Dodgers News: Ross Strippling Puzzled By 4th-Inning Struggles, Believes He’s In Good Rhythm
Ross Stripling, Los Angeles Dodgers
Kelvin Kuo/USA TODAY Sports

While the Los Angeles Dodgers had Rich Hill listed as the probable for Friday’s series opener, they announced hours before first pitch that Ross Stripling would instead take the mound against the San Diego Padres.


Dodgers manager Dave Roberts explained the change was made in part to provide Rich Hill with an extra day of rest before now facing the Padres on Saturday, and an additional day prior to starting against the San Francisco Giants on Friday.

Moreover, it would keep Stripling on his normal turn and help solidify the usual routine for him since returning from the 10-day disabled list. Aside from the offense going quiet through much of a 5-3 loss, Stripling failed to so much as get through the fourth inning.

It marked a third consecutive start, all of which have come since he was placed back in the starting rotation, that Stripling only managed to complete 3.1 innings. Stripling was unable to explain the recent struggles to provide length, as seen on SportsNet LA:

“I don’t know, really. I get to, I guess the fourth, it’s the second time through and guys are putting good at-bats together. Really, it was the second outing in a row where I felt I had really good stuff. The only mistakes I could think of was the Renfroe homer; he made me pay for it. And then two 10-pitch walks.”

When asked if he has yet to find any sort of rhythm since returning, Stripling denied that being the case:

“Honestly, I feel like I’m there. That’s probably different for everyone. For me, a sim game and a live outing, usually you’re back in there. Obviously, when you’re trying to go through a lineup multiple times, multiple up-downs, playing a chess match with hitters, that kind of stuff, you have to get used to it a little bit. But for the most part, I feel like my stuff has been good. I just got to find a way to get guys out multiple times.”

There is some credence to Stripling’s belief he didn’t pitch terribly poor against the Padres. He held them without a hit until Wil Myers’ two-out single in the third inning, with their only baserunner up to that point reaching on an error in the second.

What ultimately hurt Stripling, as he noted, was a slider to Hunter Renfroe that was lined over the fence in left field for a go-ahead two-run home run in the fourth inning. Stripling followed that by issuing back-to-back walks, which marked the end of his night.

Fatigue could be a factor as his 120.1 innings pitched are a career high. Though, Stripling has twice been on the disabled list this season. He’s scheduled to next start on Wednesday in the finale with the Arizona Diamondbacks, but recent results could lead to the Dodgers making a change.