Game 18. Nova gets revenge, Montgomery shows grit in Yanks’ 2-1 loss.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

I have a lot to say about this game, which the Yankees lost 2-1 to drop them to 11-7.

First off, in only 3 major league starts, I am impressed with Jordan Montgomery, who has a 3.78 ERA after 3 starts. That is good for the rookie. Keep it up. I see a lot of Andy Pettitte-like qualities in him.

In the first inning, he had the bases loaded and no one out and minimized the damage. Just one run.

He went 6 IP, 2 R without his best stuff. Impressive.

But the Yanks only run came on a HR by Jacoby Ellsbury (2) in the seventh as ex-Yankee Ivan Nova got the win and a bit of revenge.

My biggest gripe comes with poor baseball by the Yankees in the ninth inning.

With one out, Judge singled and Holliday walked. Torreyes hit what should have been a game-ending DP ball but the Pirates made an error that loaded the bases with one out.

Down 2-1. One out. A walk ties the game. Take a strike.

Instead, Aaron Hicks didn’t even take a strike or make the pitcher throw strikes. He swung at all three pitches and struck out.

Pete Kozma was forced to bat b/c the Yanks used up all their bench players. Kozma, who most likely will be released in a week when Didi Gregorius comes off the DL, is a good field, no hit player. He swung on a 2-0 pitch and grounded out to end the game. What is Kozma doing swinging at 2-0 instead of taking a strike and hoping for two more balls to force in the winning run?

I place some blame on Girardi. He should have given Kozma a take sign on 2-0. No way do you swing. Take a strike, maybe he will walk in the tying run.

Sometimes games are simply lost, and sometimes you lose because you aren’t playing heads-up baseball. Today, I feel the Yanks lost because they were not playing heads up baseball.

Would the pitcher have walked in a run? We’ll never know. But the Yanks didn’t give themselves a chance to find out.

As mentioned, I am impressed with Montgomery despite the loss.

But the Yanks need Bird to start hitting. He is at .104.

Also, Brett Gardner has to get it going. He is at .182. I know he was shopped around in the offseason, and I still feel he is trade bait if Frazier/Fowler or another OF gets it going in the minors.

But not only is Gardner at .182, but after 18 games, he has ZERO RBI. I know he is the leadoff hitter, but still, ZERO RBI.

Lastly, Kyle Higashioka needs to get his first MLB hit soon. He’s called good ballgames but hopefully he does not start pressing trying to get that first hit.

Hopefully he and Bird pick it up. This week in Boston would be a nice time to do so.

Montgomery (L, 1-1, 3.78) 6 IP, 2 R,  7 H, 2 walks, 5 K.
Mitchell 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 2 walks, 2 K. 1.04.

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