OAKLAND — The word that fits the Cubs’ Opening Day starter in 2023 is quality, because every outing he’s had so far this season has been just that.
For the third time in four starts, its helped the Cubs to a victory.
Marcus Stroman pushed his ERA under one on Tuesday night in Oakland with six shutout innings against the Athletics, nearly matching the exact output of his previous three starts.
While the offense didn’t awaken in time to get him the win, a four-run eighth inning helped the Cubs to a 4-0 victory and a fourth-straight series win. Their record is up to 10-6 on the season as they look to sweep their first series of the year Wednesday at 2:37 p.m. at Oakland Coliseum.
Stroman threw 100 pitches in the six innings, surrendering just two hits while striking out five batters compared to two walks. The outing lowers his ERA to 0.75 on the season, the second-lowest in all of Major League Baseball.
Only Seattle’s Luis Castillo is lower as he has a 0.73 ERA early in the season.
In 24 innings this season, Stroman has allowed just two earned runs and 12 hits while striking out 25 batters compared to ten walks. Dating back to last October 30, Stroman has a 1.64 ERA in 11 starts with 60 strikeouts compared to just 19 walks in 66 innings.
Stroman is in his second season with the Cubs, having gone 6-7 with a 3.50 ERA in 25 starts last season.
Cody Bellinger would officially bring home the game-winning run in the eighth on a single that brought home Seiya Suzuki. After a Yan Gomes RBI groundout, Nick Madrigal made it a three-run game with a run-scoring single of his own.
He’d later score on an error as the Cubs got enough runs to back up another strong start by Stroman.