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Cubs’ Marcus Stroman finally gets matchup vs. Jays

Sportsnaut
Aug 25, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Marcus Stroman (0) throws a pitch against the St. Louis Cardinals during the first inning at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Cubs right-hander Marcus Stroman will face his first major league team, the host Toronto Blue Jays, for the first time on Tuesday night.

Stroman will be trying to pull the Cubs even in the three-game series after the Blue Jays won the opener 5-4 in 11 innings Monday night.

In 135 games (129 starts) with the Blue Jays from 2014-19, Stroman went 47-45 with a 3.76 ERA. He was traded to the New York Mets on July 28, 2019, and was not happy about it at the time.

Stroman showed no animosity toward his former team on Monday when he talked to reporters.

“I have nothing but unbelievable things to say about the organization here,” Stroman said. “I have great friendships and relationships over the years that I’ve developed and are still lasting, and I’m always going to be in Toronto in the future and always visit back here whenever I can.”

Stroman (3-6, 4.10 ERA) will face right-hander Kevin Gausman (9-9, 3.15) on Tuesday.

In six career games (five starts) against the Cubs, Gausman is 2-3 with a 6.84 ERA.

Stroman was traded in the same season that Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette and Cavan Biggio made their major league debuts for the Blue Jays.

“Such a young, unbelievable group of guys,” Stroman said. “Obviously, we knew Vladdy was going to be the guy to build around, and to see everybody else perform at a high rate and to see (Jordan) Romano. These are all guys that I was just training with, guys that are asking me how to get to the big leagues at some point. So just to see them all at this level perform at such a high level, man, I love it.

“Truly, if there’s one team I’m rooting for in the playoffs, it’s Toronto. Straight up.”

The Blue Jays have not been playing in peak form recently. They were outscored 22-3 in being swept in a three-game series against the visiting Los Angeles Angels before the Cubs arrived.

Chicago led 4-0 after six innings on Monday. Danny Jansen hit a three-run homer in the seventh to cut the margin to one and delivered the game-winning single in the 11th.

“We love what he does behind the plate, we love what does as a leader of the pitching staff,” Blue Jays interim manager John Schneider said of Jansen. “When he’s hitting like that, it’s a bonus.”

The Cubs have started their nine-game road trip at 1-3.

They did not help themselves on Monday, making five outs on the bases, including two by Franmil Reyes. They also left nine runners on base to waste a 14-hit game.

“We can’t leave so many outs on the bases,” Cubs manager David Ross said. “Too many mistakes baserunning-wise that cost us the game, really.”

Prior to the game, Chicago placed right-hander Adrian Sampson and left-hander Justin Steele on the restricted list because the two did not meet Canada’s COVID-19 vaccine requirements. Left-hander Brendon Little was added as a substitute.

Toronto acquired outfielder Bradley Zimmer off waivers from the Philadelphia Phillies on Monday. The Phillies had claimed Zimmer from Toronto on Aug. 18. Zimmer is batting .130/.216/.250 through 86 games this season for both clubs.

He will join the Blue Jays on Thursday when teams can add two players.

“Yeah, we all know about Brad Zimmer,” Schneider said. “You are looking at the specific skill set that he brings (outfield defense and speed), and that is something we value.”

–Field Level Media