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Score Monty some runs!

The Yankees’ rotation has been dynamite so far. They have the third-lowest ERA for starters in the majors at 2.77. One guy who has contributed to that has been Jordan Montgomery, who has been a very good pitcher for the Yankees in his career. If you take out his injury- and COVID-shortened seasons in 2019 and 2020, he has always been above league average in nearly all categories. However, he does struggle in one category: run support. And of course that’s not his fault.

Of his 82 big-league starts in his career, he has received a no-decision in 45 of them (54.9%). He is 19-18 in the other 37 starts. So far this season, of any pitcher with at least five starts, Montgomery ranks eighth in MLB with 2.33 runs of support per nine innings per start. Last year, he pitched 157.1 innings – and his team only scored 64 times during those innings. I did some analysis and found that in his career, if Montgomery got just one additional run of support per start, the odds of him getting a win becomes 4.2 times greater than getting a loss. Otherwise, the odds are only 0.2 times greater.

One factor that might be contributing to Monty’s low run support are his outings during which he doesn’t throw that many innings or pitches. He’s averaging only 4.9 innings and 81.9 pitches per start in his career. Maybe if he stays in longer, his team would score more runs for him? Not quite. The most run support he has received was when he threw right around his average number of pitches. It also wasn’t his longest start.

What does all of this mean? The only thing that directly affects Montgomery is his number of wins. That’s a stat this isn’t widely used these days to evaluate players, so it’s almost certainly not going to hurt him when it comes to free agency or an extension. But I can still imagine how much it must suck to constantly pitch your tail off, but exit the game losing 2-1 or tied 1-1. Score Monty some runs!