An overpowering outing from rookie Logan Gilbert, two shutdown innings from the Seattle bullpen, and three Mariners home runs negated a quality start from Jordan Montgomery today at T-Mobile Park. The 4-0 loss prevented the Yankees from completing the series sweep and also ended New York’s three-game win streak on an eerily quiet note.
It had been noted both on our PSA game preview and on the YES Network pregame show that Montgomery has been excellent at generating weak contact. Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager clearly didn’t get the memo, evidenced by his 105-mph laser over the center-field wall in the top of the first inning. Although it was only a 1-0 lead, it was a loud 1-0 lead that the Mariners took into the second inning — particularly after falling down early to the Yankees during the previous two nights.
Apparently, the memo regarding Montgomery’s exit velocity allowed didn’t make it around the Mariners’ clubhouse at all, as the second inning showed that Seager wasn’t the only one to miss it. With two out, DH Luis Torrens lined a single 103.7-mph off the bat, and second baseman Dylan Moore followed with his own clothesline struck at 103.6. Unfortunately for the Yankees, Moore’s was hit with a launch angle of 29 degrees, so it traveled 409 feet over the outfield wall. When it landed, the Yankees were down by three runs.
Those of us who were nervous that the game could get out of control early had our concerns assuaged slowly but surely. After the rocky start, Montgomery went on to retire 15 of the next 17 batters, allowing only a single and base on balls over that stretch. When he was replaced after a two-out, nobody on base, walk to Moore, Montgomery left with another quality start on his resume. He finished with a final line of 6.2 innings pitched, allowing three runs on only four hits while striking out nine batters. (In part thanks to reliever Justin Wilson who induced a harmless pop-out from Jake Bauers to strand the inherited runner.)
The only problem for the Yankees was that the Mariners starting pitcher Logan Gilbert was even better than Montgomery. The 24-year-old rookie held the Yankees scoreless with eight strikeouts and no walks, retiring 18 batters in a row to finish his afternoon of dominance. The Bombers simply had no answers for him, as they registered just a single hit (a second-inning double by Giancarlo Stanton). Even the majority of the outs were quiet, as other than two hard-hit groundouts – one from Aaron Judge, one from Gary Sánchez – the Yankee bats were quiet as field mice.
An eighth-inning solo homer from Mitch Haniger made the score 4-0, but that turned out to be a superfluous tack on-run. The Yankees had as much success against Seattle relievers Paul Sewald and Kendall Graveman as they had against Gilbert – which is to say “none.” When it was all over, Seattle pitching held the Yankees scoreless on only one hit, while walking none and fanning 10 batters.
Although it ended with a whimper, the Yankees took two out of three against Seattle and would love to do the same to Houston this weekend. The three-game series starts tomorrow at Minute Maid Park in Houston, first pitch is at 8:10 pm EDT. With Michael King out, Nestor Cortes Jr. will get the ball against Jake Odorizzi.