Marcus Stroman was the hottest name on the rumor mill as the MLB trade deadline approached. The Mets surprised many by bringing Stroman into the fold, but his numbers and experience spoke for themselves.
Since the trade, though, Stroman has not been the pitcher that he was in Toronto.
Saturday night was the latest example, as the right-hander allowed five runs (four earned) on 10 hits in just 4.0 innings against the Phillies in the Mets' 5-0 loss.
"It just needs to be better, to be honest with you. No one puts more pressure on me than myself, so I'm extremely frustrated and kind of angered," Stroman said after the game. "It's just a matter of me getting back to my bullpen in the week, making a few changes and kind of sticking with it and moving forward. I feel like I'm pretty good at adapting usually, so I'll make a few changes and hopefully I'll see results next time out."
Since joining the Mets, Stroman has an ERA of 5.05 in seven starts, and he's being hit much harder than when he was as a Blue Jay.
"I've been through plenty of rough patches in my career and I feel like I'm always able to come out on the other side. At the end of the day, one bad outing is not going to discourage me as a starter, so I look forward to kind of the adversity and getting through this and being where I was."
What makes this cold stretch all the more difficult for Stroman to swallow is that it's occurred since joining a new team, and his hometown team at that.
"I definitely wanted to come out hot here and I haven't, so it's definitely frustrating. I put some pretty good starts together early in the year, and I just haven't been myself here."
Mets skipper Mickey Callaway gave his take on why Stroman has struggled since swapping teams, but also voiced his confidence in the veteran's ability to bounce back.
"We're missing those early-count outs. He did that so well when he was with Toronto, that early-count ground ball, one or two-pitch outs, three-pitch outs that he did so well," said Callaway. "It's a weak ground ball and it keeps your pitch count down. What that does is not only make it harder to pitch deep into games, but every batter gets to see more and more of his stuff, and sooner or later, everybody gets you.
"I think all competitors get frustrated from time to time, and I'm sure he's frustrated, but I haven't noticed that in his work in between. I haven't noticed that when he's been on the bench cheering for his teammates and rooting everybody on. So, he's definitely a professional, but I'm sure he's a little flustered in his own performance. … He's going to keep on working. He's got talent, elite talent, and he'll work through this."