Marcus Stroman pitched into the seventh inning in Sunday's loss to the Phillies, giving up two runs on seven hits, good for his first quality start in a Mets uniform. Despite his struggles on paper, the Long Island native insists this start wasn't all that much different than his previous five.
"I've felt pretty good since I've been here," Stroman said. "It's just a matter of making key pitches in big moments. In previous starts, I haven't made key pitches and I've let it get away from me."
"But I feel great. It's just a matter of battling and adjusting to hitters and being better when it counts."
Stroman recovered after a shaky first two innings, in which he gave up a pair of runs in the second and would have allowed another in the first had it not been for an outfield assist from Michael Conforto.
"They came out swinging early, from the first pitch literally," Stroman said. "I just need to be better. Maybe my pitch selection in the second there. Maybe be a little more aggressive. Overall I felt pretty good. I just need to build on it moving forward and keep it going."
Manager Mickey Callaway was impressed with what he saw from his starter, especially considering the way the outing began for him.
"Stroman threw a heck of a game, probably the best we've seen him pitch," Callaway said. "He left the ball up early, then he really settled in and was making his pitches and getting the ball where he wanted to."
"When you're a sinker-baller, it's just a couple of inches matters a lot. He started really executing those sinkers. And he had a really good changeup tonight and he was getting the slider where he wanted to."
But it all came undone in the eighth. With the score tied at two, the Phillies pushed across three runs on a bases-clearing double from Scott Kingery off of to take the lead which they would not relinquish.
"That was a tough inning," Callaway said. "We just didn't execute the pitches we were trying to make. We had Lugo down, we had Wilson down. So you go in thinking Familia will throw the eighth and [Edwin] Diaz will throw the ninth. And you trust that they're going to go out and do that. We got to that position and it just didn't happen for us tonight."
Familia's struggles out of the bullpen continue. His ERA sits at 5.96 on the season and he's posted a lofty 1.80 WHIP in 48.1 innings of relief.
"Whenever I go out there, my job is to get outs," Familia said through a translator. "I just haven't been doing my job this year. It's not that I get nervous or out of control. I just didn't get the job done there."