By: Stache Staff

Rafael Montero Impressing Mets with Consistency

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The New York Mets entered the season with high expectations, but injuries and costly mistakes have all but ended their hopes of making the playoffs. Even though their season has been a disappointment, the injuries have allowed them to see what some of their younger and inexperienced players can do and the team’s future looks very bright. If you want to bet on the Mets, check out our MLB betting odds.

Rafael Montero has been one of the bright spots for the Mets this season. Montero struggled earlier in the season, which prompted the team to send him down to the minors.

The Mets lost five of Montero’s first six starts of the season, and Montero finished April with a 0-2 record with a 9.45 ERA. At the time, the Mets were hoping he would eventually round up into shape but he was just as bad in May and the team lost six of his seven starts.

Montero’s dismal performance in April and May led to a stint in Triple A. Once he was called back up, Montero went 1-2 in June. While some might not think that is an improvement due to the win/loss record, Montero actually pitched better and allowed only two runs in his three starts in June.

In July, Montero hasn’t fared much better in the win/loss column, with the Mets going 0-4 in his four starts. However, his teammates shoulder much of the blame in those losses. In the four games, Montero gave up 10 runs, however, most of those runs came as a result of poor defense and sloppy play.

Montero’s performance against the Oakland A’s on Sunday is a great example. In this game, Montero made mistakes and the A’s made him pay. The pitcher allowed three homeruns, which was all the A’s needed to win the game.

However, his teammates didn’t do a good job helping him out. Montero pitched seven innings on Sunday, which was a season high for him and the second longest outing of his career. After the game, he told reporters that the A’s were able to hit three homeruns off him because he kept the ball too high. He said he needed to do a better job of keeping the ball low to avoid getting into trouble.

Mets manager Terry Collins agreed with Montero’s assessment, and added his own critique of his pitcher’s game. Collins said Montero threw the ball well and had good control for most of the game, but he added that the pitcher’s hanging slider did him in.

Collins also said Montero did himself in with the three homeruns because he kept on pounding the strike zone and giving the batters balls they could swing at and hit. Collins said he would love to see Montero throw outside the strike zone more often, especially in close games.

Even though he allowed three runs in his last start, Montero is on the right track. In his last seven starts, he has struck out 32 batters and has a 3.32 ERA. Collins has been impressed with his performance he told reporters that he is starting to trust him more.

If Montero can continue pitching this well next season, the Mets will have one of the best, if not the best starting rotation in baseball.

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