Monday, September 5, 2011
The Yankees and Orioles provided a four-hour lesson in how not to pitch today as the teams combined to allow 40 base-runners and New York hung on for an 11-10 victory to move 2 1/2 games up on Boston in the AL East. But the story wasn't about how much Brian Matusz stinks, it was about highly-touted prospect Jesus Montero.
Facing Jim Johnson in an 8-8 game in the fifth, the right-handed hitting Montero went the other way for his first big league home run, a no-doubt shot into the right field bleachers. Vinny from Jersey led the chants for Montero to come out and take a curtain call and the 21-year old obliged. Montero wasn't done. With the Yankees still clinging to that 9-8 lead in the seventh, Montero did it again, crushing a fast ball to almost the same spot in the RF seats for a two-run home run. Curtain call No. 2.
It's really, really early in Montero's career, but so far things have gone well. In four games, he's 5-for-13 (.385) with today's two home runs and three RBIs, and he looks comfortable at the plate. And it'd be easy to say "well, he hit two home runs against the Orioles; the Orioles smell like someone threw up in a sweaty tube sock," and you'd be right. But Johnson has been one of the better relievers in the American League and Montero took him deep twice.
Montero could also be forcing his way onto the Yankees' hopeful post-season roster (they haven't clinched anything yet), which means these last few weeks of the regular season may be the last time we see Jorge Posada and Jorge Posada's ears in pinstripes.