Marcus Stroman's debut with the Mets did not begin the way many thought it would.
Entering his first start in the National League with a 2.96 ERA (while pitching in the very talented AL East), Stroman struggled right out of the gate, primarily because of control issues. Stroman couldn't locate his pitches the way he would have liked to, and when he did, the Pirates jumped on him.
The first four hitters in the Pirates' lineup singled off of Stroman, including an RBI knock from Starling Marte. Later in the inning, with the bases loaded, Stroman again lost command of the zone, walking Jose Osuna to force in another run.
"I thought I was okay. Obviously going five is where I should be at the minimum, so I just felt like I was a little all over the place," Stroman said after the game. "Command was a little iffy, but body felt great. I'll just make a few adjustments to my mechanics and I think I'll be where I need to be for my next one."
Stroman would eventually get out of the first inning, thanks in part to a great defensive play of his own to force a runner out at home, but it took him 35 pitches to get through the frame.
Who needs gloves? (Unless they're Gold) pic.twitter.com/sYFzAKLEj9- SNY (@SNYtv) August 3, 2019
"He battled," said Mickey Callaway. "Best play I've ever seen a pitcher make. After he made that play, he settled in nicely and threw the ball well. He didn't have his great stuff. I'm sure the energy was off the charts, new team, New York, his hometown, pitching for the first time, and he battled.
"He was probably rusty because he hasn't pitched in along time, and he was out there doing everything that he could to keep guys from scoring, and that includes making unbelievable defensive plays, so I was really proud of him."
The right-hander did settle down after that first inning, but he was never quite as sharp as fans would have hoped to see. He was pulled from the game after 4.1 innings, allowing three earned runs on seven hits. He left the game with two runners on base, with one of them eventually scoring. He struck out three batters while walking two.
Despite the "iffy" start from Stroman, the Mets were backed by a career night at the plate by Wilson Ramos to beat the Pirates. The team has now won eight out of nine games, and Stroman is excited to be part of his hometown's team recent run.
"It's awesome. My family is super excited, I was excited," Stroman said about debuting for the Mets. "It was just awesome to get back out there, it's been a bit. I can't wait to see what this team does going forward. I'm just excited to be a part of it."