Mets RHP Rafael Montero earned his first major-league win since 2014 by allowing just one run in 5 2/3 innings of work during Sunday's 8-2 win against Giants at AT&T Park.
Making his third start of the season, Montero struck out a season-high seven batters and allowed one run and five hits in his best outing of the year. He had pitched in relief during seven of his previous eight appearances.
"You've got to get some confidence back and it all starts from the way we pitched," manager Terry Collins said after the game, speaking about Montero.
Montero was 0-6 with a 5.98 ERA in the 29 games (six starts) since his last win Sept. 10, 2014. He struggled his first 13 appearances in 2017, but now has a 1.46 ERA, 15 strikeouts, and just four walks during his last 12 1/3 innings.
"I feel just a lot more confidence in my pitching," Montero later said about his recent success. "I think I threw well out there (against the Giants)."
Montero concluded his outing Sunday by striking out the side in the bottom of the fourth inning and pitching a 1-2-3 fifth inning before leaving the game having thrown a season-high 104 pitches.
It's not rocket science -- you're going to strike guys out and have more success than not if you throw on the edges, but inside the strike zone. This is what Montero did so well in the minors, but strayed from any time he had been given the chance in the big leagues. However, for whatever reason, finally, he has returned to his bread and butter and he's seeing positive results the last week or so because of it.
By the way, I thought he was toast. So, if Montero can turn his season around like this, it means anything is possible, and maybe the Mets (as a team) can do the same?