The Dodgers Won, but Rich Hill Feels Like He Lost

There were plenty of story lines in tonight’s game to pick from: Joc Pederson’s multiple home runs, the return of Andre Ethier, a circus catch that only Yasiel Puig could make in that moment. But the real story tonight was Rich Hill and the perfect game that was not allowed to be.

Through the first four innings it was push against shove, with nobody scoring.
And then things got very interesting.

The Dodgers only had three hits by that point, but incredibly, Rich Hill was throwing even better. The Marlins did not have a single hit, and every batter up had been sent back down.

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12 in a row put down by Hill. Joc Pederson had three straight fly balls hit to him, and they weren’t all cans of corn.

5th inning
Dodgers
Joc Pederson followed up his glove prowess with some woodwork. Home run. 1-0


Marlins
15 up, 15 down with a half-dozen Ks for Rich Hill.

6th inning 1-0
A lead off, four pitch walk came back to bite the Marlins as Corey Seager hit his 25th home run with a man on. 3-0


Justin Turner went back to back with Seager. He went to the opposite field with a solo homer. 4-0


Marlins
9 Ks and 18 in a row retired! Wow!

7th inning 4-0
Joc Pederson went KA-BOOM again! 5-0
Marlins
Rich Hill had two out when there was a bomb absolutely blasted to left field. And then Puig happened!
On the dead run, with his back to home plate, Puig left his feet and leapt forward, catching the ball to save the perfect game.
Pitch count:89

8th inning 5-0
Holy crap! The Dodgers shut down Hill’s perfect game. They pulled Hill for Joe Blanton. With two out, a ball glanced off Seager’s glove for the first hit of the game. Perfect game gone, no-hitter kaput – and Dave Roberts lost his spot on Rich Hill’s Christmas card list.

9th inning 5-0
With Dodgers fans gnashing their teeth over the yanking of Hill, Roberts tossed a crumb, and sent Andre Ethier up for his first at bat of the season.
Two on and two out for Ethier. A weak bouncer to first. 3u
Marlins
Who cares who pitched the ninth?

Dodgers win! 5-0 (Rich Hill lost)

Blister Shmister: Rich Hill was perfect through the first seven innings. His curve ball was swerving and dipping all around the Marlins’ bats. He also benefited from strong Dodgers defense in the outfield. Rich Hill (after 7) is at 19 straight scoreless innings.

Then there was this news today: Scott Kazmir out indefinitely with thoracic spine inflammation.

ROY Watch: Corey Seager needs one more double to hit 25 homers and 40 doubles. He’ll be the first to do that since Albert Pujols.

The kid’s leather and wood skills were showcased tonight: This was the 4th time Joc Pederson has had a multi-home run game. He had two home runs, a base hit and a walk.

Welcome back, Andre Ethier!

Roberts makes history: Never before has a pitcher been lifted from a perfect game with at least seven innings pitched. Now Vin Scully can say he’s seen it all.

Rich Hill (W 12-3) went 7 innings with 0 hits, 0 runs, 0 HRs, 9 Ks.   ERA 1.80

Team with RISP: 0 for 1 That was Ethier’s shot!

Oscar Martinez

Oscar Martinez

I was born in the shadow of Dodger Stadium and immediately drenched in Dodger Blue. Chavez Ravine is my baseball cathedral, Vin Scully was the golden voice of summer all my life, and Tommy Lasorda remains the greatest Dodgers manager ever. My favorite things are coffee, beer, and the Dodgers beating the Giants. I also blog about my baseball card hobby at All Trade Bait, All the Time.

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13 thoughts on “The Dodgers Won, but Rich Hill Feels Like He Lost

  1. UGH! “Damned if you do/damned if you don’t” decision for Dave Roberts on pulling Hill from a perfect game. If he throws it (never “likely” – no matter how it seems) and he throws too many pitches or re-develops a blister, Dave was irresponsible. If he pulls him and we lose or give up hits, Dave was wrong.

    Personally, I think in a stretch run with every win or loss potentially critical, each player has to play for the name on the front of his uniform, not the back. Hill is going to get a multi-year, big dollar contract with or without a perfect game on his resume….but I’m sure it hurts him like hell.

    1. Well put, man. On the post game show, both Doc and Honeycutt said they were both just sick to their stomachs. I can’t even imagine.

      I expect the vet players like Kersh, Agone, Turner to keep the guys together and get ready for tomorrow.

  2. The very short video of Hill in the duggout looked like he was pissed off AT Dave, I hope not. I HOPE he has the maturity to understand the wisdom of the decision even if it hurts. No matter how great it would have been to have gotten the perfecto, how much greater will it feel if he wins the team a ring!

  3. Dan, you’re a breath of fresh air…I pull him too… Now when I revisit this post tomorrow, all hell will probably break…
    Hill is ONLY making $6M playing a game… Aw forget it..

  4. Well, I’ll put in my two cents and shut up. This violates one of baseball’s unwritten rules: if a guy is pitching a perfect game, it’s his to lose. You don’t pull him because he might hurt himself. As someone said on another thread, maybe Puig should’ve played that ball off the wall rather than risk injury. Maybe guys shouldn’t run hard to first to avoid pulling a hamstring.

    I’d let him go out for the eighth and then reevaluate the situation. Maybe he gets through the inning on less than 10 pitches, maybe he gives up a walk or a hit, or maybe he goes over the 100 pitch mark and then you have to make the call. And I wouldn’t hide behind some BS about how his finger felt hot.

    1. Well said…and yes, I totally agree about the “hot finger” angle…that was the only thing that made me cringe about Doc’s post game interview.

  5. Just like Hill himself, my initial reaction was disbelief, and I was mimicking Hill’s bat tirade towards my TV. But like Hill, after a cold shower, and some reflection – I realized Doc had a thankless decision. Ok, lets say Hill goes back in for the 8th and actually manages to preserve his perfect game…but he’s then at say, 100-105 pitches heading into the final frame. What then? Do we have a Bruce Bochy situation where Matt Moore had to throw 133 pitches? Of course not, in Rich Hill’s world, 100 pitches would have been out of the question. I was ready to drag Doc Roberts up the Chavez Ravine hill by his ear…until I heard his deeply thoughtful and well calculated reasons for his decision. Also how refreshing was it to hear a manager subjugate his own ego, and freely admit that he “felt sick to his stomach”, and admitting that he realizes half of Dodger Nation will crucify him for his HISTORIC decision. The clubhouse will be fine with his decision…but my only concern is that Hill is human. This will be his final baseball payday year, and his final contract most likely. And at 36, perfect games will not be falling off trees in his future. From all I’ve seen so far, Hill is a consummate professional. Lets see what happens in Arizona.

  6. That’s twice this year that Roberts has intervened cheating all of us out of the drama of a no hitter. Both times it was in the pitcher’s best interest. Weird stuff this modern baseball.

  7. It does leave me shaking my head. In this age of metrics, the game becomes de-personalized. All rules can be broken. Some need to be broken on the right occasion. I’ve said many times that I don’t trust Roberts decisions with the pitching staff. Either his orders come from upstairs, or his decision making is over-thought or poor, at best. He seems like a guy with blinders on during game time.

      1. No, he’d retire if it’s final. His salary is guaranteed. Dodgers benefit in that insurance would pay a lot of it. It would be the optimum outcome, other than his being completely cured and becoming the pitcher he was years ago.

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