 2017; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Jordan Montgomery (47) pitches against the Kansas City Royals during the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

Often overshadowed by a lack of run support, New York Yankees rookie Jordan Montgomery is quietly having a modest start to his career.

Whether it’s lack of run support or a blown lead by the bullpen, New York Yankees rookie left-hander Jordan Montgomery hasn’t gotten the credit he deserves.

In his latest outing against the Kansas City Royals on Monday night, the southpaw held the Royals to two hits in 6.2 innings of work. The only blemish on an otherwise flawless start came in the top of the seventh inning when Lorenzo Cain poked a solo home run.

Montgomery didn’t walk a batter, struck out six and did everything in his power to help the Yankees win in front of a crowd of 35,931 at Yankee Stadium. Unfortunately, Adam Warren, Jonathan Holder and Chasen Shreve all surrendered a home run and combined for five earned runs as the Royals stormed back to win 6-2.

“They’ve been so great throughout the year already but nobody’s perfect,” Montgomery, who may have been pitching against a potential demotion, said following the loss. “Win as a team, lose as a team.”

The latter part of the rookie’s statement may be true, but the 24-year-old deserved better than a no-decision in his eighth start of his young Major League career. In what was a far cry from his last outing against the same Royals (5IP, 5ER, 3BB, 4K), Montgomery quietly became the sixth starting pitcher in Yankees’ history to strike out 40 or more batters within his first eight career starts.

Montgomery also owns the fourth-most strikeouts on that same very list, trailing only Masahiro Tanaka (66 in 2014), Orlando Hernandez (54 in 1998) and Luis Severino (45 in 2015).

It’s not only a blown lead by the bullpen that has dampened this incredible yet low-key rise to the Bronx stage. When Montgomery is on the hill, the Yankee offense is averaging 3.91 runs of run support — second to only Severino (3.64). In the four starts in which Montgomery posted a game score of 50 or higher, the Yankees have lost three of them.

Sequentially, Montgomery has revealed that he needs to work on his game to evolve as a Major League starter, but he’s been one of the team’s best pitchers here in 2017. Only Severino and Michael Pineda have a better ERA and Montgomery’s 0.98 home run rate also leads the Yankee rotation.

All in all, Gumby is unknowingly but surely solidifying one of baseball’s shakiest rotations. His command is still a work in progress, but the native of South Carolina has done nothing but put New York in a position to win. All he needs is a little help.