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Ross Stripling’s inconsistent 2023 season continues in loss to Brewers

Stripling’s inconsistency in 2023 continues in Giants loss originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Ross Stripling’s up-and-down start to the 2023 MLB season continues.

After a solid start against the Houston Astros on May 1, Stripling once again found himself in the loss column in the Giants’ 7-3 defeat to the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday at Oracle Park.

“Probably a step back in crispness, just kind of fighting some things out there,” Stripling told reporters in the clubhouse after the game. “You’re not going to have your best stuff every night but definitely felt like I was talking good step forward every outing to zone in and today, not quite the same.”

In five innings, Stripling gave up seven hits, five earned runs on two home runs, struck out three and walked two Brewers batters. Overall, his ERA rose from 6.10 to 6.66 this season.

Despite the outcome, Stripling believes he battled well and threw some good pitches, even if some left the ballpark.

“I think what we’re seeing or how I’m feeling so far is like [there’s] no room for error really with me,” Stripling continued. “Both my walks score, my worst change gets hit for a homer, my worst slider gets hit for a homer … it definitely feels more this season than normal but I think pretty close to a decent outing.

“So really need to buckle down in those situations and get one more out and we’re still in the game and who knows how that one finishes versus a three-run deficit, which is much harder to overcome.”

Giants manager Gabe Kapler noticed that some of Stripling’s pitching was just too hittable, thus leading to those hard-hit blasts.

“Just caught a little bit too much of the plate with a couple of his pitches — he’s pretty reliant on command, reliant on count leverage,” Kapler said to reporters. “Thought he was in count leverage quite a bit today but command on just a couple pitches hurt him today.”

The pitches Stripling and Kapler are referring to are William Contreras’ and Willy Adames’ two-run homers in the second and fifth innings, respectively.

Even still, Giants catcher Blake Sabol believes the 33-year-old pitcher was “very” competitive on the mound, regardless of the result.

“Obviously, you wish you had that changeup that was a homer back,” Sabol said. “Other than that, I felt like he grinded there and definitely competed.

“So he can’t shake his head about it.”

Kapler shared Sabol’s sentiment, reaffirming that the team has their prized starter’s back, even with the struggles he is currently facing.

“We’re counting on Strip and we believe in him,” Kapler continued. “Obviously, major acquisition for us, really excellent track record of success, suppressing home runs, throwing strikes, being in count leverage.

“The net of Strip’s season right now, I don’t think it’s any secret, is not where he wants to be and we want to support him as he gets right and that’s what we’re going to continue to do.”

For the Giants, Thairo Estrada continued his hot streak, going 3-for-5 at the plate, including a towering home run in the bottom of the ninth to give life to the Bay Area crowd.

In all, Stripling notes that he was not where he wanted to be coming out of spring training, although he knows what he needs to work on moving forward.

“So until we’re getting away with my mistakes, which I’m just not right now, everything’s got to be crisper and just be better. I still think I’m trending in the right direction overall, hoping results are coming quicker than they have been so far,” Stripling concluded.

RELATED: Estrada’s three-hit game wasted in Giants’ loss to Brewers

As the Giants focus on the Washington Nationals for a three-game set in the Bay beginning Monday, the team has to be happy knowing Stripling has already identified what he needs to fix in future starts.

Giants fans are hopeful that one of San Francisco’s marquee signings can get a couple of solid starts under his belt sooner rather than later.

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