Friday, April 19, 2024

Stroman Leads Cubs To 4th Win In A Row In Jared Young’s MLB Debut


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Marcus Stroman led the Cubs to a 2-1 victory on Friday, throwing 7 innings and allowing only 3 hits.  Wearing the Wrigleyville ‘City Connect’ uniform and white cleats, Stroman went 5.2 innings before allowing the first Rockies’ hit.

A home run by Ryan McMahon ended up being the only blemish on a stellar outing.  Stroman struck out 5 and added Gold Glove-caliber defense just because he can.  Zach McKinstry added a home run in the 4th Cubs’ win in a row.

Jared Young Makes Debut

The 2017 draft pick made the start at first base today after a solid season with Iowa.  With the I-Cubs, Young has played first, second, third, and the corner outfield positions.  Hitting from the left side, he has slashed .228/.310/.413 and added 16 home runs.

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In his first three at-bats, Young was hitless with a strikeout, groundout, and a fly out to left.  However, with 2 outs in the 8th, he made sure his debut was not a disappointing one by smacking a double to right field.

Bullpen helps back up Stroman

An unfortunate theme this year has been the failure to finish off a game where the starter has a great outing.  This is evident just by looking at a respectable 1.207 WHIP and 3.91 ERA entering today’s start, yet having a 3-7 record to show for it.

There are lots of reasons for that and Stroman is not the only victim of it.  Lack of run support and poor bullpen performances are some of, but certainly not all the causes.  It is to be expected with a team that entered the 2022 season in a clear rebuild mode, not that that makes it any less frustrating.

Trending Up

One good indicator that the “process” is working is the 27-25 record since the All-star break following Friday’s win.  Brandon Hughes has been one reliable arm out of the pen with an ERA of 3.25 and a 1.03 WHIP since his debut.  Hughes has added 5 saves and 5 holds as well as 63 strikeouts in only 52.2 innings.

Hughes earned his 5th hold on Friday and handed the ball to Manuel Rodriguez to finish it off.  Rodriguez has looked comfortable since he made his first appearance of 2022 in late August.  Today was no exception as he earned his 2nd save with a hitless 9th inning that featured a strikeout.

Seiya returns off the bench

After Seiya was hit by a pitch in New York, Cubs fans, including myself have been anxiously awaiting positive news regarding the right-fielder.  We heard before the game that X-rays came back negative, but that Seiya would be out of the starting lineup.  It was a positive sign to see him enter in the bottom of the 9th to play right field, even just for 3 outs.

There is no need to rush Suzuki back as he finishes off a rookie season that by all metrics has been pretty good.  Seiya has an OPS of .769 which translates to an OPS+ of 114, 14% better than the league average.  He has shown flashes of power with 13 home runs and 22 doubles and a .263 average.  In 2022, the league average is .243, it will be exciting to see Suzuki’s progress into 2023.

Looking ahead

Chicago looks to win the season series with a win on either Saturday or Sunday.  Currently, mid-season acquisition Hayden Wesneski is scheduled for Saturday’s start.  This would be Hayden’s first start in the MLB after coming on in relief for Wade Miley the two previous appearances.

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