Yo. Mike Montgomery, starting pitcher, eh?
The lefty said all offseason that he wanted to start, but thanks to the presence of five locked-in starting pitchers, he didn’t have an opportunity out of Spring Training. Then Yu Darvish got hurt, Montgomery got an opportunity, and he hasn’t looked back. That’s three straight very good outings for him since he joined the rotation, making it all the more difficult on the Cubs whenever it is that Darvish is ready to return. For now, though, that’s still a couple weeks away, and Montgomery will presumably get at least another couple starts regardless.
Which is good news for him, and certainly for the Cubs if he keeps pitching like this. To be sure, Montgomery wasn’t at his absolute best today, striking out only one, but he worked in the zone (one walk), and didn’t yield the kind of blistering hard contact that blows a guy up when he allows too many balls in play. There was quite a bit of just-barely-hard contact, but not much over 100 mph. Sometimes, that plays very well, as it did today.
It helps when you’ve got a left fielder who was doing the Lord’s work out there in Ian Happ, and a catcher who can gun down runners like Willson Contreras.
Offensively, the Cubs didn’t get a whole lot, but they may have found a new spark at the top of the order …