Marcus Stroman did a little bit of everything on Tuesday, including hitting a home run, making a Derek Jeter-worthy jump throw on a bunt, and pitching a solid game.
Prognosticating or evaluating were not part of his night. It’s also unclear whether he’ll speak publicly on future nights.
After the Mets’ 3-2 loss to the Giants, he was asked if he could diagnose why the team’s results — five straight losses — have been so poor. “No clue,” Stroman said as he exited the Zoom room, adding, “Man, I’m done answering these guys’ questions.”
Frustration is understandable in the midst of a 13-game stretch that is living up to its name.
Only Taijuan Walker pitched well in the first four losses (three to the Dodgers at Citi Field and one to the Giants at Oracle Park on Monday), as the Mets’ first-half strength, their rotation, has turned into a second-half weakness without Jacob deGrom and any pitching depth.
Stroman, on the other hand, performed admirably against an offense that teed off on Rich Hill on Monday and entered play as baseball’s eighth highest-scoring team.
Stroman’s staying power has recently been questioned. Since July 21, he hadn’t pitched more than six innings in any of his five starts.
It appeared as if Stroman had not solved the problem when the Giants took a 2-0 lead after two batters, with Tommy La Stella hitting a home run to center field following LaMonte Wade Jr.’s leadoff single.
Despite this, he bounced back, allowing three runs on five hits and two walks over seven innings, including a season-high nine strikeouts.
“Definitely a good feeling just because of how taxed our bullpen has been throughout the year,” said Stroman, who said he wants to “stay present” and not look back or forward concerning the Mets’ chances.
Stroman did not allow a Giant to advance past first base after La Stella’s bomb until Evan Longoria’s seventh-inning solo homer on pitch 102. Stroman threw 114 pitches, which was a season high for him and any Mets pitcher. It was his most since Aug. 6, 2017, when he was with the Toronto Blue Jays.
Manager Luis Rojas said of Stroman, who had another reason to be tired, “just two mistakes, three runs.”
He moved Kevin Pillar to second base with his fifth hit of the season, a single to left, in the fifth inning. They were both stranded on a deserted island.