Ex-Yankees showdown: Severino triumphs over Montgomery

Ex-Yankees teammates Luis Severino and Jordan Montgomery faced off each other on May 31, 2024 at Citi Field.

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The highly anticipated matchup between former Yankees teammates turned into an offensive spectacle at Citi Field on Friday night, as the Mets clashed with the Diamondbacks in a thrilling slugfest.

Despite initial expectations of a pitcher’s duel, Luis Severino, the Mets’ offseason acquisition, struggled to find his rhythm but managed to outshine Jordan Montgomery, who continued to face challenges in his new role with the Diamondbacks.

The Mets, opting not to pursue Montgomery in free agency, capitalized on his struggles, hammering the left-hander for eight runs on nine hits over four innings, securing a narrow 10-9 victory. Montgomery conceded that his sinker lacked effectiveness, emphasizing the need to refine his pitching strategy to regain control on the mound.

New York Mets’ Luis Severino pitches during the first inning of a baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Friday, May 31, 2024, in New York.
AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

From the outset, it became evident that this game would not reflect the pitching mastery they once shared in the Bronx. Although the Diamondbacks surged to a three-run lead in the first inning, the Mets responded promptly with a four-run rally, setting the stage for a back-and-forth battle between the two teams.

Montgomery, facing his former teammate, expressed his desire for a close game in Severino’s favor, demonstrating sportsmanship and camaraderie between the two players. He extended his support for Severino’s success and well-being.

As the game progressed, only Severino managed to somewhat settle into a rhythm, despite the Mets’ bullpen almost squandering the lead by allowing four ninth-inning runs. Severino acknowledged the early offensive support but expressed a desire for a shutout performance.

Ultimately, the highly anticipated duel between the former Yankees evolved into a captivating offensive showcase, with both teams trading blows in a slugfest that kept fans on the edge of their seats at Citi Field.

Severino overcomes rocky start, outduels ex-Yankees mate Montgomery

Luis Severino (3-2) overcame a shaky start, regaining control to retire the side in order during the second and fourth innings. Despite facing challenges, Severino showcased resilience, working out of a two-out jam in the fifth as his velocity surged, aiding the Mets in establishing an 8-4 lead. However, his outing was cut short after surrendering a solo home run to Eugenio Suarez in the sixth, marking his 97th pitch.

Arizona Diamondbacks’ Jordan Montgomery pitches during the first inning of a baseball game against the New York Mets, Friday, May 31, 2024, in New York.
AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

Severino attributed his early struggles to lethargy and low energy levels but credited a boost provided by honey snacks consumed in the second inning.

In contrast, Jordan Montgomery’s struggles persisted as the former Yankee and 2023 World Series champion with the Rangers failed to find his rhythm after missing spring training. Montgomery’s woes were compounded by surrendering a three-run triple to Starling Marte, RBI doubles by Francisco Lindor and Pete Alonso, and run-scoring singles to Marte and Mark Vientos. His career ERA in three starts at Citi Field ballooned to 16.75.

Expressing disappointment, Montgomery admitted to feeling inadequate whenever pitching at the Mets’ ballpark and stressed the need for improvement without making excuses.

Montgomery (3-3) holds a 5.48 ERA in eight starts under a one-year, $25 million contract. In contrast, Severino accepted a one-year, $13 million deal following an injury-plagued tenure with the Yankees. Despite allowing more than three earned runs on just three occasions in 11 starts, Severino’s recent struggles are noteworthy, with all three instances occurring since May 5.

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