Entering Sunday’s series finale against the San Diego Padres, the Los Angeles Dodgers were in the midst of a six-game home losing streak in which they’ve scored just 11 runs. Ross Stripling became the latest pitcher to be hamstrung by a futile offense.
Although he allowed five runs on seven hits in 4.2 innings pitched, Stripling’s final line easily could’ve been improved if not for a few poor sequences. The result left the rookie right-hander frustrated. “It’s frustrating to be one pitch away and not be able to get out of it and kind of do it to myself as far as walking two guys with two outs,” he said.
“To be one pitch away against (Wil) Myers and throw a terrible 3-2 curveball, and then to be one pitch away from (Melvin) Upton and basically throw a heater down the middle. As far as [opposing batters] reacting to me, I guess you can see around the fourth or fifth inning is when they really start to get after me. The third time through the lineup they’re really starting to adjust, so I need to start adjusting as well or else it’s going to be rough.”
Stripling added putting batters away has been an issue for him in recent outings “I feel like in my last three starts I’ve been one pitch away from having three good starts,” he said. “I just haven’t been able to do it.”
Since throwing 7.1 no-hit innings in his Major League debut, Stripling hasn’t been nearly as sharp and struggled with his efficiency. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts believes Stripling has nonetheless learned throughout his current stint in the Majors, and not plateaued or regressed.
“He’s very good with information, I thought his breaking ball was very good,” Roberts said. “It’s a different question posed if he gets Upton and doesn’t give up that double, or two walks. If you look at the whole sample, I thought he threw a lot of good pitches. He’s still learning. We put him in this situation and I think he’s continuing to get better. As far as plateau, I don’t think he’s anywhere near that.”
Overall on the season, Stripling is 0-2 with a 4.33 ERA and 1.41 WHIP in five starts. He’s next scheduled to face the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday.