Rich Hill gave up five runs in the first inning and it was too much of a hole for the Dodger bats to dig themselves out of as they lost the series opener to the Dbacks 7-6 on Tuesday evening. Numberfire gave the Dodgers a 46.5% chance of winning the opening game but you have to assume that those odds would have been higher had Cody Bellinger and Corey Seager (sore elbow) been healthy and in the starting lineup. Instead we got old man Adrian Gonzalez and automatic out Enrique Hernandez instead. Hey the Dodgers are still 52 games above .500. You gotta look at the silver linings.
The bats were not the problem today. The Dodgers scored six runs on ten hits. Hill is still an enigma that can’t be answered. In his last start he carried a no-hitter into the tenth inning against the Pirates before giving up a walk-off home run to Josh Harrison. Tonight he was absolutely horrendous allowing five runs before you opened your beer.
Dodgers 6 10 0
Dbacks 7 10 0
In that first inning he allowed a single to David Peralta and that started it all. It seems as though every other game the starting pitching is unable to retire the first batter of the game. The miserable pitching from Hill continued after he struck out Chris Iannetta. A.J. Pollack homered and Paul Goldschmidt singled off of Hill’s body. The line drive caused the medical staff to check on Hill. He appeared fine and stayed in the game but he was unable to retire anyone. Then J.D. Martinez’s ground-rule double advanced Goldschmidt to third.
Brandon Drury doubled over Granderson’s head to score two and the dbacks were up 4-0 in the blink of an eye. Jake Lamb singled in the fifth run of the inning. Five runs scored. One batter retired. Awesome pitching. Hill was able to strike out Adam Rosales and opposing pitcher Zack Godley to end the inning, but we all knew that it was unlikely the Dodgers would win. This is what happens when your club is put in an early hole.
The bats tried to climb back into the game against Godley and they did, but the deficit was just too much to overcome. Yasiel Puig clobbered a monster home run over the center field wall to dead center to put the Dodgers on the board. A three-run second inning got the Dodgers close. Hill reached on a bunt single (the only thing he did right in the game) and scored on a Chris Taylor two-run shot (number 18 for Taylor) and the Dodgers were within two with the score 5-3. Then Justin Turner doubled and Yasmani Grandal’s single up the middle scored him to cut the lead to 5-4. The Dodgers would never lead in this game.
Hill’s terrible pitching didn’t stop in the bottom of the fourth inning when Peralta’s run-scoring triple scored Godley to put the snakes up 6-4. The Dodgers finally had seen enough pulling Hill right then and there. Ross Stripling entered the game and retired Iannetta to end the frame.
Rich Hill final pitching line : 3.2 IP 8 H 6 ER 1 BB 4K……..and a trail of tears.
Stripling then served up a solo home run to Goldschmidt in the bottom of the fifth and the Dodgers were down 7-4.
The Dodgers rallied in the late innings to make things interesting against Archie Bradley in the eighth. Grandal singled and after a force out, Gonzalez doubled him home. The Dodgers were now down by a 7-5 score. The obligatory Logan Forsythe whiff ended that rally with Gonzo stranded at second. In case you were wondering the Dodgers were 2 for 11 with runners in scoring position.
Fernando Rodney entered to close out the game in the top of the ninth. Chase Utley led off with a slicing line drive down the right field line that landed just inches foul. The Dodgers challenged and the call was upheld. But Utley doubled anyways and the Dodgers had something going. After a wild pitch sent Utley to third, Corey Seager (pinch-hitting) grounded out to third. Utley had nowhere to go. Taylor’s infield single scored Utley to cut the score to 7-6. Were we seeing some more Dodger magic happening again?
Not really no. Remember this is the Bellinger-less Dodgers. So that means failed rallies. With Curtis Granderson at the plate there was another wild pitch and Taylor advanced to second. Unfortunately some questionable strike calls killed the Dodgers and Granderson struck out. Turner was hit by a pitch to put two on with two outs, but Grandal weakly grounded out to end the game. Dodgers lose again.
Early deficits and listless offense was the main reasons the Dodgers were so bad in the month of April. However it’s become painfully obvious; the Dodgers can’t win without Cody Bellinger. But this loss is squarely on Rich Hill tonight. It’s hard to win baseball games when your starting pitchers give up five runs in the first inning. This has been happening way too much lately. It’s super irritating.
On the bright side Cody Bellinger returns from the disabled list tomorrow. The Dodgers fall to 91-39 and are now a pitiful 18 games ahead of the snakes who have now won five in a row. The magic number remains 14 over Arizona and 12 over Colorado. The Dodgers will try to even the series tomorrow with Bellinger back in the lineup. Hyun-jin Ryu will counter Robbie Ray with the first pitch scheduled for 6:40 PM PST. Doesn’t losing suck?
Yasmani Grandal 3 for 5