The optimism of opposing hitters often dips when Cardinals of St. Louis southpaw Jordan Montgomery commands some ground
Montgomery is 4-1 with a 1.66 ERA in his last seven starts, a run he hopes to extend during Friday’s visit to the Chicago White Sox behind the mastery of a wicked slider
“Not only the movement of the pitch, but it’s coming from a big body and it’s coming right down on you,” Cardinals said catcher Andrew Knizner. “As a hitter, it’s a little intimidating to watch Monty throw that sinker at you.
St. Louis would appreciate the boost that Montgomery (6-7, 3.28 ERA) has often provided the struggling club.
Thursday, the Cardinals salvaged a win to avoid a four-game Miami sweep with a 3-0 shutout. It was their first victory since Sunday, when Montgomery gave up just an unearned run on two hits and three walks with six strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings to defeat his former team, the Yankees of New York.
Montgomery has fanned out at least six batters in five straight starts, thanks in part to his efficient lead.
“You can tell he’s coming, and it’s always hard to hit him because he’s so heavy and has so many down moves,” Knizner said. “It’s his bread and butter, and it’s something we can build on.”
St. Louis and Chicago enter the final series before the All-Star break chasing an elusive momentum.
The defending champion of the Central National League Cardinals are 15 games below .500 and in last place
THE White sockswhich harbored American League Central title hopes at the start of the season, is the worst of the season with 15 games below break-even after the visiting Toronto Blue Jays swept Thursday’s home double
Chicago played solid fundamental baseball for much of the twin bill, which saw the teams enter the 11th inning of Game 1 in a scoreless tie. Things went downhill, however, as Toronto had seven of its eight hits in 11th en route to a 6-2 victory.
White socks reliever Aaron Bummer returned five of the Blue Jays’ six consecutive singles, but manager Pedro Grifol was encouraged by Bummer’s persistence
“(It’s) understanding that it’s part of the game and that you had good throws. They just found holes,” Grifol said. “It’s quite simple. If you understand that and understand that it’s part of the game, you just keep going.”
Chicago led 3-1 after three innings in Game 2 but couldn’t hold on while allowing 16 hits. THE White socks have lost five of six and are winless in their last seven series openers
Right-hander Dylan Cease (3-3, 4.10) gets the call for Chicago as he tries for his first win since May 23. Cease has had one no-decision in seven straight starts.
He did not face Cardinals in his career
Montgomery is 2-0 with a 2.22 ERA in four career starts against the White socks. He hasn’t faced Chicago since joining the Cardinals from the Yankees in an August 2022 trade. He took a no-decision against the host White socks on May 14 of last season, giving up two runs and six hits in 4 1/3 innings