South Carolina Baseball: Gamecock pitcher helps close out ALCS, advances to World Series

South Carolina baseball alum Jordan Montgomery. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Brashear-USA TODAY Sports
South Carolina baseball alum Jordan Montgomery. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Brashear-USA TODAY Sports /

Jordan Montgomery has been one of the best pitchers in the MLB Postseason. Along with fellow Texas Ranger starter Nathan Eovaldi, Montgomery has led the Rangers’ pitching staff to just 22 runs allowed in the team’s 9 victories during the playoffs.

Gumby has proven to be one of the best MLB Trade Deadline acquisitions of the 2023 season, pushing the Rangers from being a contender to being in the World Series.

The Rangers swept the Tampa Bay Rays in the Wild Card Round behind a Game 1 effort from Montgomery in which he went 7 innings without allowing a run. Then, they swept the #1-seed Baltimore Orioles in the Divisional Series; Mongomery started the Game 2 win in that series.

Against the Houston Astros in the American League Championship Series, Montgomery had three appearances. Another scoreless start in Game 1 broke a Rangers’ MLB Postseason record (he was the first Ranger to have two career 6-inning, 0-run starts in the playoffs), and he was almost as good in Game 5, but the bullpen gave the game away. In the Game 7 closeout on Monday night, the big lefty came out of the bullpen to stabilize things in the win.

For the 2023 MLB Postseason, in five appearances, Montgomery went 3-0 with a 2.16 ERA and a 17/4 K/BB ratio. The Rangers went 4-1 in Montgomery’s starts, and the one loss was not on Montgomery as he left the game with the score tied.

For Montgomery, his first World Series appearance has to be extra sweet. A former New York Yankee, Montgomery was deemed “not good enough” to pitch in the postseason by Yankees’ general manager Brian Cashman and was unceremoniously traded to the St. Louis Cardinals. Just a year later, the South Carolina baseball legend will be pitching in the World Series.

It has not been announced if Montgomery will pitch Game 1 or Game 2 of the World Series, but he appears in line to start the first game against the Phillies/Diamondbacks winner. If the Arizona Diamondbacks win on Tuesday night, Montgomery will face off with former Gamecock teammate Christian Walker.

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