Settling the Scores: Dave Roberts was right to pull Ross Stripling with a no-hitter in progress
Quite an eventful night in baseball. No more eventful than in San Francisco.
Dodgers rookie starter Ross Stripling had a no-hitter in progress in the eighth inning of his major league debut against the Giants. And then Dodgers manager Dave Roberts pulled him. The Giants game back against the pen and then won the game in extra innings.So why did Roberts pull him? Here’s what he said after the game:
“We made that decision before the game. The most he threw in spring was 78 pitches. He’s coming off Tommy John, he threw 70 innings last year,” Roberts said. “At 100 pitches, that was our number. ... I want to keep his future and health in mind. I made that decision if somebody gets on base, we’re going to go to (Chris Hatcher).”
“That’s kind of how it played out, and I think it’s a great story. He pitched well but under no circumstance am I going to even consider putting his future in jeopardy,” he said.
It was the right call. A no-hitter us an individual accomplishment and an historical curiosity. That’s all it is. Stripling was literally making his first ever start. You don’t push a pitcher past his limits and put his arm at risk to chase an individual accomplishment. The Dodgers have suffered loads of injuries to their pitchers in the past two years, they do not need to do anything to risk the health of those who aren’t hurt. The results of a season are more important than any one game, the results of any one game are more important than any neato personal accomplishment.
I expect, after the initial “wow, the manager pulled a guy pitching a no-hitter?” surprise, most people will agree that Roberts made the right call, even if the game ended up being lost. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: good decisions do not always lead to good outcomes and bad decisions do not always lead to bad ones. This is just one of those times.
Roberts got some guff for leaving his starter in too long on Thursday night. On Friday night, however, he did the right thing when he pulled his guy. Every situation is different. In this situation, Roberts did the right thing.
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