CHICAGO -- Marcus Stroman experienced the worst start of his young career on Friday night, but pitching coach Pete Walker doesn't think it had anything to do with tipping pitches.
Stroman and Walker were spotted on the field doing some work off flat ground prior to Saturday night's game. The focus appeared to be on Stroman coming to a set position and the positioning of his glove.
That sometimes indicates there is a concern about a pitcher somehow tipping a hitter off as to what is coming next. Walker quickly dismissed that notion by pointing to the fact that Stroman didn't really give up any hard-hit balls.
"Generally speaking, it was just an inning that unraveled," Walker said. "He didn't have a chance to adjust after the first inning, you're out of the game. I think a couple of balls found holes, they squared a couple up, he certainly wasn't as sharp as he has been, but I know he's anxious to get the ball again."
Stroman allowed five runs on five hits, a walk and a balk during Friday night's 11-5 loss to Chicago. It marked the third time in 14 starts that he wasn't able to complete at least four innings but Stroman has been relatively flawless in his other outings.
The performance against Chicago wasn't pretty, but it's also the type of outing in the long run that could turn into a learning experience.
"I think it will be," Walker said. "This game can be humbling, as quickly as you work hard to get into a groove you get knocked back a little bit. It's eye-opening, you realize what you need to do and how every team is capable of putting up runs on the board and putting hits up there."