Stroman’s scoreless six vs. Padres elevates Yankees rotation to new heights

Yankees starting pitcher Marcus Stroman waves to crowd after pitching six scoreless innings against the Padres in San Diego on May 25, 2024.
Sara Molnick
Sunday May 26, 2024

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Marcus Stroman‘s dominant outing propelled the Yankees’ rotation to a new milestone as Aaron Judge’s offense powered them to a 4-1 victory over the Padres at Petco Park.

Stroman held San Diego to three hits over six scoreless innings, striking out five and walking one. With the performance, Yankees starters extended their scoreless streak to 25.1 innings. For Stroman, this was his fifth straight win in San Diego with the first coming in 2019.

The closest the Padres came to scoring off Stroman was in the fourth when Jake Cronenworth led off with a triple. However, the Yankees starter left him stranded to preserve the shutout.

“I always knew he was a competitor but now getting a chance to see behind the scenes and how he works and how he prepares, there’s a reason why he’s been in the league so long and has had so much success,” Aaron Judge commented on his gem.

Stroman’s outing followed scoreless starts by Carlos Rodon, Luis Gil, and Nestor Cortes, combining for 25 1/3 scoreless frames over the last four games.

The Yankees have now had 13 straight starts of at least five innings with two or fewer runs allowed, one shy of the longest such streak since 1893. Over that stretch, their starters have posted a 0.78 ERA across 80 2/3 innings.

Yankees starting pitcher Marcus Stroman pitches the Padres in San Diego on May 25, 2024.

Yankees signing of Stroman’s paying dividends

The Yankees’ offseason acquisitions are paying dividends as they aim to capture their first World Series title since 2009, with Stroman emerging as the best addition alongside Juan Soto. Having him has significantly bolstered the Yankees’ rotation. With key names like Luis Severino and Domingo German departing via free agency, Stroman’s arrival has solidified the starting corps, especially during their recent impressive stretch.

Aaron Boone heaped praise on the Yankees’ starters after his latest gem, saying their “outstanding pitching” has set the tone daily. Boone called Stroman “really sharp” in the 4-1 win over the Padres.

“Just more tone-setting, just outstanding pitching from our starters just continuing to set the tone for us every day,” the Yankees manager said. “It was Stro today but I thought he was really sharp.”

After Saturday’s 4-1 win over the Padres, the Yankees improved to a season-high 10 games over .500, winners of four straight. Aaron Judge credited the starters, including Stroman, for fueling the surge.

According to him, Stroman is “locked in from the jump” and the Yankees love the 33-year-old. He added that the team had a lot of faith in the pitcher, who delivered for the Yankees in big moments with a sold-out crowd and packed environment.

“We got a lot of faith in Stroman, that’s why we went out and got him,” he said. “That’s why we signed him. That’s why he wanted to come to New York. He wanted to be in big moments with a sold out crowd and a packed environment and he went out there and did his thing.”

Stroman’s six scoreless innings against San Diego extended their dominant stretch to Saturday with his third consecutive quality start for the Yankees, fortifying their rotation after a pivotal offseason decision.

He has allowed just one run over his last 19.1 innings, an impressive run considering reports that the Yankees initially targeted reigning NL Cy Young winner Blake Snell before pivoting to Stroman when Snell’s camp rejected their offer. Snell ultimately signed a two-year, $62 million deal with the Giants but has struggled with injuries, posting an 0-3 record and 11.40 ERA through just four starts.

In contrast, Stroman has thrived on his two-year, $37 million contract with New York, boasting a 4-2 record and 2.76 ERA through 11 starts. Aaron Judge lauded his work ethic, saying he always knew the right-hander was a competitor, but witnessing his preparation first-hand revealed why he was able to sustain success over a lengthy MLB career.

Stroman’s six scoreless frames marked the 12th time a Yankees starter has gone at least six scoreless innings this season, the most in MLB. The team accomplished the feat just 11 times last year.

Yankees starting pitcher Marcus Stroman pitches against the Padres in San Diego on May 25, 2024.

As he continued outpitching his former Cy Young counterpart, the Yankees persisted in reaping the rewards of their offseason maneuvering.

Stroman acknowledged his rotation mates have been “incredible,” creating a flow of energy where each pitcher hands off to the next with high expectations. He noted they’ve achieved this success without their “best pitcher,” Gerrit Cole, who they are eagerly awaiting to return from injury.

