NEW YORK -- Marcus Stroman already has a Gold Glove to his name and could be en route to another, but on Tuesday, he chose a different way to demonstrate his athleticism.
Stroman stole the first base of his career in the Mets’ 5-2 win over the Marlins in Game 1 of a doubleheader, successfully converting his only lifetime attempt. In doing so, Stroman became the 15th different Mets pitcher to swipe a bag.
Earlier in the day, Stroman was chatting in the clubhouse with a group of teammates when he told them if he had a chance to steal a base, he would take it.
“The situation just happened to present itself, so I was like, ‘I’ve got to do it. I can’t be all talk,’” Stroman said. “I just got a good jump and got in at a good time.”
Although Stroman’s steal didn’t factor into the result as much as his five innings of two-run ball, it was nonetheless notable for its rarity. Not since Jacob deGrom in 2017 had a Mets pitcher stolen a base. Stroman’s came with the bases empty and two outs in the second inning, after he reached on an error. Bolting for second on pitcher Daniel Castano’s first move, Stroman made it easily, then cruised into third when catcher Nick Fortes’ throw sailed high.
“They usually don’t pay attention to pitchers, and Stro is a pretty good athlete,” Mets manager Luis Rojas said. “I had a feeling he was going to go. We don’t give signs with him at first but as smart of a player as he is, as athletic as he is, if there was an opportunity, yeah, why not? He went ahead and did it.”
The Mets already had a lead they would never relinquish at that point thanks to Francisco Lindor, who cashed in Brandon Nimmo’s leadoff triple with an RBI hit. Lindor later added a two-run homer.
In the end, Stroman’s stolen base became a footnote, a novelty -- just the 21st by a pitcher over 60 seasons of franchise history. Tom Seaver stole more bases than any Mets pitcher, with four. Orlando Hernández swiped three during the only two seasons he played in the National League.
It was nonetheless a notable statistic for Stroman, who prides himself on his athleticism -- a trait that could entice teams seeking to sign him as a free agent this winter.
“He’s a guy you want in your rotation,” Rojas said. “Which team wouldn’t want Marcus Stroman doing what he’s done this year?”