Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Sports

Dodgers' manager gets dad's thanks for pulling his son

SAN FRANCISCO — Ross Stripling's emotional father sought out Dave Roberts in the hotel lobby Saturday morning and thanked him from the heart.

Not that the Dodgers manager needed reassurance about his decision some 12 hours later.

Roberts pulled Stripling with a no-hitter in progress Friday during the eighth inning of his major-league debut after the right-hander's 100th pitch — a "no-brainer" for Roberts considering the pitcher's history two years after Tommy John surgery.

Stripling went 7⅓ innings and the Dodgers wound up losing 3-2 to the Giants in the 10th on Brandon Crawford's home run.

"Honestly, I feel really good about it. I actually feel even better about it this morning as I wake up," Roberts said Saturday. "One of the cool things I experienced this morning was Ross' dad was down in the lobby and just sought me out and he came up to me really kind of emotional and just thanked me from him and his wife for looking out for their son.

"For him to say thank you for taking care of my son's future and our family, I'll have him and his wife's support forever. I felt good about it regardless of that, but to kind of get the parents' stamp of approval is always a good thing."

Roberts, 43, received positive feedback from others, too, as he made a not-so-tough-as-it-seems choice in Game No. 5 of his managerial career. One of those supporters was his former manager in the other dugout, Bruce Bochy.

"He's the best manager in the game, and he's known for managing the pen, so for him to support my decision that does mean a lot," Roberts said. "Everyone wants the story. I wanted to see him throw a no-hitter, but we're looking at the long term, and Ross can help us win many more games. If it would have went south and something would have happened, I never would have been able to live with myself because this is this kid's livelihood. That's my job."

Stripling, 26, said he was tired and probably visibly so — and, a day later, he still agreed with Roberts' call.

"I saw a Tweet last night that said I threw 150 pitches in all of spring or 158 and that was five outings, and I was at 100 last night," said Stripling, who had four Cactus League appearances for 145 pitches plus a minor-league game. "It shows what the reasoning was behind that decision. Obviously, I hadn't been built up to throw that many pitches so it makes sense."

And Stripling learned a new name: Bumpus Jones. He's the last to pitch a no-hitter in his big-league debut — Oct. 15, 1892. "Never heard of that. That's pretty funny," Stripling said. "Those old-time names are great. Bumpus Jones."

DEGROM UPDATE: RHP Jacob deGrom might miss his next turn in the rotation because of a sore muscle in his right side. DeGrom won the Mets' home opener Friday, allowing one run and five hits over six innings in a win over Philadelphia. DeGrom said his latissimus dorsi was tight and he came out as a precaution after 76 pitches.

CRAWFORD TO DL: The Dodgers placed OF Carl Crawford on the 15-day disabled list because of a lingering lower-back injury. Crawford, 34, is scheduled to have an MRI exam. Given that the back has been bothering the former Rays star for weeks and limiting what he can do, "the DL seems like the prudent decision," manager Dave Roberts said.

GIANTS: 1B Brandon Belt, 27, agreed to a $72.8 million, five-year contract that starts in 2017.

PADRES: RHP Tyson Ross, the team's opening-day starter, was placed on the 15-day DL because of inflammation in his right shoulder.

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