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Cubs’ Marcus Stroman hits his stride in impressive July

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Cubs Straw Show signed up for arrival originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

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After Alfonso Rivas snared Giants third baseman Jason Vosler, cubs Starter Markus Stroman paused to clap his hands and glove in appreciation.

Catch put the bow on Stroman’s six strong innings Friday night in San Francisco. He kept the Giants scoreless by throwing eight hits (six singles) in one outing.

When the Cubs brought in Stroman as a free agent during the offseason, performances like Friday were what everyone dreamed of. And as the calendar shifts to August, it’s clear that Stroman got his way.

“He was great. That’s who he is,” Cubs outfielder Ian Happ said. “He lives in the zone, he does a great job of sinking to the bottom, getting balls and weak contact.

“That’s who he was throughout his career. It was a lot of fun to watch.”

Stroman had his ups and downs in April before a bout with COVID-19 sidelined him for three weeks in May. After he returned, his shoulder never felt right and he was on the injured list after his June 3 start against the Cardinals, in which he allowed nine earned runs.

He’s gotten on a roll since breaking away from IL earlier this month, posting a 0.89 ERA in four starts (20 1/3 innings) against the Dodgers, Mets, Phillies and Giants.

After being wary of his workload against Los Angeles and New York by the Cubs, he started playing one after the other.

“He just presents his game. It’s all quadrants all the time,” said manager David Ross. “He has a good rhythm. I feel like he’s in control of the game.”

Even with COVID and no leverage, Stroman has shown good results over the past three months. In nine starts since May, he has a 2.79 ERA in 48 1/3 innings.

In his eight starts outside of the St. Louis outing that preceded his IL stint, he has a 1.22 ERA since May.

“Straw has just continued to get on the path to being who he was in his career,” Ross said before the game. “He’s a really good pitcher and pitches at a high level when he’s right.

“We need him to be good to show his game,” Ross added. “He has done a very good job since he returned.”

Stroman’s track record in his career speaks for itself. Due to the hardships he has faced this season, the July show “The Stro Show” has arrived.

“You have to be completely immersed in the process, in the journey,” Stroman said. “This is what I have always done, no matter how I rock.

“The work that goes into this is usually amazing. I do as much as I can. If I’m not pitching well there, I’m doing more away from the field.

“I was just on a roll. The body feels good, the weight does everything I need. Everyone plays on it.”

Message from San Francisco: Gordon Wittenmyer

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