Marcus Stroman’s Memorial Day massacre of the Tampa Bay Rays will go down as one of the greatest pitching performances Wrigley Field has seen in recent memory.  His complete game one-hit shutout against the best team in baseball lowered his ERA to 2.59, good for second in the National League and earning him the top spot In Week 9 of our #HighFive List.


1. Marcus “Stro Show” Stroman


Marcus Stroman

A matchup between two of Major League Baseball’s top Black pitchers in Taj Bradley and Marcus Stroman turned out to be the best pitching duel of the 2023 season.

The Tampa Rays brought the best record in the Majors into the friendly confines of Wrigley Field to face Stroman with his Cubs fresh off four straight losses.

Over his career, Stroman has always been known to rise to the occasion when all eyes are on him, and Monday afternoon was no different.

He struck out eight while allowing only one walk and a late inning single in what ended up as a 1-0 victory for the Cubs.

“Going complete game at Wrigley Field?  That is one of the top moments of my career,” Stroman told reporters after the game.


Marcus Stroman Throws 1- Hit Gem


Not to be forgotten is the performance that Ray’s rookie Taj Bradley put out.

Although he ended with the loss, Bradley gave up no earned runs in 5 ⅔ innings, struck out eight and walked three.


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Stroman leads the Majors with 10 quality starts and in his last three outings he has gone 23 innings allowing just seven hits, 15 strikeouts and an ERA of 1.17.


His next start will come Sunday against the San Diego Padres.


2. Marcus Semien



Marcus Semien has hits in a career high 20-straight games which is tied for the current longest streak in the Majors and is the second longest streak ever in Texas Rangers history (Gabe Kapler had a 28 consecutive game hitting streak in 2000).


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He also has reached base in a career high 28 straight-games and should be a lock to start for the American League in this year’s All-Star Game. He leads all A.L. second baseman in almost every hitting category, ranks second in the Majors in WAR, leads in runs and his 44 RBI are fifth most in baseball.


3. Aaron Judge

aaron Judge


The current American League home run leader is continuing his case to be the best player in the Majors by putting up numbers that are better than those he had in last year’s record-breaking MVP season.

Through the first third of 2023, Judge has driven in and scored more runs than last year while also having a higher OPS, the same amount of home runs only a slightly lower batting average.


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Over his last seven games, Judge is slashing .333/.429/.917 with four walks, six RBI and four home runs including a two homer game in Seattle on Monday.


4. Mookie Betts



Mookie Betts is in the conversation of best leadoff hitters in Major League history after another multi-home run game out of that spot. He began Wednesday’s game with a home run on the fourth pitch he saw, then later followed with another solo bomb in the 8th.

That was the 21st career multi-homer game for Betts out of the leadoff spot which is already two more than anyone else in the long history of Major League Baseball. Investigates Mookie Betts’ Fast Track to Barry Bonds’ Historical Numbers


Betts is batting .252 this season with 33 RBI and his 43 runs scored are the fifth most in the National League.

5. Josh Naylor

Marcus Semien


Josh Naylor of the Cleveland Guardians capped off a week where he batted .435 with a performance for the ages against the Baltimore Orioles Wednesday.


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Naylor went 4-for-5 with a home run, two doubles, six RBI, three runs scored and a stolen base: becoming the fourth player in the franchise’s history to produce that stat line.

“Good things happen when you play the game hard,” said Naylor after the game.  “Everyone loves each other here and everyone’s success is a beautiful thing.”

Naylor’s Guardians will face Byron Buxton and their divisional rival Twins in a four-game series this weekend.


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