Win With Your Worst, Lose With Your Best?

Rafael Montero

Rafael Montero was signed in 2011 and was the first of the Sandy Alderson regime to reach the majors. He was touted as a hard thrower, but scouts were really impressed with his control and advanced secondary pitches.

That’s why he was always considered a starter with three average pitches he can throw with above-average control. I thought that’s why he was considered a challenger for the final spot in the rotation.

I also thought it was a smart move to keep him with the big league club in the bullpen instead of sending him back to Triple A Las Vegas.

The best-case scenario of moving a top-flight starter into the pen to help the team now is etched in the mind of any Mets fan.

2006 NLCS – Game 7

Just think back to 2006…now realize that the same curve that froze Carlos Beltran is on display every fifth day for the St. Louis Cardinals.

Scouts marveled at all three of Wainwright’s pitches before he made it to The Show, so I hope this is a premature reaction or maybe the fact Montero was pitching on just a day’s rest. That’s something common for any reliever, but not for starters.

These are all the excuses I can come up with for the bottom of the eighth inning on Friday night when the only pitch Travis d’Arnaud called was a fastball.

Yes, it’s a different inning if David Wright goes for the easy out at first base instead of failing to tag the advancing runner behind him. But that does’t change the fact that Montero was only throwing fastballs before, during, and after that at-bat. Yes, it worked to get the free-swinging Cameron Maybin, but Phil Gosselin saw enough pitches to time one for a hard single.

I was watching the game and listening to Howie Rose and Josh Lewin describe Montero throw 40 pitches in the eighth. I don’t think any were the wicked slider or the sometimes plus-change-up that helped him rocket through the farm system or earn him a big league ticket. And only Ms. Cleo will ever know what the outcome would have been, but I have to think Gosselin might have been in front of an off-speed pitch.

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