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USATSI

Pitching at Coors Field is not considered to be an easy assignment, but New York Mets right-hander Marcus Stroman made it appear to be one on Sunday as part of a 2-1 win over the Colorado Rockies.

Stroman threw eight one-run innings, limiting the Rockies to three hits and a walk. He struck out five batters and required just 90 pitches on the afternoon. Mets closer Edwin Díaz then checked in and recorded his second save of the season. Stroman, a Gold Glove winner, also made this outstanding defensive play in the bottom of the eighth to retire Josh Fuentes:

Stroman did most of his work with fastball variations. He threw 34 sinkers, 23 cutters, 13 splitters, 12 four-seamers, and eight sliders, according to Statcast. The splitter and the four-seamer were responsible for six of his 10 swinging strikes on the afternoon. Even though he didn't get many whiffs, he did suppress the quality of Colorado's contact: his average exit velocity against was 86.6 mph -- for reference, that would've ranked as the 12th best mark among qualifying pitchers during the 2020 season.

How good had Stroman been in his first two starts? Here's an idea: his performance on Sunday, again in which he allowed one run over eight innings of work, actually caused his seasonal ERA to increase, from 0.73 to 0.89. Stroman had yielded just one run over his first 12 innings of work, with both outings coming against the Philadelphia Phillies.

Offensively, the Mets were paced by Pete Alonso and Michael Conforto, each of whom recorded a pair of hits. Jeff McNeil and J.D. Davis, playing in only his fourth game of the season, drove in a run apiece.

The Mets, now 7-3 on the young season, will have Monday off before beginning a three-game set in Chicago against the Cubs. Stroman's next turn in the rotation won't come until next weekend, when the Mets host the Washington Nationals for three games to begin a short homestand.