Marcus Stroman struggles again: ‘I need to be better’
An early 3-0 lead dissipated quickly as Stroman allowed nine runs and 10 hits in four innings that slingshotted the Cubs to a 14-5 loss to the Cardinals — with Frank Schwindel pitching the ninth — at Wrigley Field.
When Cubs starter Marcus Stroman is off his game, it could be a long day. When the Cardinals’ lineup is on its game, it could be a long day. When both happen, the day seems like it will never end.
Such was Stroman’s fate in a career-worst outing Friday. The veteran right-hander allowed nine runs and 10 hits in four innings in a 14-5 loss at Wrigley Field. All but one of the runs Stroman allowed came with two outs.
“Just didn’t pitch good,” Stroman said. “They beat me up a bit. It was one of those days where I kind of got to go back to the drawing board and figure things out. Our offense did enough to get a win, so I just gotta be better.”
Stroman (2-5) had come in on a bit of a roll — 2-1 with a 1.50 ERA in his previous four starts. And Patrick Wisdom gave him an early lead with a three-run home run off Cardinals starter Miles Mikolas (4-3) in the first inning.
But it didn’t last long. Paul Goldschmidt hit a three-run homer in the third inning to give the Cardinals a 4-3 lead. And after the Cubs (22-30) tied it, Nolan Gorman hit a three-run homer in a five-run third inning that gave the Cardinals a 9-4 lead.
Stroman’s ERA jumped from 3.02 to 5.32 as he continues to try to find a groove with his new team. It was the most earned runs Stroman has allowed in 182 career starts and tied for the most allowed by any starter this season. Stroman has a 9.33 ERA in four starts at Wrigley — and a 2.79 ERA in five starts on the road.
“I’m still not there,” Stroman said. “I still don’t feel good, but it’s not an excuse. I need to be better. That’s it.”
Designated hitter Frank Schwindel nearly pitched a 1-2-3 ninth with the Cubs down 12-5. But after retiring pinch hitter Edmundo Sosa and Brendan Donovan on flyouts, Schwindel surrendered home runs to Corey Dickerson and Lars Nootbaar before getting Harrison Bader on a pop-up.
“It was fun — just make the best out of it,” Schwindel said. “Just go out there, throw some strikes and see what happens. Hopefully I don’t have to do it again.”