Stroman's Rough Start, Leiter's Next Start, Chavez's Departure, Suzuki's Streak, and Other Cubs Bullets

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Stroman’s Rough Start, Leiter’s Next Start, Chavez’s Departure, Suzuki’s Streak, and Other Cubs Bullets

Chicago Cubs

I am enjoying ‘Moon Knight,’ but I gotta say, it’s one of those shows that’s particularly hard to watch with a nine-year-old son who wants to ask about EVERYTHING. It’s, like, yeah, buddy, I see why that was weird, but I don’t have an explanation for you …

•   Marcus Stroman is mechanically out of whack right now, which is easy enough to see if you just look at his pitch locations from the last two starts. His sinker, in particular, is just not going anywhere it is intended to go, and a lot of the rest of his arsenal plays off of that pitch:

•   Here’s how Stroman put it, per

“Every pitch essentially feels like I’m doing something different mechanically,” Stroman said. “It kind of comes and goes in stretches. I feel great for an inning or a few batters and then I kind of just lose it. It’s frustrating. It’s beyond frustrating. I need to get to a mirror right now. The second I leave here, I’ll be doing some dry work and anything I can to put myself in a better position before my next start ….

“It all comes back to mechanics, for me, honestly. It’s not there yet,” Stroman said. “The sinker’s not established. If that’s not established, I kind of feel like I lose it in spurts. I feel great for six or seven pitches, and then I lose it for 10 or 15. I’m usually great at making adjustments in-game and I just can’t find it right now. It’s just a struggle.”

•   I’m old enough to remember that Jon Lester clunked his way to a 6.23 ERA in his first month with the Cubs after signing a much bigger deal than Stroman’s, and no one is expecting Stroman to be Lester. I can be plenty patient with a guy who has generally landed on good results everywhere he’s pitched when given enough time.

•   Oh, also, the strike zone was particularly rough on Stroman in the four-run first (not a full explanation or excuse! Just a fact):

•   Gotta bounce back against the Pirates tonight, with Mark Leiter Jr. on the mound for start number two. The rain bailed out the Cubs’ bullpen last night from what would’ve otherwise been heavy usage. So, in theory, even after subtracting Jesse Chavez, the group should be rested enough to get Leiter out of there after one time through the order (that’s when he looked so good in Colorado … and then the lineup flipped, and yo, it was really rough).

•   Speaking of subtracting Jesse Chavez, more on the Sean Newcomb acquisition later today. Chavez’s time with the Cubs was brief, and hopefully he can keep it going back with the Braves. Fun facts:

•   Chavez, as I said last night, was likely to get squeezed with the looming roster crunch in any case, but he was seen as a very high-quality clubhouse guy and a veteran leader for a young pitching staff. Which isn’t to say this is a bad trade or a significant loss or whatever, but is only to say that the Cubs believed Chavez brought some additional value to the team. But they wanted to take the chance on Newcomb, and the Braves wanted Chavez back. So that’s that.

•   Seiya Suzuki, chasing the man who said Suzuki was the best player he’s ever played with:

•   But wait a minute, how is this also possible:

•   Wellllll if you remember, Willson Contreras actually made his Cubs debut as a defensive replacement and didn’t get a plate appearance in that first game. His first plate appearance, of course, was the first-pitch homer on Father’s Day. So, if you count the defense-only game, his on-base streak was 0. If you don’t, it was 13.

•   And I was lucky enough to be there:

•   The Bulls made it happen last night:

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.