Mariners Analysis: Lloyd Upset at Mike Montgomery

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I woke up today all excited about a Mariners series win against the Rangers.

The lone blemish on that series win? Saturday afternoon, when Mike Montgomery struggled through four innings. And then when the bullpen imploded in the 11th inning, after being stellar once Montgomery exited.

Montgomery has struggled lately after being excellent early. He’s 4-4 with a 3.25 ERA on the season. He’s 0-2 in his last two decisions, but the M’s have lost his six starts.

Perhaps one of the reasons for his struggles? Something else I came across this morning.

This was an interesting article that comes from John McGrath, with some honest quotes from Lloyd on Montgomery.

“One of the things this kid’s got to understand is that when he came to the big leagues, the catcher put down a sign and he threw a pitch,” McClendon said. “Now he’s thinking too much — too much shaking off. That’s not acceptable.”

Wow. That’s some honesty from the M’s skipper. I can see all sides of it:

First, from Lloyd’s side: Montgomery has been struggling. The results haven’t been there, so it’s easy for him to put the blame on Montgomery if he is, indeed, shaking off catchers and calling his own game. Major league teams have charts and know how to get hitters out, so if a pitcher deviates from that plan, that can be very frustrating.

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Secondly, from Montgomery’s standpoint, and as a pitcher myself for many years: It’s better to throw the wrong pitch with confidence than it is to throw the “right” one with no confidence.

I’ll be interested to see what happens with Montgomery in his next start.

The M’s take on the Orioles tonight at Safeco Field. Vidal Nuno gets the start.

Go M’s!

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