BOSTON — Matt Strahm spent one season with the Red Sox in 2022 before following the likes of other former Boston figures Kyle Schwarber and executive Dave Dombrowski to the Philadelphia Phillies.

Strahm now stands out among the top relieves in the sport this season, owning a 0.67 ERA in 28 appearances. He’s missing bats, he’s racking up strikeouts and rarely walks hitters. Strahm’s strikeout-to-walk ratio sits at 39-to-4, by far the best mark of his career. Mixing three different fastballs along with his slider has allowed the 32-year-old to find comfort with his pitch mix.

So, what does the former Red Sox lefty credit the most to his emergence this season?

“Our starting pitching has been unbelievable,” Strahm explained to “As a bullpen guy, that allows you rest and keeps you fresh. I think that’s the biggest thing. I’ve never been on a team that had this kind of starting depth. At any given point, they’ll turn in eight innings and leave one for the bullpen. I just credit it to the five starters who have kept me fresh all year.”

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Strahm expressed desire and occasionally filled in as a starter at various points in his career. While that desire stands, the left-hander wants to embrace the most advantageous role for his team. He showed that in a scoreless frame against the Red Sox on Tuesday when he struck out the side.

“The one thing I want to do is win,” Strahm said. “I understand my value as a reliever. I’m also stubborn enough to believe I can be a starter. Ultimately, I just want to win.”

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Strahm’s team was one win away from a trip to the World Series in 2023, and Philadelphia is atop the National League to this point in 2024. Strahm credits Dombrowski’s roster building, which showed its potential when he built the 2018 Red Sox to win a championship.

“He’s one of the greats in this game,” Strahm said. “This is one of the best clubhouses I’ve ever experienced. This is the least amount of turnover I’ve had in back-to-back seasons. It just speaks volumes on the players (Dombrowski) brings in here. It just shows with the success we’ve had.”

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Featured image via Paul Rutherford/USA TODAY Sports Images