King of The Hill: Dodger Veteran Looks Good After Tossing Two Strong Innings in San Diego

Rich Hill

If Rich Hill only needs one knee to pitch this postseason then perhaps he is ready to go. Despite limping and wincing in pain, Hill tossed two scoreless frames against the Padres for the Dodgers on Tuesday night. He also contributed at the plate with a double. The Dodgers removed him after throwing two frames and making 35 pitches.

The Dodgers tabbed Hill with the start in the opening game of a three game series against the Padres at Petco Park. The Dodgers have already won 100 games and are on the verge of clinching home field advantage throughout the National League playoffs. So this game’s outcome is completely meaningless other than to gauge Hill’s readiness for the postseason.

The Dodgers are going to need Hill. The pitching depth this year has been incredibly thin. Let’s be honest, the Dodger’s pitching staff just isn’t very good this year. The lineup is incredibly great but the pitching has been hit and miss, or mediocre. That’s why the club wins so many 7-4, 9-5, 10-4 type scores. Adding Hill back to the fold would be a huge boost for the boys in blue.

The Dodgers don’t have a reliable fourth starter this postseason. After Clayton Kershaw, Hyun-jin Ryu and Walker Buehler the Dodgers don’t have many attractive options. Hill has missed much of the season due to nagging injuries to his elbow and knee. Those maladies have limited him to just 53.2 innings pitched and 11 starts. He was wearing a knee brace during the game and the club held their collective breath that his elbow and knee would hold up.

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Things looked a bit dicey early on. Hill was a bit shaky in the opening frame. He started by whiffing Manuel Margot. However consecutive walks to Nick Martini and Manny Machado made everyone nervous. Hill seemed to be having issue locating the fastball. However his trademark curve was still flummoxing opposing batters. After a force out on Eric Hosmer, Hill struck out Hunter Renfroe.

After doubling in the top of the second, Hill returned to the mound in the bottom half of the frame. Hill then struck out the side, getting Seth Mejias-Brean, Luis Torrens, and Luis Urias all to go down on strikes. Overall Hill allowed just two walks, no hits and struck out five across those two innings. Hill has posted a 2.59 ERA this season.

After the outing Hill was seen in good spirits in the dugout, before retiring to the bullpen to continue an extended session. For the record he sprinted out to the bullpen and one of the bullpen coaches was unable to keep up with him. Oh sure I’m certain that most of the guys on the field could have beaten him in a foot race, but he looked good. Hill’s health and participation this postseason is going to be key for the Dodgers. Hill has always been great in the postseason and is a fiery competitor. The Dodgers are going to need him considering they have just a three-man pitching staff and Kenley Jansen is in steep decline. Let’s hope that Hill is healthy enough to take the hill in October.

Scott Andes

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Former Co-editor of Lasorda's Lair. Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic Cheap MLB Tickets

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5 thoughts on “King of The Hill: Dodger Veteran Looks Good After Tossing Two Strong Innings in San Diego

  1. I have to admit that it was nice to see Hill back on the bump. His performance was inspirational, to say the least. Yes he did have 5 K’s in two scoreless innings, but he also had back-to-back walks in the process. Really nothing to get too excited about. After all, these were the hapless Padres, who want nothing more than getting this season over with. Definitely not an audition worthy of 4th starter consideration, but with this pitching staff he just might qualify for an“opener” spot in a bullpen game.

    They actually had a “no-hitter”, if not for Floro’s miserable 5th…. but we have to remember that this was only the Padres, who have vacation plans on their minds. This game was nothing more than an exhibition game vs. a Double-A quality team.

    Positives:
    Seager remains hot. Muncy “launches” his first grand salami, Pederson adds an “opps” insurance HR, knowing Jansen was coming in. Dodgers clinch HFA in NLCS (if they get that far). Yanks lost.

    Even Pederson thought he had just hit a routine pop fly to the opposite field, but the ball just kept carrying and carrying. That was hilarious.

    Negatives:
    Floro’s ugly outing. Offense 2-8 RISP. Houston remains hot, and maintains lead on Dodgers for HFA. At this point, I fear the Astros more than the Yanks. The Astros are firing on all cylinders, and will have all the momentum, going into the playoffs.

  2. 102 wins!

    Positives:
    Pederson 3-3,BB, SAC, 2 HR’s 3 RBI
    May impressive
    Tie NYY for 2nd best record in MLB

    Negatives:
    Seager out with tight Hamstring
    Offense 1-8 RISP,, 13 KO’s
    Stripling ineffective
    Yimi still Yimi
    Pederson probably will sit vs. a lefty tomorrow
    Astros remain hot, 104 wins

    1. Hello Bluefan. For Thursday’s game with Padres it’s that lineup for facing a LHP . If Roberts even THINKS of putting today’s lineup out there during the PS just because of a LHP, well I fear what that outcome most likely will be.

      1. Hi Paul,

        Yup, that lefty lineup came up shooting blanks again. Why he continues to sit the hot bat of Pederson against lefties is insane. Luckily, the one lonely run held up. 0-6 RISP, 11 KO’s…. Not playoff worthy.

        Finally, Kershaw decided not to go with the hanging curve. Knowing he did not have the “feel”, he finally used his head, and nixed it. But, we have to remember that these were the Pathetic Pads, so we cannot get too overly excited. A better ball club would have clobbered him.

        IMO, when you get to the playoffs, you have to go with what is hot. Sure, matchups come into play sometimes, but you have to go with the moment…. who is playing well “right now”.

        1. Exactly, Bluefan. The PS opponents and or the AL team in the WS will have basically a similar lineup for each game and won’t be shuffling around and sitting players because of the hand the opposing pitcher throws with. We saw how Roberts and Co. did this last year throughout the PS and WS and for me, Dodgers got to the WS last year because they faced inexperienced teams as far as their PS experiences goes. Joc will be in his walk year in 2020 and then he’s a FA. My suggestion for Joc is to approach this coming off season the way Bellinger did last year and really WORK on his approach against LHP.. Cody could not stand to be platooned so he made sure he would be a lot better whenever he faced a LHP and we have all seen these results with him this year. Joc should do this for sure if in fact he isn’t simply satisfied with a platoon status.

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