Mets rookie Rafael Montero held the Cubs to one run and five hits over 7 1/3 innings on Sunday.
“No matter what happens here in a few days, certainly he’s got to be happy with the way he threw today and his confidence has got to be pretty high.” Terry Collins said when asked about Jacob deGrom‘s eventual return to the rotation, which will likely bump Montero back to Triple-A.
Montero later said the key to his success Sunday was being able to throw his change-up for a strike.
“We had heard his change-up was outstanding, and today he showed it,” Collins said. “He showed great use of it, great location with it. I thought he pitched an outstanding game. It was really good for him to have a game up here where he knows he can be successful.”
Montero had struggled in four of his first five starts for the Mets, dating back to his first promotion earlier in the year.
Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer
This is the pitcher we had been hearing about spring training.
He’s short, so he has to work batters front and back and he was able to do that with his change-up Sunday. He’s not going to succeed going in and out. He stayed back, his delivery was consistent pitch to pitch, including when throwing from the stretch. He actually tossed three change-ups in a row at one point.
Interestingly, and I suppose not surprisingly considering his time in Vegas, Montero reminded me of Frank Viola today, at least in terms of how he used his change-up nearly a quarter of his pitches and kept hitters guessing at his fastball. The most impressive thing, though, is the stark difference and meaningful adjustment he made in just a few days since his last start. Nice work…