Jesus Montero was called up from the minors for hitting prowess and his ability at catcher. The Yankees are in greater need of helping their pitchers, but Montero, at DH, justified his promotion with two home runs, helping the New York Yankees to a 11-10 win over the Baltimore Orioles, making it a 2.5 game lead on top of the AL East.
His fourth game into his Major League career, Montero became only the fourth Yankee under the age of 22 to hit multiple home runs. The others? Micky Matnle, Joe DiMaggio and Joe Pepitone. Not a bad group to be included in. Continuing with the number 4 – Montero is the 4th player in Baseball’s divisional era to his first two career home runs in the same game at Yankee Stadium. Not too important, but worth something.
As usual, hitting wasn’t the problem for the Yankees. They were already with their third pitcher in the middle of the fifth – Freddy Garcia gave up 7 runs in less than 3 innings. Scott Proctor had a better time in two innings. Aaron Laffey needed only 11 pitches to get the win to his name. Well, again, mostly thanks to Montero, who gave the Yankees the lead in the fifth, putting them 9-8 up, hitting a 93-mph pitch deep into the right field rows.
The usual bats were working – Robinson Cano hit a three run homer, his 24th of the season and reaching 105 RBIs. Mark Texeira hit his 36th homer and reach 101 RBIs. Curtis Granderson (MVP?) drove in two runners, making it 109 RBIs for him this season. As we said, hitting hasn’t been the problem.
Mark Reynolds was hot for the Orioles, hitting his 32nd home run of the season, going 3-4, but that’s was far from enough from the worst team in the league. The O’s are years away it seems from somehow competing in the AL East.
The big star, again, was Montero. Groomed to be the next Jorge Posada by Brian Cashman. His catching ability is not what they want him for right now. Jorge Posada is hitting .100 against left handed pitchers, and for now, when lefties come up, Montero will take Posada’s position at DH. If he produces a strong September, Posada’s name might be scratched off the postseason roster. Facing Texas, who have a lean to the left, might also be a reason to bump Montero at the expense of Posada.
Maybe Montero is just trade bait. As talented as he might be, showing his skills in order to get one of the Phillies’ pitchers might be the story behind the rise of the 21 year old Venezuelan. For now, Jesus Montero is living the dream – I was dreaming of that before (speaking about the two curtain calls), I was always telling myself before, One day, I’m going to be that guy.