Marcus Stroman is healthy enough to take the mound and potentially help the Chicago Cubs begin another stretch of success
Meanwhile, the Cleveland Guardians hope to stop heading in the wrong direction
Stroman (9-5, 2.47 ERA) had his stretch of seven consecutive winning starts -- in which he posted a 1.29 ERA - come to an end with Sunday's 7-5 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals in London. The right-hander allowed six runs, but only three earned, plus eight hits in 3 1/3 innings before leaving with a blister on his right index finger.
However, Stroman apparently has healed enough to stay on schedule, and he'll try to help the Cubs bounce back from an outing during which their defense was suspect. Stroman most recently suffered two straight losses on May 8 and 14
"He's dealt with (blisters) before," Chicago manager David Ross said. "I don't see an issue popping up, especially anything long term.
"He's a guy that loves the spotlight. He's been our MVP of our team, I would say."
Stroman, who could be in line for the second All-Star nod of his career, is 1-2 with a 2.82 ERA in nine career appearances (eight starts) against the Guardians but hasn't faced them since 2019
"The biggest thing for me is to be as healthy as possible and to pitch for this team," Stroman said.
And also help Chicago build on Friday's 10-1 rout of Cleveland that halted the Cubs' four-game losing streak
Chicago's Nico Hoerner had three hits with two RBIs and Christopher Morel tied for the team lead with his 14th homer as the Cubs broke out after totaling 12 runs in their previous four contests
Hoerner is batting .333 with nine RBIs during a nine-game hitting streak. Teammate Nick Madrigal, who homered for the first time in two years on Friday, is batting .375 in his last 15 games, and Jared Young is 4-for-9 with a homer, two triples and four RBIs in three contests since making his 2023 debut on Wednesday.
The Cubs will get their first look at Cleveland rookie Tanner Bibee (4-2, 3.79 ERA), who is seeking his third straight win. After failing to complete more than five innings in four consecutive starts, the right-hander overcame four walks and three hits to yield just two runs (one earned) in six innings of a 4-2 victory over Milwaukee from last Saturday in his most recent start
"I talk with (the media) all the time about getting to six (innings)," Bibee said. "That's the goal, at least every single time, especially after a couple of mediocre starts. I think (that last start) was definitely good."
Already one of the lowest-scoring teams in the majors, the Guardians have been held to less than four runs four times during their current 3-4 stretch - which followed a four-game winning streak
Amed Rosario had two of Cleveland's five hits Friday and is batting .360 in his last 12 contests. He has never faced Stroman.
After going 0-for-3 with two strikeouts and a walk Friday, Cleveland star Jose Ramirez is batting .179 in 11 career regular-season and postseason games at Wrigley Field.
--Field Level Media