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Hard Luck Rich Hill Almost Perfect in Heartbreaking Loss

We all have those days.  You know the kind, when nothing goes right. The cards are stacked against you from the start. Everything’s just plain jinxed. Well, honey baby, this wasn’t one of those. Tonight Rich Hill was gold. He was cruisin’.  Hill was straight up dealing and nobody could stop him. And then the world caught fire, and it was all over in a flash.

Rich Hill is tonight’s baseball story. Not the Dodgers, just Hill. Tonight the rest of the boys were tragic-comic accessories to a crime.  They pretended to be helping Hill in his second attempt at a climb to the top of baseball history. For eight innings Rich Hill’s teammates made sliding catches of pop flies on their rear ends and leaping stabs to take away screaming line drives that threatened Rich Hill’s bid at baseball perfection.

But it was all a cruel facade. What Hill really needed from the rest of his team was a run. One stinking run of support. The loud catches were nice, but what Hill really needed was for the Dodgers’ bats to make some noise when it counted. He was taking care of everything else.

Rich Hill was on another level tonight. All of his pitches were working perfectly. Both of them. That’s right. Hill threw 99 pitches, and they were only two types: 63 fastballs and 36 curveballs. To say he was dominating would be cheapening his performance. You hadda see it to believe it. The man was on automatic pilot and it was beautiful.

For eight innings.

The Dodgers had chances to score all night. They finished the game 0 for 9 with RISP and left a total of 11 men on base. As cruel baseball fate would have it, that number 11 loomed large all night. The Dodgers last chance to break the scoring seal came in the top of the eighth when Logan Forsythe (No. 11) stepped to the plate with two men on and two out. He stroked a line drive right at the shortstop that wasn’t high enough. Jordy Mercer jumped to make the catch, and though nobody knew it at the time, the ballgame was over for Hill and the Dodgers.

Hill took the mound three outs away from a perfect game. Everyone on both teams knew what was at stake. Everyone watching in the stadium and at home knew history was in the air. People listening in on radio moved their ears just a little closer because they didn’t want to miss a thing.

First pitch. Ground ball to No. 11(playing for Justin Turner at third base). The ball took a high shot into the air off  Logan Forsythe for an error!

Nobody on the field for the Dodgers looked at Forsythe – as he tossed the error ball, and the botched perfect game, back to Hill.

There was still a game on. So Rich Hill got right back to work and finished off the next three Bucs in order. This was now a bittersweet no-hitter.

The game went to the 10th and the Dodgers offense continued doing what they had been doing all night long. Not scoring. This time they went down one, two, three.

The skipper and Rick Honeycutt decided to offer Hill the consolation prize of an extra-inning no-hitter, so Hill went right back to the mound. Little did he know he was a dead man walking into a private Waterloo.

Five pitches into the inning, Josh Harrison caught one and blasted it high into the Pittsburgh night. With it flew all of Rich Hill’s efforts, right over the outfield wall and out of the park.

The Pirates won the game 1-0 in ten innings, and Rich Hill walked off the mound, alone in his thoughts. Game over.



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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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.

69 thoughts on “Hard Luck Rich Hill Almost Perfect in Heartbreaking Loss

      1. Actually Oscar, it was 4 pitches into the inning. Harrison hit the homer on a 2-1 count and he had not fouled any balls off. But excellent write up. But I put this one on the offense which was offensive all night. They blew chance after chance and hit into 2 inning ending double plays. One by Grandy and the other by Utley. Hill and Utley stranded 5 runners and Granderson and Forsythe 4 apiece. Seager got hits in his first 3 at bats, but stranded 3 as he grounded out in his last two AB’s. They also wasted a Forsythe lead off double. Good news is that both Arizona and the Rockies blew their games. Another game off the magic number which is now around 18.

      2. Oscar

        Four pitches, five pitches, doesn’t change the game and what happened, and you did a good job making the game come back, to the way the game truly was.

        Just like in history today, it isn’t about memorizing all the dates and being precise on all the dates, it is about knowing in which order all the events happened.

        And that is what you did Oscar!

          1. Just keeping you on your toes there kid. You are basically a reporter, and they like to be accurate. No big deal, the write up was excellent. It is my job you know….LOL

  1. Let’s take a break from the heart ache and look at our defense. Dodgers Way has a great article on our potential gold glove candidates. Would you know that we have not one, not two, but three position players who lead the league in DEF (defensive value)? That would be Puig, of course (he leads the league in every defensive category except outfield assists, but that’s because people are afraid to run on him – like Deion Sanders shutting down half of the football field), Grandal with his (overrated) pitch framing, and a big shocker Corey Seager! Statiscally Corey is the most valuable defensive SS in NL! He makes everything easy, never gets hyped and he doesn’t care. He’s the Tim Duncan of baseball. I think Corey’s nickname should be the Kid Smooth.

    1. YF

      If you want to see some sweet splits, check out Corey’s splits, he almost has perfect splits!

      Everyone on the team is either average or above average on defense, except for Joc when he comes back.

      I don’t know where you are getting your numbers, but the numbers I saw on fangraphs, are a little different when it comes to Puig.

      I would take Puig over Heyward anytime, but Heyward seems to have better defensive metrics then Puig does

      Heyward has 16 defensive runs saved, and Puig has 12, and I believe Heyward has better numbers, when it comes to range, but I think they are pretty close.

      And the defensive metrics do take in consideration that runners just don’t run on Puig, because of the rep on his arm.

      Mookie Betts is the best rightfielder in all of baseball.

  2. I don’t think I would have hit Barnes eighth yesterday.

    I would have probably hit Forsythe eighth, since he wants to walk more then anything else.

    Josh Harrison said he thought Hill lost his concentration when he had to go into his stretch, in the ninth.

    I did think about putting Turner at third for defense, after the sixth inning, when it looked that Hill might do it.

    Because Forsythe doesn’t play third, close to the way, that Turner does.

    And the only reason I thought about that, was what happened when Kershaw pitched his perfect game, and Hanley turned it into only a no hitter, because of his defensive error.

    But that was on Mattingly, since Mattingly almost always took Hanley out in the later innings, to have a better defense.

    Our guys have been there for Hill all year, so it was just a shame that they couldn’t help him, again!

    1. It was an 88 MPH fastball right down the pipe. Very hittable. Hill was probably gassed. But to his credit he took all the blame. Classy.

  3. Seager is proving to be all that he was hyped to be. Great pick. As was Bellinger. It’s quite possible that those picks following them will prove to be good too. Not yet though. And the Cuban investments? $240 million on 9 players? Hmm.

    I think I still see Seager eventually moving to 3rd. But obviously not yet. His dWAR of 1.1 is good, his fldg.% of .979 is just above league average and his range factor is actually below league average. He has improved on defense, but he is at the top of power rankings because of his hitting.

    For argument sake even fangraphs admits defensive metrics is an evolving science. From what I just read, the Indians, the Cubs, the Giants, the Angels, the Blue Jays, the Reds, the Tigers, the White Sox, the Orioles and the dbacks all have higher fielding numbers at shortstop than do the Dodgers. Not that any of those teams wouldn’t take Seager in a heartbeat, just that defensively Corey is just above ML average. He is an incredibly gifted baseball player and we are lucky to have him. Again, great pick by the Dodgers.

    1. Badger

      That is because Corey is a more rounded player, but we always think our guys are the best at certain things, because we see them play in every game.

      And we don’t see much of the other team’s play, except in our western division.

      Our front office does value defense, but I don’t think they look at the defensive metrics alone, because of what you said, about the defensive metrics, not being a complete science yet.

      And that is why almost every player on the team, is average or above, on defense.

  4. Hill and no-hit bids:
    Last year, Roberts pulls Hill too early, this season Roberts pulls him too late. Go Figure.

    Line-up really needs Ed Dinger in there. Really tough when both Turner and Ed Dinger are not in that line-up.

    That was an utter and bloody shame last night.

    Turner back today, Dodgers will tear it up today for the shame of no run support last night.

