Frankie Montas has gone from being the Oakland A’s Opening Day starter to being a question mark. He can make up for that on Thursday.
The Oakland A’s season is, once again, hanging by a thread. For the fourth time this postseason, they find themselves playing in an elimination game, needing a victory to see tomorrow. It is a time where players can make a name for themselves, where their performances can live on forever.
With the season on the line, the A’s are turning to someone that was expected to be their ace in 2020. Frankie Montas is getting the ball as they hope to stave off elimination yet again.
This was supposed to be the year that Montas took that next step forward. He seemingly had his breakout for the Oakland A’s in 2019, but a PED suspension cast a shadow over that performance. His 2020 campaign was expected to answer any potential questions as he emerged as a true top of the rotation arm.
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And for part of the year, he did exactly that. Over his first four outings, Montas was that ace the A’s were looking for, allowing just four hits on 16 hits and seven walks over 23 innings, striking out 22 batters. He was then scratched from his next start due to a sore back, but both he and the A’s claimed it was not serious.
The results afterwards, however, paint a different picture. He had just one quality start over this final seven appearances, allowing 31 runs, 29 earned, on 43 hits and 14 walks in his 30 innings. On the plus side, Montas struck out 38 batters, but he also gave up ten homers while the opposition posted a .328/.390/.618 batting line against him.
But none of that matters now. The only thing that is important is how he performs on Thursday. If Montas can shut down the Astros offense, or at least limit the damage to the point where they can jump out to a lead in the latter innings, those inconsistencies will be forgotten.
The Oakland A’s need Frankie Montas to step up. If he can, it will go a long way to erase his inconsistent 2020 campaign.