The Mets played two split-squad games on Saturday afternoon to kick off their spring training schedule. With one group staying in Port St. Lucie, the other group took the field in Jupiter, Fla. against the St. Louis Cardinals.
In that game, the Mets handed the ball to Marcus Stroman to get things started.
In the first inning, Stroman gave up a one-out single to Matt Carpenter, but he followed that up by striking out both Paul Goldshmidt and Yadier Molina on sliders down in the zone.
Things were a little bit rockier for Stroman in the second, as he allowed a home run to Tyler O'Neill to start the inning. He also walked Brad Miller on four pitches and allowed a single to Rangel Ravelo.
Stroman's day came to an end after 30 pitches, 15 of which were strikes. Stroman's final line read 1.1 innings, three hits, one earned run, and two strikeouts.
After the game, Stroman explained how these spring training games are more about getting his body ready for the regular season than anything else.
"Felt great. Really excited with where I'm at, to be honest," Stroman said after the game. "Really excited with my body, my pitches, everything is coming out. Really spinning my four-seam pretty well, so I'm going to have that as a weapon. Just excited to get going, honestly. These next four-five weeks are about getting the body right, getting the mind right, doing everything you can to prepare for the season."
"This is all preparation. I have the ability to turn that switch once the season comes, so I'm ready to go."
After being acquired by the Mets at last season's trade deadline, Stroman went 4-2 with his new club, pitching to a 3.77 ERA and 4.15 FIP in 11 up-and-down starts.
But this season, Stroman has the luxury of a full spring training with the Mets, which will only help him be a strong part of what he believes is a very good pitching rotation.
"I love everything about the organization, to be honest with you," said Stroman. "It's good to get here in spring training, get settled with the team, get with my catchers and kind of get on the same plan, which I wasn't able to last year. I think we're going to have great success this year, and as a team, I think we're going to be special. I truly can't wait to go out there and compete with very single guy every day."
"I think we have one of the best pitching staffs in the big leagues for sure."