Thoughts on a Friday Night Classic

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You’ve heard the numbers many times by now: 7.1 innings pitched, 100 pitches thrown, five outs to go. The hot takes on Facebook, Twitter, and probably Reddit and anywhere else where people are allowed to express their opinions were hotter than Trevor Story’s start to his MLB career. Hotter than Steph Curry when he gets going. Hotter than that water heater that’s warming up water so my kid can have slightly warm formula milk. Why can’t she just have room temperature formula.

Anyway, I’m not going to deny that giving Stripling his shot would have been cool and may never, ever happen again for the kid, but there were plenty that had manager Dave Roberts’ back, and a few numbers to back up why he pulled Stripling:

McCarthy, pitcher for the Dodgers, agreed. Buster Olney of ESPN gave some background:

MLB.com’s Mike Petriello (sure, you may know him as a Dodgers blogger from the beginning) gave a snapshot of Stripling’s four-seam fastball velocity:

Here’s another chart, from Brooks Baseball:

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Not unusual for someone to get tired over the course of the game, especially when he hasn’t pitched that much in a game and still building up his stamina so he can be a starting pitcher long term. This is something that’s easy to get passionate about, but unlike some other debates, like dinosaur metrics of pitcher wins and pitcher losses vs. more recent ways to evaluate pitchers, FIP, for example, I firmly believe pulling Stripling was the right call, yet can only shrug if someone else disagrees.

Some people didn’t agree with the strike zone last night:

Chris Hatcher had a rough night. I would not want to be that guy, messing up the no-hitter, then because you were showing up the ump your manager has to save you from getting tossed. From there, it seemed like it was just a waiting game: how would the Giants win and ultimately crush the souls of the Dodgers and their fans for the night? Who would end it? In the end, it was Brandon Crawford:

 

Well, the kid is up now. This game was so crazy to be a part of, even if I could only listen to it, only watch the live update in the 8th inning and see Trevor Brown ruin everything for the internet. My wife and I were stunned at what happened. We felt awful for Stripling, and knew what would come for Roberts. Of course, I was very happy at Brandon Crawford’s shot to end it off of “Yes, he’s really a Dodger” Joe Blanton, and impressed at how opposite field he went with it. What a way he’s come to becoming the star he is today. I’m not sure if there was a game last year so crazy like this one, so memorable. I’ll remember this game for a year or more until I’ve completely wiped it from my memory and replaced it with the memories and the thousands of pictures I’ve took of my kid.

With Kershaw on the mound today, the Giants may not get to celebrate for much longer, but this game will be the talk of the town for another day, and there certainly is a lot to talk about.

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