Former Fightin' Texas Aggie P Ross Stripling made his MLB debut for the LA Dodgers at the San Francisco Giants last night, and all he ended up doing was flirting with baseball history by taking a no-hitter into the eighth inning. Unfortunately for Strip, he was unable to complete the no-no, which leaves Bumpus Jones's 1892 no-hitter as the only such start in an MLB debut in history.
Heading into the eighth inning, Stripling was masterful, having struck out four and walked three. He even had some help from his friends, CF Joc Pederson and RF Yasiel Puig, who both had spectacular catches in the outfield to help preserve the no-hitter.
However, even as good as Stripling had been, you could start to see him tiring a bit, and with the rain beginning to come down, he began losing his command a bit in the seventh. He started off that inning with a walk to Giants RF Hunter Pence, but quickly followed that up by inducing a double play from the next hitter, and got the next hitter to bounce out to the second baseman.
Then to start the eighth, he got the leadoff hitter to fly out to right, but walked the next hitter without being anywhere near the strike zone. Now at 100 pitches, Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts decided to pull Stripling out of the game in order to protect his arm. You see, in 2014 Stripling had Tommy John (elbow) surgery, and has only made 14 appearances since then, with 93 pitches being his highest count. It wasn't a very popular move last night, especially on #AggieTwitter (I myself was a bit upset, as well), but in the long run, it might just be the best thing that ever happened to Stripling.
What really pissed everyone off, however, was that Chris Hatcher, who had come in for Stripling to face Giants' rookie C Trevor Brown, gave up Brown's first career home run. Not only did this break up the no-hitter, it also tied the ballgame. Oh, and it ruined Stripling's final line, as the runner on first was his responsibility. Maybe the baseball gods were, uh, not too happy that Stripling wasn't able to go for history.
His final line: 7.1 IP, 1 ER, 0 hits, 4 K, 4 BB
All of that aside, we can only hope that this is the start of a truly brilliant career for one of the best Aggie pitchers in the last two decades. Because we didn't get to see him finish this no-no, how about we look back to May 12, 2012, where Stripling no-hit the San Diego St. Aztecs: