The Major League debut for right-hander Ross Stripling went about as well as one would ever expect. Stripling pitched 7.1 no-hit innings for the Los Angeles Dodgers in his debut, but it was all for naught as he was pulled from the game after 100 pitches and had to watch the Dodgers ultimately lose.
You can imagine the range of emotions that Stripling must have felt. Multiply that a hundredfold and you could start to understand what his family might have felt in that moment. Except his family didn’t feel that Stripling got cheated out of his date with immortality. In fact, his father had a message for manager Dave Roberts.
The night before, Hayes watched as Roberts removed his son, Ross, when he was five outs away from completing a no-hitter in his major league debut. Hayes did not seek recrimination. He wanted to thank Roberts for protecting his son’s surgically repaired right elbow.
That’s a class move by a father of a player who was so close to achieving an unthinkable goal. Hayes Stripling walked up to Dave Roberts in the lobby of a hotel and thanked the manager for protecting his son; a son that had never thrown that many pitches in a professional game and was coming off of Tommy John surgery.
Some things take on a life of its own, and there were those who felt Roberts cheated Stripling out of his moment. However, based on the way that Hayes Stripling reacted, you can only think that Roberts made the right move here. He protected one of his players, and the family loved him for it. It’s especially heartwarming.