Cubs’ Marcus Stroman solid in return from ‘tough’ COVID absence

Cubs starter Marcus Stroman returned to the mound Thursday for the first time in nearly three weeks after a bout with COVID-19.

And given what the last few weeks have been like for him, Stroman was pleased with his performance vs. the Diamondbacks.

Stroman’s last outing was May 1 against the Brewers, when he threw seven shutout innings to beat reigning NL Cy Young Award winner Corbin Burnes.

He was scratched from his scheduled May 8 start and went on the injured list that same day. Stroman said he and his family dealt with COVID, and he battled fatigue.

“It was tough,” Stroman said. “Just really, really tired, like couldn’t move. Pretty much was just in bed. Didn’t have any energy to do anything.

“I just listened to my body, took the days I needed. The second I felt good, got it ramped right back up and started preparing to be back out there.”

In his return Thursday, Stroman held Arizona to three runs (two earned) on five hits in 5 2/3 innings. He struck out six with zero walks.

“I competed pretty well, and I was in the zone,” Stroman said. “I’ve had layoffs like that before in the past, and I’ve been kind of all over the place. 

“Just to be around the zone and give my team a chance, I think it’s something good to build off of.”

Stroman retired the first nine batters he faced before…

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