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Cubs defense lets down Marcus Stroman in tough loss to Cardinals

12 months agoElena Shklyar

Even All-Stars have off games.

Cubs ace Marcus Stroman credits Thursday night’s outing as one of those rare games where he just couldn’t find his rhythm.

“Just one of those games where you feel like everything kind of works against you,” said Stroman. “It didn’t help with the walks, just felt like I was slightly off mechanically, missing the zone, getting behind in counts and didn’t get ahead much.”

“They put some good swings on balls so just one of those games where I felt like nothing could go my way and I couldn’t get in a rhythm at any point.”

While Stroman may dismiss it as an off night, David Ross credits uncharacteristic defensive errors with stopping Stroman from getting in a groove.

“We never gave him a real chance to get in a rhythm. There was a lot of pretty standard major league plays that should’ve been made behind him,” said Ross. “He’s fighting a lot of pitches. Some of those mistakes we made cost him what felt like 30, 40 pitches. It’s hard to overcome and then you fatigue at the end, and you feel like you’re constantly trying to pick up.”

“You want your starting pitcher to get out there and get into a little rhythm, play good defense behind him. He’s getting ground balls all over the place and unfortunately, we couldn’t turn them into outs.”

In the 1st inning, second baseman Christopher Morel was unable to make a play on an infield single and third baseman Patrick Wisdom made an error later in the inning.

There were also several other missed opportunities, including another Wisdom error in the 2nd inning.

“Our acquisition that we got in the offseason to help our defense hasn’t been out there,” said Ross. “So guys are in positions they’re not normally in.”

“Nick Madrigal has played a phenomenal third base for us and he has not been in there. Part of that is we’ve got guys in there that have to step up in moments and we haven’t.”

On Thursday night, Stroman threw 99 pitches in 3.2 innings for his third-shortest start of the season. He allowed 7 hits, 5 runs (4 earned) and 4 walks in the outing.

With the loss, the Cubs fell to 45-51 and 8.5 games back in the NL Central. The Cubs are looking to turn the page and have 3 more games in the series against the Cardinals, who have won 6 straight games. 

“We are capable,” said Stroman. “Things just haven’t gone our way so pretty much wash it, go into tomorrow and try to get a W.”

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