Chicago Cubs pitcher Marcus Stroman followed through on a previously issued challenge and bought Cleveland Guardians' star Triston McKenzie a Rolex watch, per Talkin' Baseball. Stroman had originally challenged McKenzie ahead of the 2022 season.
Stroman paid up!
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) November 23, 2022
“If you go over 160 innings with a 3.7 ERA or lower this season… I'll buy you a Rolex!”
Triston McKenzie easily met Stroman's challenge, as he pitched to the tune of a 2.96 ERA in 191.1 innings on the mound. Stroman reacted after McKenzie earned the Rolex.
“My brother @T_eazy24 earned that sh*t. Legendary season,” he wrote on Twitter.
Triston McKenzie played a pivotal role for the Guardians in 2022. Cleveland ace Shane Bieber got brutally honest on McKenzie's importantance to the team during the season.
“This entire year,” Bieber said, “he (McKenzie) has displayed that he doesn’t just belong here. He’s going to thrive here. I believe in him. I know everybody else does. And I think most important is he believes in himself.”
Triston McKenzie shared his thoughts on the Guardians receiving national attention in the playoffs.
“I think it’s refreshing for everybody else to see,” McKenzie said. “We love doin’ it.”
On the other hand, Marcus Stroman posted decent results for the Cubs. He finished the year with a 3.50 ERA in 138.2 innings pitched. Chicago endured a difficult campaign overall, but Stroman was one of the bright spots.
If Stroman wants to issue a similar challenge next year, he will need to up the ante a bit. Perhaps he will set the ERA goal at 2.75 for Triston McKenzie in 2023.