The most triumphant victories come from unexpected contenders. This sentiment is perfectly emulated within the Cyclones’ bullpen, as right-hander Christian Montgomery kicks off a sizzling start to the summer.
Currently 2-0 this season, Montgomery has appeared in seven games and boasts a 0.00 ERA. Through 8.0 innings of work, the reliever has thrown 16 strikeouts, allowed just three hits and walked one lone batter.
This is not the same pitcher that the Mets farm system saw last season. During his time with the Kingsport Mets in 2014, Montgomery struggled with his control, walking 32 batters and allowing 32 hits in 33.1 innings. Despite totaling 43 strikeouts, the right-hander allowed two runs or more in eight of his 12 appearances. Prior to this season, the 11th round pick in the 2011 MLB draft had never had back-to-back outings in which he had not allowed a run and was unscored upon in four of his 17 appearances.
Montgomery has proved to be a completely different player in Brooklyn. A long way from home, the Indianapolis, Indiana native joins the Boys of Summer with a fierce determination that has propelled him toward such strong performances.
“Coming here, my expectations were just to dominate, you know, just do what I have to do to help the team win—come in, throw strikes, and get guys out.”
Through the grind of a relentless summer season, Montgomery strives to take advantage of every day that he suits up in white and navy. The pitcher is not alone in this—Brooklyn is a team that not only plays together, but grows together.
“I’m just going day by day, trying to get better every single day, and being close with my teammates so we get stronger out here together as a team. Once we do that, everybody’s performance gets better.”
The Cyclones are more than a group of 30+ baseball players all wearing the same uniform—they are a team. Such a strong team dynamic propels Brooklyn’s boys toward enhanced performances and collective success.
“We have a strong bond,” Montgomery said. “[The team dynamic] makes me more confident when I’m on the mound knowing they’re playing behind me.”
Some say that mentality is as important to an athlete’s performance as physical health. Montgomery’s mindset is one that places priority on both team and individual results—and he's seen the payoff.
“I just have that mentality that I have to go out there and handle business. You know, I have to do what I have to do to get my team a win,” Montgomery said. “[My focus is on] Just getting saves, getting wins, coming in clutch situations. I gotta do the job and get it done.”
Throughout the rest of the summer, Montgomery looks to keep his momentum moving in a positive direction. To do so, this reliever needs only to keep doing what he’s been doing thus far.
“I’m just looking to continue to work hard and continue to get stronger as the season goes on. I’ve been throwing well but it’s a long season and I just want to continue to get better and help the team win.”
-- Written by Kaylee Pofahl