The grounder was one of the most routine plays a pitcher can make. With Marcus Stroman pitching for the Blue Jays, the Rangers’ Jurickson Profar hit a chopper to first base that was fielded by Justin Smoak, who then flipped the ball to Stroman as he ran to the base from the mound. Simple enough. And yet, at the end, there was Stroman’s shoe somehow on the field.
Rewind a few seconds and you see it: Stroman takes a couple strides and his cleat slips right off. Credit to Stroman, the 26-year-old didn’t even break stride.
Unfortunately for Stroman, that was one of the few plays in which he could crack a smile. Four earned runs in the first inning put Stroman behind early and, despite the Blue Jays coming back in the third, he would take the loss after allowing two more earned runs in the sixth inning.
The right-hander is currently 0-3 with an 8.88 ERA, a massive fall from grace after he anchored the Blue Jays rotation and finished eighth in the Cy Young voting. Stroman is well aware he needs to find his old form and fast, judging from what he told SportsNet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith:
“I’ve got to be better,” Stroman said. “I want to get back to being elite, so just back to the drawing board. I’m just a little off right now, so I’m just doing everything I can to getting back to where I need to be.”
Clearly, Stroman has a lot more than shoe-tying to work on going forward.
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