“I think the other starters have been incredible,” he said. “It just creates this flow of energy, where each guy kind of hands it off to the next guy, and we’re all expecting each other to be great. We’re all doing this without having the best pitcher in baseball.” 

“We know what we’re capable of. I think we’re all just a bunch of starters who Know that we can be elite in this game and like I said, the flow of information, The pitching coaches, staff, everything’s so dialed in here. We all feel really confident when we go out there each and every start.”

Cole, the reigning AL Cy Young winner, has yet to pitch this season but threw a simulated game Saturday in Tampa. There’s now a “chance” he could be sent on a rehab assignment next week.

Until Cole’s return, Stroman and the other starters are holding down the fort with confidence they can continue excelling. The pitcher admitted that the group knows their elite capabilities, crediting the flow of information and dialed-in pitching staff for their confidence before each start.

The rotation has been pivotal during the Yankees’ hot stretch, with Saturday’s win moving them a season-high 10 games over .500. Stroman’s six scoreless innings extended their streak to 25.1 innings without allowing a run.

What do you think? Leave your comment below.

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One thought on “Stroman’s scoreless six vs. Padres elevates Yankees rotation to new heights

  1. Stroman has been an absolute joy to watch “pitch.” I put pitch in quotes because Stroman’s a throwback pitcher; he doesn’t have a 99 mph fastball; he gets by through intelligence & guile, and he pitches to the corners, keeping the ball out of the sweet spot. And he pitches ever inning with high-octane energy, as if it’s the last inning he’ll ever pitch, and you have to respect that sort of desire & dedication to his craft.

    It’s also obvious that being a Yankee is fulfilling a childhood dream he had that’s raised Stroman’s game to another level, and now Stroman is fulfilling that childhood dream, and that’s a beautiful thing to watch.

    But there’s another, VERY IMPORTANT side to this story. So, while we’re reveling in Stroman’s performance this year on an affordable 2-year, $37 MM deal, let’s not lose sight of the FACT that Stroman would NOT have been a Yankee if Brainless Brian had his way.

    Brainless Brian Cashman wanted to give the overrated Blake Snell a $150 MM contract, instead of signing Stroman at $37 MM, and that $150 MM deal would have cost the Yankees about $55 MM this year, with the 110% tax the Yankees have to pay.

    Many Yankee fans also Foolishly demanded that the Yankees make that STUPID SIGNING, which, btw, would have most likely ruled out re-signing Soto next year, nitwits.

    Snell has sucked this year, as the article noted (11.40 ERA), and he’s injured as usual for him, following his ONE OTHER “great” year. Snell disappeared after his first Cy Young year, so his drop-off this year was highly predictable to anyone with a brain, which rules out Cashman, of course.

    And Snell NEVER gives you length, averaging 5.1 IP per start. And if there’s one thing that Cashman & the foolish fans who begged him to sign Snell should have learned this year, IT’S HOW VITALY IMPORTANT IT IS TO PITCH 6+ INNINGS A START. The PROOF is in the Yankees performance the last two weeks when every starter gave them 6 innings or more, and the Yankees went on steak of dominance, the likes of which we haven’t seen in many years.

    When a starter gives you 6-7 IP or more, He’s Saving the Bullpen Now & For The Stretch Run! Snell NEVER gives you length, and he’s ALWAYS been a bullpen killer. He pitches his 5.1 & says, F-U, I’m done, now you guys figure out how you’re going to get through another 3.2 innings. That’s not a pitcher; that’s a self-centered bum.

    And before anyone glosses over this fact, Brainless Brian also wanted to Resign Frankie Montas. Why? Because there’s nothing Brainless hates more than being proved he was wrong on a trade. So, Brainless Brian wanted to double down on yet another pitching disaster in Montas.

    And how has Montas done this year, Brainless Brian? Well, the best you can say for Montas is that he’s sucked somewhat less than Blake Snell. Montas’ has a 4.61 ERA, and it would be more like 5.00 if you threw out his first game against the lowly Nationals, when he gave up zero runs in 6 innings.

    So, never forget, Stroman was Brainless Brian’s THIRD CHOICE as a starter. So beware of anyone who tries to BS you & give Cashman credit for signing Stroman because, if Cashman had had his way, we would have been stuck with Another God Awful & Expensive Year from overrated Blake Snell or crappy Frankie Montas.

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