Chicago Cubs pitcher Marcus Stroman was one of baseball’s best pitchers in the first half of the 2023 season, but he had another rough outing on Monday night against the Cincinnati Reds.
Stroman, who at one point this season had a 2.28 ERA, gave up six earned runs while striking out two batters and walking two against the Reds at Wrigley Field, continuing a worrying trend of pitching as of late.
Stroman’s hard-hit percentage was 38.5% for the game, according to Statcast, and his sinker drifted toward the middle-low portion of the strike zone at times, allowing the Reds to make strong contact on numerous occasions.
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After a dominant start to the season, Stroman has been trying to regain his form. He has given up at least three earned runs in six of his last seven starts, and he has 26 strikeouts and 16 walks in 26.2 innings of work during that time.
His ERA hit a season-low mark of 2.28 after his June 20 start against the Pirates, but it has since soared to 3.85 on the season.
The good news on the horizon? Stroman’s worst month from a batting average and on-base perspective has been August in his career, but he’s been a lot stronger in September, with a batting average against of .242 and an ERA of 2.96, the best of any month in his career.
Stroman has an opt-out clause at the end of the season, but could choose to remain with the Cubs for 2024. That contract led many to believe he’d be on the trade market, but with the Cubs still very much in contention, Stroman could stick around for the remainder of the campaign.