    Editorial Social Note: Molesters are shameful and child molesters are worse than shameful.

    1. On editors social note: apparently not everyone shares your opinion

      Yesterday’s game was a really a terrific game to watch. Those who were privileged to witness it are very fortunate. I’m not saddened by it, I feel lucky to have seen it. I was reminded of a game I saw as a kid. My grandpa, the head bartender at the Bel Air Hotel, got box seats Row 7 behind the plate from some celebrity, wish I remembered who, I’ll say Sinatra, and I saw Bob Gibson and Sandy Koufax go at it for 8 1/2 beautifully pitched hard fought scoreless innings. The Dodgers won it on a Tommy Davis home run in the bottom of the 9th. Wow. What a memory! Some kids in Pittsburgh were at that game last night and they will remember it for the rest of their lives – and it was their team that pulled it out. Great game. Much more exciting than any of the ho hum Dodgers beat up another sub .500 team I’ve seen lately. If you saw it – rejoice!

      1. Badger

        I am not the only one here, that posts on the other site, so that isn’t fair, or right, so be consistent!

        1. Badger

          That is one thing I thought you were, was fair!

          Like I already said above, I am not the only one on here, that posts at both sites!

          I just want to enjoy the team!

          I don’t want to be involved in this power struggle, on either side!

          And I feel most people probably feel the same way.

          I also believe your son in law, wasn’t treated fairly either, so I know those things can happen.

          If you felt so strongly about this, why did you continue to post, after you already knew?

          I think that is a fair question!

          I am hurt by the way you are have singled me out, because I have always thought highly, of you!

  5. I love Rich Hill. His two pitches. His faces. His multiple curve forms.

    Love it.

    ALSO. Bill Simmons, who I’m not a huge fan of (even though I’m a Red Sox fan) has a wonderful podcast with Dave Roberts. You can see why Roberts is such a successful manager, easy and skilled communicator, vast knowledge.

    Perhaps most interesting is when the conversation migrates into analytics. Roberts mentions Spin Rate, pitch planes, and alludes to just how much information there is at his beck and call. He also speaks very highly of the clubhouse and the relationship with the Front Office.

    Worth a listen. IMO.

    1. Roberts is a very very smart man. I hope he’s able to keep the coaching staff together because we are going to get raided big time after this year. Of course Honeycutt is not going anywhere – he’s going to hang it up as a Dodger I reckon.

      And the raiding could be even more fierce in the FO. Zaidi will likely get his own gig as the front man. Byrnes and Anthopoulos may get calls too. I think amongst those left, Gapler should be promoted to an executive role. He’s good friends with Friedman anyways and he’s done a great job developing the farm system. I’d like someone like that in the FO, and a former player, instead of all hedge fund guys. I think Gapler can take over for Friedman if/when Friedman steps down or takes on another challenge.

      1. YF

        I think most of Roberts coaches, are pretty close with him.

        I know Roberts personally asked for two of his coaches, but I think the other coaches, are pretty close to Roberts now, anyways.

        And all of that, might depend on what we do in the post season.

      2. Badger

        You did mention my name the other day.

        I see you have no problem to responding to people that are on both of these sites, and you don’t say a thing to them!

        I am far from the only one, that posts, on both sites!

        And even some of the people that already posted today, are on both sites.

        And it isn’t anything personal, by most.

        And you didn’t answer my question!

        If you felt so strongly about this, why did you continue to post, after you already knew?

        I have never said anything bad about you, or anyone here!

        And I think there is only a couple of people who post here, that want to make things personal.

        But I think you know who they are.

          1. Losing my power? Are you my life coach?

            I was asked by a poster I respect to lay off you and I have. I did not bring the subject up but I reserve the right to respond to anyone who does. If you don’t like what I have to say about it then please, ignore my posts. By the way, have you read the court decision that True referenced? If not, then until you do, please don’t lecture me about it.

    2. Koufax had the highest spin rate I ever saw. You could actually here it from Row 7 behind the plate. Sounded like a 4 pound bee coming at you. The difference between he and Hill was about 6′ on the fastball and 200 more innings per year.

