Stroman looks to adjust approach after 'uncharacteristic' outing

May 14th, 2023

MINNEAPOLIS  -- could feel the adjustment he needed to make in his start on Sunday for the Cubs, saying his issues were mechanical.

With the pitch timer not giving him time to adjust on the mound, he tried to do so between innings. After enduring his shortest start of the season, Stroman will look to make those changes now before his next outing.

Stroman (2-4) allowed a season-high six runs to the Twins in Sunday’s 16-3 loss at Target Field. He gave up seven hits and walked two in just 2 2/3 innings, his shortest start that wasn't injury- or weather-related since Sept. 3, 2018, against Tampa Bay when he lasted just 1 2/3 innings.

“It’s got to be more in between innings now,” Stroman said of making adjustments. “You can’t really make many adjustments out there between because, like you said, the pitch clock. So, just got to be dialed in mechanically, to be honest with you. Can’t really step off and readjust in game. You kind of have to focus on in between starts and dialing in then.”

and each hit a solo home run for Chicago. Morel mashed his third home run in five games since being recalled from Triple-A Iowa, a deep blast to the third deck in left field that went a Statcast-projected 461 feet.

“Seiya’s been looking for a little while now,” Cubs manager David Ross said. “I thought his at-bats have gotten better as of late. Morel, obviously, the big power. Just didn’t pitch well these last two days.”

Stroman hadn't gone fewer than five innings in any of his previous eight starts of the season. He started Sunday tied for the MLB lead with seven quality starts and he had allowed just five total runs in his previous three outings, spanning 18 1/3 innings.

But the right-hander was in trouble early as Minnesota struck for a run in the first inning on Carlos Correa’s RBI double.

Stroman retired the side in order in the second, but couldn’t escape the third against the suddenly hot Twins offense. Minnesota scored 29 runs in the series to set a Target Field record for the Twins, including 27 across the final two games after Chicago won the first contest, 6-2.

“They made it tough on him,” Ross said. “They’re a good low-ball hitting team as a group, and that’s where he lives. So you’ve got less margin for error when the two strengths line up a little bit and they got the best of him today. … Uncharacteristic of him. He’s a guy we usually count on.”

Stroman struck out Alex Kirilloff to start the third, but Minnesota put up seven runs and seven hits in the inning, five of each were charged to Stroman.

Correa and Byron Buxton started the rally with singles before Trevor Larnach homered, one of eight homers by the Twins over the final two games of the series. Two more hits chased Stroman from the game and Minnesota added on against reliever .

The six runs allowed were Stroman's most since June 3 last season against St. Louis.

“Just one of those where I kind of know where I’ve got to get to mechanically and I was just struggling to get there in the game,” Stroman said. “Yeah, hopefully work these next four, five days and be better on Saturday against Philly.”

With the success of the rotation all season -- the Cubs entered Sunday with 20 quality starts, tied for the MLB lead with Toronto, Seattle, Pittsburgh and Minnesota -- the team has confidence in a quick turnaround.

“Obviously, Stroman’s been awesome,” shortstop said. “All of our guys have been pretty dialed in this year. I feel like when we made a mistake, they seemed to hit it hard and far. But I think that those guys are so good at coming back for the next start and kind of getting back into what makes them them and executing pitches. Obviously, I have all the faith in the world in them.”