There aren’t many pitchers that pitch seven innings of scoreless baseball, and you can say that wasn’t the most dominating performance we’ve seen this year from that guy. Rafael Montero is one of those guys. Montero’s four strike outs was his lowest total of the year thus far, but the guy completely shut down New Hampshire tonight, pitching seven scoreless innings.
Montero threw 102 pitches tonight (70 for strikes), and allowed six hitters to reach base safely (five hits, one walk). Binghamton would go on to win the game behind his strong performance, 6-0, and a home run each from Cory Vaughn and Daniel Muno.
What hasn’t been said about Montero already? He pounds the strike zone, works quickly, keeps the hitters off balance, can throw any pitch for a strike at any time, has pinpoint control, and has the poise of an ace. He is clearly ready for the next level, as it’s often the same story when Montero pitches at the Double-A level—domination. Even when he’s not dominating up to Montero’s standards, he still dominates.
The most impressive Montero moment came in the bottom of the fifth inning tonight. New Hampshire hitters managed to get two runners on base after Montero gave up a couple of base hits. With runners on first and second, Montero balked, moving the runners into scoring position (second and third). Montero remained cool. Some pitchers may have started to come apart right there, but Montero dropped the hammer, and struck out the next hitter to end the inning, and thwart the scoring threat. It’s moments like that which make you realize Montero is special.
(Photo Credit: Gordon Donovan)