Mike Montgomery hopes to make the Mets

Port St. Lucy, Fla. – She began to believe in a curse. Then he relied on a different kind of destiny. Baseball is one way to play emotionally. Ask Mike Montgomery.

People still do. They always will There are worse things than saving Game 7 of the World Series, as Montgomery once did for the Cubs. It was a long time ago he found himself in minor league camp with the Mets in the spring, after a scorching season that took him to the inland areas of baseball and made Chicago feel like a dream.

“I remember I got a car from a dealership there, like, ‘Hey, please drive our car,’ and it was $ 100,000 Lexus,” Montgomery said over the wings at a sports bar here last week. Remembering the light of 2016. Title. “I really felt like I could run a lot of stop lights, there was no need to follow the rules of the road, and if someone touches me and I tell them who I am, they don’t care. They would be: ‘Oh, don’t worry about it. Whatever you want, Mr. Montgomery! ”

Hands open and ears bent.

“I miss it,” he said. “It doesn’t matter who you are, you want it. It will fade away over time, but I think the legacy, as time goes on, will never end.

Montgomery appeared in five of the seven World Series games against Cleveland, including the loss of Game 4 at Wrigley Field, in which the Cubs were down, three games on one. During that game, a line drive covered Montgomery’s gloves with his hand, which had never happened before. It was confusing, he thought, a sign that something was not right.

Maybe, as Montgomery wondered, the Cubs were really cursed. Frustrated that their season was dragged to the shore, he returned to his Wrigleyville apartment and played hockey on Xbox for hours. When his hockey team, trailing 3-1, came back, 4-3, Montgomery had an epiphany – the Cubs, he believed, would do it now.

Stories like these, and the pitch he threw for the Cubs’ first championship win since 1908, will captivate fans forever. The moment is a touchstone, a touching highlight for millions of people who will give Montgomery a small glimpse of his eternal reputation. As a child star of a beloved television show, her career began in a way that few others have experienced.

When Montgomery won the final, against Cleveland’s Michael Martins, he became the only eighth player to throw a Golden Pitch, described by the Society for American Baseball Research as a pitch that could either be won or the World Series. Could increase This is a rare situation, possibly only in Game 7, on the road, in the bottom of the ninth inning or later, when the season may end – one way or another – on a swing.

Montgomery got the call in the 10th inning, with two outs, a runner on first, and a Cubs lead, 8-7. Cleveland was out of bench games, and the manager’s math accurately predicted that the Light Martens couldn’t handle Montgomery’s curveball. Of course, Martinez tapped weakly to third baseman Chris Bryant, who slipped while fielding the ball but collected it neatly. Anthony Rizzo caught Bryant’s throw at first base, Montgomery put his gloves in the air, and a celebration that seemed impossible for a long time.

Imagine the adrenaline rush from such a moment. Nothing else can be compared.

“You can’t see anything,” Montgomery said. “You cannot deny what you have gone through. I can’t sit down and try to throw maximum speed in the bullpen, because you can’t get enough intensity of a regular-season game compared to the World Series.

At 32, Montgomery is one of the oldest players on the potential side of the Mets complex. He likes to see hope in players still not affiliated with the game. Just the other day, he said, a young team asked about Game 7, about the speech of Jason Heyward, who gathered at the cabin during the rain. Montgomery would not rather live in the past, but he is happy to share, if asked. Old emotions inspire him.

Until Jacob D. Groome was unexpectedly removed and Max Scherzer is nursing an ankle injury, Montgomery is likely going to be in Class AAA Syracuse and there for a spot in the rotation. He had the same opportunity last year, but when the Mets cut him from Major League Camp, he asked for his release and signed with the Yankees, believing they would offer a better opportunity.

The Minor League season started late, and the morning bullpen session started in Moosic, Pa. Sc For the Scranton / Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, Montgomery didn’t compete. After four starts, he signed a contract with Samsung Lines in Diego, South Korea, for a maximum deal of $ 1 million.

Looking back, Montgomery knows he has to stay with the Mets, who wound up using 19 different starting pitches. And while he enjoyed South Korea with his wife, Stephanie, and their 2-year-old son, Max, the season went awry, with a break for the Olympics, a short corona virus-related league shutdown – and a suspension that was not perfect. General Chat Chat Lounge He loved the umpire.

“Put it this way, they weren’t helping me, especially when I threw a pink bag at that person,” Montgomery said. “But I didn’t even hit him for strikes and balls. I threw it on because he said I was late to the game when I clearly didn’t.

It was a losing season – on two continents, Montgomery had 15 starts and was 3-7 with an average of 5.90 earned runs – and a troubling lesson in how quickly a player could get behind. The Mets were the only team that offered Montgomery a job this spring.

“It was as if it were never real, which we were living in in 2016 – like, ‘This is a complete setup; this is not normal,'” said Stephanie Montgomery. “But it doesn’t matter if you yourself. Anyway, say, ‘This is incredible, appreciate every moment,’ when it starts to take a different direction, it’s still a shock. “

The pair, indirectly, hope to imitate Montgomery, through a moment: Jamie Meyer, the left-handed player who has won 218 wickets after turning 32 years old. Montgomery made a stop for Seattle in 2015 when the mayor tagged him in a tweet. Like Stephanie Moyer’s post, Montgomery felt, and the relationship grew from there.

Mayor’s Tweet is a special echo to Montgomery: “Left-handers usually mature later!” He wrote, with a hashtag: #nevergiveuponalefty. The Mets have not been to Montgomery, and there is no rush to stop him.

During the winter, Montgomery worked at a new drive line training center in Phoenix to better understand his pitch. At Syracuse, he should benefit as a starter before finally resuming his normal routine – not a swingman, as he was for the Cubs. He would never be a power pitcher, but maybe he could find the old picture on his curveball, a pitch that would delight millions of people and follow him throughout life.

“I should never be the best pitcher to survive,” Montgomery said. “But I’m having one of the best moments that has always existed in baseball history, and I’m just going to end everyone. That is the purpose. Just be healthy as long as I can and I will play until they don jersey.

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