Marcus Stroman attended his first World Series game Sunday night, and only his second game ever at Citi Field. The first: Johan Santana's no-hitter on June 1, 2012.
So the man has good timing. Still, the Patchogue-Medford High alumnus and Blue Jays pitcher would much rather have spent Game 5 on the field against the Mets than talking to a reporter during batting practice.
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"I was dying to get the ball in that Game 7 [of the ALCS] to be the guy to take it to the World Series," he said of a series the Blue Jays lost to the Royals in six. "This would have been extremely special to have a World Series in New York with my family and friends here, being able to play against [Mets pitcher] Steven Matz, who I grew up playing against.
"It would have been awesome. Next year."
Stroman said he was impressed with Matz's outing against the Royals in Game 4.
"He pitched well, battled a great lineup," Stroman said. "I think he did a great job of mixing pitches and keeping his team in position to win."
Stroman, 24, said he would not be rooting for either team in Game 5, just watching as a fan of baseball.
After two partial seasons in the majors, he is looking forward to going from start to finish in 2016. He did not make his 2015 debut until Sept. 12 against the Yankees after suffering a torn ACL in March.
"It's been a whirlwind," he said. "I'm still trying to take it all in. Coming from school [at Duke] to the big leagues to the playoffs, it's been a lot. But it was a ride and I enjoyed every part of it.
"I haven't had a full big-league season yet. I haven't had an Opening Day yet. I'm looking forward to it. Can't wait."