Jordan Montgomery shuts down former team as Yankees are on longest losing streak of season

The Yankees lost 1-0 to the Cardinals in St. Louis on Saturday evening, and the winning pitcher was making the first start of his MLB career outside of a Yankees uniform.

It was perhaps a bit strange to watch, but after six years and 98 appearances with the Yankees Jordan Montgomery went out and threw five scoreless innings before being removed as a precaution due to cramps. (It was absurdly hot and humid, so the news wasn’t shocking at all.)

The only run of the game actually came in the first innings. NL MVP candidate Paul Goldschmidt, who had doubled, scored on a Nolan Arenado single. All of the Cardinals’ pitching staff – led by its latest acquisition – will be required.

The Cardinals moved back to first place alone in the NL Central, taking a one-game lead over the stumbling Brewers. The Cardinals have won a season-high six in a row.

However, the bigger story here will be Montgomery and his former team.

One of the last moves to get through the day of the trade deadline was the Yankees trading Lefty Montgomery for the Cardinals. It was a bit of a head-scratcher, because the Yankees were looking to trade For Start pitching. (He added Frankie Montas, but he was also among others because of Luis Severino’s 60-day injury list.) And while he found an interesting player in the form of center fielder Harrison Bader, he is currently a running runner. Is in boot and looking forward to a comeback. Sometime in September.

Obviously it’s too early to call the move a mistake, but Montgomery paid them off on Saturday and overall the Yankees are in a rut. (Incidentally, the last time the Yanks suffered a 1-0 loss was August 7, 2020, almost two years on, in a road game against the Tampa Bay Rays.)

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This defeat is their fourth consecutive loss and now it is their longest defeat of the season. It’s not just this line. Almost a month ago, since the Yankees won on July 8, they have gone 9-15, with three wins against a weaker Royals team. Their lead in the AL East is still in the double digits, so they don’t seem to be in any danger there. The Yanks still have the best record in the AL at 70-38, which means they are still on pace to win 105 games.

Through that lens, we can tell that ebbs and flows through the 162-game piece are pretty common that Major League Baseball season. Even the greatest teams of all time were great, albeit small.

However, looking at the Yankees right now, the rotation is thin and the offense is high – and probably too dependent on Aaron Judge. The bullpen has been struggling to cope with the loss of Chad Green and Michael King while Clay Holmes has been ineffective for most of the recent stretch.

Factoring in the above, this figure shouldn’t come as a big surprise:

The Yankees were in a one-run game from June 14-4 (Hat-tip to Katie Sharp) since then they lead 7-11 in such competitions. It’s the kind of stat that fades out over the long haul, or in Internet baseball speak, back to meanness, and that’s exactly what it appears to be doing.

To reiterate, this may just be a down stretch, but the trends are certainly worrying from a Yankees perspective.

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