Mets vs. Phillies: Marcus Stroman shows off expanded repertoire in shutout win

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Alex Smith
·3 min read
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Marcus Stroman high fives Lindor off screen
Marcus Stroman high fives Lindor off screen

Marcus Stroman tossed one of his best games in a Mets uniform in Tuesday's 4-0 win over the Philadelphia Phillies.

The right-hander was simply sensational in the nightcap of Tuesday's twin bill, allowing just four hits while striking out three in his six innings of work, lowering his season ERA to just 0.75

Stroman threw 86 pitches with 61 of them going for strikes, and perhaps the reason why he was so effective was because of how will he mixed all of his pitches.

"It’s just a matter of mentally locking it in, attacking our game plan," Stroman said afterwards. "I thought [Tomas] Nido was awesome behind the dish. I thought our infield defense was spectacular. I thought we got great, timely hitting. I just thought we put two really good games together back-to-back today.

"I feel like I have plenty of pitches in my repertoire to be able to attack anybody in any count, between my sinker, four-seam, cutter, slider, change, so I kind of go into games and see what pitches are working, I see what kind of swings they’re taking and then I kind of adjust with my catcher from there."

When Stroman arrived in New York prior to the 2019 trade deadline, he was primarily a sinker-slider pitcher, heavily relying on ground balls. But this season, Stroman has mixed in more four-seam fastballs and has added a new split-change, and this expanded arsenal has made him even tougher to hit.

"I remember when Stro got to us a couple years ago, and his stuff’s better than that," Luis Rojas said after the game. "Velo’s a tick up, he’s using some four-seams in there, he’s complementing his sinker-slider, and I think by him expanding his repertoire and having those other pitches as real weapons, the changeup, the split-changeup and the four-seam, those things help his primary pitches, that were used for the most part in the beginning of his career and throughout his career, play even more now.

"This guy works so hard. He’s in unbelievable shape. That’s why he was able to bounce back after Sunday warming up and getting in the game and then after a day he said that he felt good, and look what he did tonight. He did a really good job."

After cruising through six innings, it looked like the seventh and final inning was going to be all Stroman. But after the pitcher walked in the bottom of the sixth and was on the base paths for quite a while, Stroman told Rojas that it was probably best for him to come out of the game.

"Just a long inning," said Stroman. "It’s very early on in the year. I pitched, I did my whole warmup a few days ago as if I was going to start. … Coming out here today was kind of a question mark, to be honest. I threw yesterday and felt pretty good and told Luis that I’d be ready to roll.

"It wasn’t much of decision. Like I said, if it was later in the year I’m sure I would have been out there, but because it’s such a long year and because of, kind of, the scheduling and how many days I’ve had between starts, I just didn’t think it was a smart idea."