Rafael Montero made us wonder before, but could this time be different? Not only was Montero terrific in beating the Giants, but Sunday was his third straight solid outing.
With three starters on the disabled list, and the Mets trying to salvage something from their season, this is about as good a piece of news they can currently expect.
“This is what we were hoping to see from him,’’ manager Terry Collins said. “He didn’t shy away. I hope this is what we’re going to see from here on from him. Hopefully, this is a huge wake-up call that he can pitch in this league.’’
After giving one run in 3.2 innings against the Dodgers, and three scoreless against the Nationals, Montero gave up one run in 5.2 innings today to earn his second career victory, beating the Giants, 8-2.
Command has always been a problem for Montero. He only walked two Giants, but only 61 of his 104 pitches were strikes, which leaves plenty of room for improvement.
If there was a signature moment, it came in the sixth. The Giants had runners on first and second with nobody out and he busted a fastball in off the fists of Buster Posey, popped out into a double play. It was a pitch thrown with confidence because if Montero missed and the pitch tailed over the plate Posey could have crushed it and change the complexion of the game.
Zack Wheeler will be eligible to come off the disabled list in a week, but if he’s not ready Montero could slot in again.
And, this time Collins won’t have to cross his fingers.