Los Angeles Dodgers fans might not like Marcus Stroman (or have any reason to like him, really), but he provided them with some entertainment over the weekend during the Padres-Cubs series in San Diego.
The Cubs are going for the series win on Monday night, looking to take three of four from the Pads, and Stroman, who has been on fire over his last four outings, shut down San Diego's offense over 6.2 innings in what ended up being a 7-1 victory (the one run he allowed was unearned).
The Padres had a great opportunity to gain some ground on the Dodgers, who lost two out of three to the Yankees in LA, but all they continue to do is tread water and delete games off the schedule. The best they can now do is split with Chicago as Kyle Hendricks and Blake Snell face off Monday night.
But this series already feels like a win for the Cubbies. They're technically one of the worst teams in the NL but have grabbed crucial victories over the Rays and Padres over the last week. And Stroman got a top-notch dig in at Juan Soto on Sunday, for good measure.
After striking out the slugger looking in the fifth inning, Stroman mocked him by doing the "Soto Shuffle" on the mound as Soto paused for a moment before walking back to the dugout.
Marcus Stroman trolling Juan Soto is prime television for Dodgers fans
To make matters worse, Soto was asked about the Padres' inconsistent offense after the loss and how it's been holding the team back this season. His response? "I don't think I'm the guy to respond to that question ... those guys down there, they know better than me."
Those guys down where? After you in the lineup? Wonder what Manny Machado has to say with his .200 average and 76 OPS+. Or Jake Cronenworth with his .200 average and 91 OPS+. Or Austin Nola with his .111 average and 22 OPS+. Or Trent Grisham with his .193 average and 90 OPS+. Or Matt Carpenter with his .180 average and 83 OPS+.
Soto, statistically, has been the best hitter in the lineup, and his answer seemingly reflected that he knows that. Whether what he said was taken out of context or if he genuinely didn't know how to respond was one thing, but one of the top players/leaders on this team should probably have a better counter than that.
Maybe Stroman showed him up so hard that he really was at a loss for words. The Cubs have his number apparently, so maybe that's it. In six games vs Chicago this year (the most vs any opponent, tied with the Dodgers), Soto is hitting .095 with a .412 OPS in 26 plate appearances.
Not a whole lot of shuffling to be had, which is why Stroman probably felt the need to toss one into the mix.