Marcus Stroman is finishing the season as strong as he started it back in April. The Black Knight delivered his 23rd start allowing 2 or fewer runs in a Mets win over St.Louis on Tuesday.
Heading into Thursday night, the Toronto Blue Jays had won seven games in a row and 10 of their last 11, pulling within a game and a half of the New York Yankees for the second Wild Card berth in the American League.
The Jays have overcome injuries, playing home games in two different countries, and the toughest division in baseball to put themselves in the mix for the playoffs.
Offensively, the Jays have everything.
Vlad Guerrero Jr. is one of the frontrunners in the AL MVP race, Marcus Semien is chasing the single-season record for home runs by a second baseman, and when George Springer has been healthy, he’s been incredibly impactful.
Toronto leads the AL in home runs, slugging percentage and OPS, while ranking in the top five in batting average, on-base percentage, and RBI.
But, they should be seven games better based on their Pythagorean W-L record, which factors in runs scored and runs allowed.
While the Jays have very solid pitching numbers overall, they haven’t gotten great starting pitching. Robbie Ray has been their best, going 11-5 with a 2.60 ERA.
Just imagine where Toronto might be, had they held on to a pair of MLBbros who were just starting to come into their own.
Marcus Stroman and Tai Walker have been holding it down all season in Queens; keeping the New York Mets in contention for the National League East while staff ace Jacob deGrom has battled injuries all season long.
But from 2014-19, Marcus Stroman was a member of the Blue Jays, finishing in the top 10 in AL Cy Young voting in 2017 and making the All-Star team in 2019.
Walker joined Toronto’s staff during 2020’s shortened-season, going 2-1, with a 1.37 ERA in six starts.
Stroman was traded during his All-Star campaign and Walker wasn’t offered a contract last offseason.
The Stro Show could still be headlining in Toronto. Stroman’s 9-12 record hasn’t reflected just how good he’s been for the Mets.
New York has only provided him with an average of 3.78 runs when he takes the hill.
It’s lucky to be that high, considering the Mets have scored two runs or less in 15 of his 29 starts, including one or less 10 times.
Stroman has gotten a total of 14 runs from his offense in his 12 losses.
In contrast, the Blue Jays have scored two runs or less as a team only 20 times all season.
Stroman also still ranks in the top ten in ERA in the National League (2.93) and gives the Mets Gold Glove-caliber defense.
No doubt that he could have picked up a few more wins wearing his old powder blues.
Tai Walker made his first All-Star team this season, as he got off to a 7-3 start, but has struggled during the second half of the season. Walker hasn’t won a game since he beat the Yankees on July 3.
But run support has been an issue for him as well. In 13 of his 25 starts, the Mets have put of three or fewer runs. Just like with Stroman, more often than not, his teammates have given him below average support.
Both Stroman and Walker would likely have better numbers had Toronto held on to them. But they didn’t.
Maybe the Blue Jays have enough to keep pushing and make it back to the playoffs.
However, if they don’t, they can look about 500 miles to the southeast and find what they were missing.
Marcus Stroman has worked his butt off this season. While his record may not show it, he has put the New York Mets in position to win games all season.
Stroman has been the model of consistency for the Mets.
— SNY (@SNYtv) August 28, 2021
The Mets had big expectations coming into the season, but the season has certainly not gone the way the team envisioned. But Stroman has left it all on the field every time he has touched that mound. The Black Knight has been the ace of the staff in Jacob deGrom’s absence and he recently had another impressive start against one of the top teams in the league.
On August 22nd, the Mets took on the reigning World Series champions. Stroman was ready for that action and he let everyone know tthat despite his team’s collapse, he’s still on track and about his business. Stoman hurled six innings, striking out six while giving up two earned runs to secure the victory over the Dodgers.
Let’s be real here, the Dodgers can flat out hit, but Stroman kept the Mets in a good position to win the game and that’s what they did. Stroman put together another solid performance five days prior to playing the Dodgers. That game was against another top team in the San Francisco Giants.
The Mets lost that game by one run but Stroman was solid that night. He went seven innings giving up three runs and striking out nine.
— MLBbro.com (@MLBbrodotcom) August 12, 2021
“He’s been outstanding for us,” manager Luis Rojas told the New York Post about Stroman. “He’s pitched like an ace. … He’s been very valuable and he’s been one of the guys to keep us afloat.”
— MLBbro.com (@MLBbrodotcom) April 14, 2021
The Mets have dealt with injuries throughout the season and players have been put in a situation to step up.
And Stroman has been doing just that.
When he steps on that field, he brings that swag and confidence that you don’t see much of in the game of baseball.
“Just mix, man,” Stroman said on his outing against the Dodgers. “Just being really aggressive. … I thought I had a really great mix.”
Stroman got the support he needed from his team against the Dodgers and he was pleased to see that.
“It gives me more confidence, just gives me another level to kind of go-to,” Stroman said. “That was awesome to see.”
But that has not always been the case when Stroman is on the mound. On the season he has a 9-12 record with a 2.85 ERA through 18 starts.
MARCUS STROMAN ARE YOU KIDDING ME!? 😱
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) April 18, 2021
Looking at those numbers, you’ll notice that he has a losing record, but he has a solid ERA. This season, Stroman just hasn’t got that run support on a consistent basis.
There’s no question that Stroman can pitch. The brother is very talented and each pitch he throws is effective.Stroman will be a free-agent after this season and if the Mets don’t re-sign him, teams will be knocking on that door to acquire him.
Our MLBbro is in his seventh season and he’s brought that excitement to the game over the last few years.
He can certainly make an impact on any team he plays for.
Newly-minted Los Angeles Laker Russell Westbrook was hanging out with injured LA Dodgers star Mookie Betts on Sunday, prior to a game at Dodger Stadium that the New York Mets won 7-2 behind 6 masterful innings from Marcus Stroman.
Marcus Stroman delivers in the clutch for the struggling Mets in a 4-1 win against the Nats on Thursday in Game 1 of a doubleheader at Citi Field. Stro Show pitched a shutout into the sixth inning.