Marcus “Stro-Show” Stroman’s National League leading 0.75 ERA through his first four starts this year earns him the top spot in Week 3 of our #HighFive List.
1. Marcus Stroman
Marcus Stroman has been every bit of an Ace for a Cubs team that finds themselves just a game out of first place in the National League Central. While dominating on the mound, he also finds time to pursue his passions and share life lessons of encouragement, inspiring the next generation of baseball players and fans.
This past Tuesday Stroman went six shutout innings against the Oakland A’s, striking out five and only allowing two hits. That was the fourth straight quality start for Stroman who has given up zero runs in all but one game and never more than two. The stretch of success for Stroman can be traced back to last July when he returned from injury.
Since then, Stroman has 13 quality starts, a 2.18 ERA and a WHIP of 1.07. His next start will come this Sunday when Mookie Betts and the Los Angeles Dodgers roll into Wrigley Field.
2. Marcus Semien
Marcus Semien is swinging the hottest bat in the Majors, racking up a .407 average, 11 RBI, 10 runs and three home runs in three straight games over the span of his last seven.
That is night and day from last April when he hit .157 for the entire month and did not have three home runs until June 5th. The Rangers are looking to return to the glory days of 2010 and 2011, when Atlanta Braves coach Ron Washington was the manager of the franchise and took them to two straight tough World Series losses.
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With an injury to his All-Star double-play mate, Semien’s hot streak has come right in time for the Rangers who will take on his hometown and former team the Oakland A’s in Arlington over the weekend.
3. Andrew McCutchen
Andrew McCutchen turned back the clock to his MVP days since returning to the Pittsburgh black and yellow.
This season “Cutch” is hitting .310 with a 1.003 OPS, nine RBI and four home runs, three coming in his last seven games including a 442ft bomb in Colorado.
McCutchen’s Pirates have a 13-7 record and will face the Reds this weekend who will send new Hunter Greene “Machine” to the mound freshly off a 6-year $53 million deal.
4. Josiah Gray
Josiah Gray is building a solid foundation to what could be a huge stepping stone in 2023 despite not getting little run support to begin the year. The Nationals have not scored a single run in his last three outings during which Gray has a 2.37 ERA with 12 strikeouts. In his last start, he gave up a single run through five innings in a 1-0 loss to Baltimore, and before that, in an April 11th matchup against Shohei Ohtani and the Angels, he gave up two runs in 5.2 innings in a 2-0 loss.
There will be better days for the offense when Gray toes the mound, but for now the face of the Nationals pitching staff needs to keep throwing up zeros. His next start will be Tuesday night in Queens against the Mets.
5. J.P. Crawford
J.P. Crawford has been an on base machine for Seattle over his last seven games.
He is getting on by any means necessary posting a .545 on base percentage, seven walks and .333 batting average. Crawford is also proving to still be one of the best all-around defenders in the Majors. The Gold Glover’s defensive WAR is second among infielders, just slightly trailing Francisco Lindor. Crawford’s Mariners will welcome rookie phenom Jordan Walker to Seattle this weekend.