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It’s no secret that playing in New York can be tough. But since Jordan Montgomery was traded from the Yankees to the St. Louis Cardinals, he has become an entirely different pitcher.
Lefty was traded minutes before the trade deadline, and in seven starts with his new team, he owns a 1.45 ERA. In his tenure as a Yankee from 2017, he worked for 3.94 ERA.
Montgomery attributes much of his success to simply lifting the weight of New York off his back.
“I was always worried about getting ripped off the mound in New York,” Montgomery told CC Sabathia and Ryan Rocco’s “R2C2.”
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“Pinstrips are heavy. Not everyone can handle it.”
Montgomery, a native Bronx bomber, had no ties with the Yankees.
Many of the Yankees fans who criticized him are now mourning his passing. Montgomery joked that his Yankees jersey was not a popular item among fans, who took him lightly.
“I think I handled it properly. I could have been better, but it had a lot of stuff going on, I guess. But here [in St. Louis]I’m just myself and pitching the way I want to. I think the fans have embraced me so far.”
His first start as a Cardinal came against none other than the Yankees, and Montgomery closed him in five scoreless innings in a 1–0 St.
In addition to Montgomery’s change of scenery, the Cardinals’ coach is giving him new pitching advice, which has led to recent success.
“I didn’t really believe much in my heater at the Yankees,” Montgomery said. “I was told it wasn’t that good compared to my other pitches, and if I was going to get hit, it was going to be on a curveball or a change-up, which is how you can pitch. So if I hit a guy twice, he was probably taking the auto because I was about to throw a curveball or change-up. He was just trying to get a change wrong or see a curveball down. I let my fastball I’m throwing in – strike counts, I’m throwing anything on any count now, so it’s definitely opened up.”
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Now, Montgomery has a completely different mindset.
“I’m a dog on the mound, and I’m just following everyone,” he said.