The Comcast SportsNet Chicago broadcasters couldn’t help themselves.
As Mike Montgomery trotted around the bases at SunTrust Park in Atlanta on Wednesday after the first home run of his major league career, the CSN play-by-play and color guys joked about Montgomery finding his way around the bases and having solved the staple pitch of a former Cy Young Award winner.
“That’s how you hit the knuckleball. Mike Montgomery knows the secret,” one said after the Hart High graduate turned on a hanging pitch from R.A. Dickey, the 2012 National League Cy Young honoree.
In 29 career at-bats over three big league seasons, Montgomery had two hits, both singles.
Then, Wednesday, he timed up Dickey’s fifth-inning pitch and deposited it in the Chophouse, an event venue in right field.
“The first homer was pretty exciting, as I have a bunch of family here,” Montgomery said, according to an article on MLB.com. “To do it in front of them is a lot of fun. … He fell behind 2-0, and I thought about taking to get back in the count, and then I decided I was just going to swing. He put it right [in] the only place I could hit it.”
As for the job the Cubs are paying Montgomery to do, he was stellar on that front, too. In six innings, Montgomery allowed one run on two hits. He struck out five and walked one on the way to his second win of the year (the final score was 8-2).
He is 2-6 with a 3.83 ERA.
2 from Hart head to Area Code games
The deck appeared to be stacked against Hart High’s Bryce Collins, who, along with teammate Cole Roederer, received word Wednesday they’d made the Brewers Area Code Games team.
Collins, a rising senior who pitched better and better as last season went along, felt sick the day before his Area Code tryout at Westmont College in Santa Barbara earlier this month.
Even after successfully getting the tryout moved back a day, he still dealt with a headache and stomach problems as he faced live hitters.
Still, he induced a foul out, hit a batter and struck out two.
He thought that was the end of the audition. However, the next day he received an email inviting him to another round of tryouts. There was one problem: Collins would be in Texas on vacation with his mom, visiting Austin and watching a Houston Astros game.
Organizers stressed that he wasn’t guaranteed anything.
“I held on to hope that I’d shown enough to showcase what I could do,” Collins said.
His hope was realized Wednesday. Collins and Roederer will compete with the “Brewers” team at Blair Field in Long Beach Aug. 6-10.
Collins, a University of Arizona recruit, posted a 5-2 record and 2.32 ERA in 11 starts for the Indians last season.
Roederer, a UCLA-bound rising senior, hit .353 with 31 runs, 28 RBIs and 26 stolen bases.