Marcus Stroman and Juan Soto had an awesome exchange against one another
When Juan Soto drew a walk against Marcus Stroman in the 1st inning on Sunday in San Diego, he looked at the right-handed pitcher and began nodding his head toward him.
“So, I just put it in my back pocket just in case I punched him out later in the game,” Stroman told reporters after the game.
That’s not an easy thing to do — Soto was in the top 20 last season in strikeout percentage. But in the 5th inning, Stroman was able to get a little bit of revenge, punching out Soto on a 92.5 mph sinker at the bottom of the zone.
When he did, Stroman did a little slide shuffle on the mound in celebration.
“I just so happened to [strike him out], but that’s not easy to do,” Stroman said. “I’m not gonna sit here and say anything, cause I know he’s gonna get me at some point, too. Just some gamesmanship. He’s awesome to play against.”
Stroman made no secret of his appreciation for Soto, one of the game’s best players right now. Since he entered the league in 2018 as a 19-year-old, Soto has posted a whopping .424 on-base percentage, hit 135 home runs and has a career OPS of .946.
“Like I said, he’s one of the greats, I truly believe that,” Stroman said. “So, it’s a chess match, pitching against him because you need to go in the zone, he’s not gonna expand, he’s not gonna go outside the zone, so I love that AB against him.”