TORONTO -- Marcus Stroman is regularly one of the league's more animated and emotional pitchers, and Thursday was clearly no exception. Stroman and manager John Gibbons, along with several of the Blue Jays' hitters, had expressed their disagreement with home plate umpire Will Little's strike zone through the first four innings
TORONTO -- Marcus Stroman is regularly one of the league's more animated and emotional pitchers, and Thursday was clearly no exception.
Stroman and manager John Gibbons, along with several of the Blue Jays' hitters, had expressed their disagreement with home plate umpire Will Little's strike zone through the first four innings before the situation finally boiled over in the fifth. In Thursday's 8-4, 10-inning win over the Athletics at Rogers Centre, the Blue Jays lost Stroman, Gibbons and catcher Russell Martin to ejections within two pitches.
"I want to make my next start," Stroman said, declining to comment specifically on umpires after the game.
Stroman's back-and forth with Little began in the first inning and simmered throughout his start, but the right-hander has zero plans to change his personality.
"I'm going to continue to be myself," Stroman said, "regardless of who doesn't like it, who likes it. I'm always going to be myself regardless, here on out. I'm emotional, that's how I pitch. That's what I pride myself on. That's what allows me to be my best out there."
Gibbons was the first to go for arguing balls and strikes after a 2-0 pitch from Stroman to Oakland catcher Bruce Maxwell. Two pitches later, when Stroman eventually walked the batter, he was ejected after exchanging words with Little from the mound once again. Stroman then charged toward home plate to protest. Before Stroman could get there, Martin had already been tossed himself.
"I didn't feel like, at that moment, it was the proper call," Martin said. "I didn't feel like it was necessary. There was no drama at that moment. He kind of created the drama there, so that's definitely frustrating."
Stroman had to be restrained by teammates and bench coach DeMarlo Hale, who had taken over for Gibbons after his ejection. The right-hander had a career-high six walks.
"None of it is ill-natured by any means," Stroman added. "It's things that I need to do, talk to myself to get myself in the moment, to get myself up for a particular pitch. It's not going to change going forward. I'm always going to be myself, day in and day out, and nobody can sway that."
Keegan Matheson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Toronto.