Marcus Stroman has been solid in his recent return from injury for the Chicago Cubs. Perhaps a visit from the lowly Washington Nationals will finally earn him a win at home.
The right-hander tries a sixth time to record his first home victory when the Cubs aim to hand the Nationals a seventh consecutive defeat on Tuesday night.
Stroman (3-5, 4.00 ERA) missed more than a month from early June into July with shoulder inflammation, but is 1-0 with a 1.67 ERA in five starts since returning.
What can be considered his roughest of those outings came at St. Louis on Thursday, when he yielded three runs, five hits, including two solo homers and struck out six without a walk in 6 2/3 innings during a 4-3 Chicago loss.
However, Stroman still feels good about where he’s at following his longest outing since lasting seven innings on May 29.
“My mechanics are kind of where I want them to be now. I feel healthy,” Stroman said.
Stroman is 0-3 in five starts as a Cub at Wrigley Field. However, he allowed only a run, a hit and two walks while striking out six over 4 1/3 innings against his former New York Mets club in his most recent start there on July 16.
He’s 1-1 with a 4.78 ERA in five career starts against the Nationals, who have been outscored 51-20 during their six-game losing streak.
Chicago rookie Nelson Velazquez had a career-high three hits, including his sixth homer, during Monday’s 6-3 win over Washington. He’s batting .310 with four home runs and 11 RBIs in his last 13 games for the Cubs, who have won six of their last seven at home.
Washington, meanwhile, is trying to piece together a lineup on a daily basis following the recent trade of star outfielder Juan Soto to San Diego. However, the Nationals are mired in their fifth losing streak of at least six games in 2022, and matched a season high with a sixth consecutive road defeat Monday.
“I want these guys to go out there and play good, competitive baseball,” Washington manager Dave Martinez said. “If they can do that, we’re going to be in some games, we’re going to win some, we’re going to lose some tough games.”
Veteran Luke Voit, one of the newest Nationals who came over from the Padres, is 7-for-17 with two home runs and three RBIs in five games since the trade. He’s also hit five of his 15 overall home runs this season — and recorded 10 RBIs — in seven games against the Cubs.
Scheduled Washington starter Paolo Espino (0-4, 4.20) has a 5.52 ERA while losing four of his 10 starts this season. The right-hander has allowed nine runs and 14 hits, including four homers, in 8 2/3 innings over his last two starts. Espino is 1-0 with a 3.48 ERA in three outings (two starts) versus Chicago. However, Chicago All-Star Ian Happ is 2-for-5 against him.
Happ is batting .323 this season at Wrigley Field, where he’s 6-for-18 during a five-game hitting streak versus Washington.
–Field Level Media