      If Hill continues to take the ball until November I’ll be a believer. Until then, I’ll believe his history.

      Its Kapler. Gabe Kapler.

      1. Badger

        Now that I know how you truly feel about me, I won’t bother you.

        I am sorry, because I never meant to do anything or say anything , to upset you.

        And I did think highly of you, so I’m sorry.

        1. One last attempt.

          MJ I too am sorry. My problem is not with you, my problem is with those who would abuse children! My problem is also with loud mouth bullies who censor those with whom they disagree or with those who dare call them out on their abuses. Maybe we can agree to disagree on those subjects and just move on.

  6. Rich Hills post game was quite good. I know we (including me) can’t help bashing him once in a while but it’s in good fun. He’s really a stand up guy, never has any excuses and gives credit when due.

    1. He doesn’t look any better to me. I thought that double for 2,000 should have been fielded. He could easily be 4 for 26. He got 2,000, how long does the team stay with him?

      1. Well there is no pennant chase right now. So Agon has a lot of games to get his swing back (assuming he can that is). My complaint is that you don’t move an MVP candidate for someone who is still working on their swing. Cody hurt himself playing RF, why was he In RF, to make way for a guy still working on his swing.

        Frankly I thick we caught an enormous break that Cody only twisted his ankle. Anyone recall Kemp and his tippy toe antics in Washington?

        Oh well, like I said, work in progress.

  7. Badger, are you hearing the same crickets that I am hearing on the MJ frontier?

    MJ, if you don’t want to be named then do some research before you speak. Disgusting facts are disgusting facts committed by disgusting people, it really doesn’t get anymore basic than that. Don’t just see trash on the street, bend over and deal with it, no excuses to just step around it and move on by.

    1. True

      I am not trying to defend anyone.

      I am just saying I don’t want to be involved, with the back and forth.

      And it isn’t anything, personal to anyone here.

      And since I am far from the only one that posts at both sites, I must be the only one that really cares, or I wouldn’t be upset, or so hurt!

      1. MJ, I’ve avoided commenting for two days, and I will probably continue to do so after this. MJ, you found things you liked about Badger so you became friends. Now you saw something you don’t like. Relax, we all have those, even you. To get the good out of people, you either accept/ignore those warts, or you give up the good times. Most of us find there are not enough perfect people around, so we work with what we got. Ever hear that old political saw,”Politics makes for strange bed-fellows”? That applies to life in general too. Don’t put anyone upon a pedestal, you look closely enough, you CAN find a flaw…. If you haven’t noticed that me and all the other people here have a few things wrong with us, you just haven’t been paying close enough attention. Share that blessing with Badger too, he’s your best friend here. Moan over your politics together and talk baseball here. He makes his choices, you make yours. Some of them are mutual. If you disagree on a subject, walk away from it.

    2. True, you and I are on the same page when it comes to those abusing children. For me the issue is compounded by the fact the man and I have disagreed about every issue from the war in Iraq to local politics to Frank McCourt. I don’t understand those that choose to ignore the obvious but I accept the fact they do. I won’t be the one who brings these topics up but I will reserve the right to comment on them when they are.

      Back to the game. Namaste.

  8. Forsythe got a hit today. That’s rare enough to deserve banner headlines.
    At the risk of insulting Bluto again:
    “What’s so rare as a day in June?
    Drinks on the house in a Scotch saloon..”.

  9. Badger, MJ or anyone who cares. For the last couple of weeks I have commented on both sites. I did not know anything about the past life of the leader of the other site because I seldom posted after having some problems with a 3rd site. After Badger mentioned a problem without being specific I did some digging by going through a few posts here and found a website to go where I found out the questionable character of the poster on the other site. Anyway, for general info I will never again post there. Just me, not passing any judgement on anyone else but I respect myself to much to do it. If you noticed me posting over there, I did not know the story. Sorry.

      1. I guess the day is blown already, so I may as well say what else I have on my mind, related to the above subject. I don’t really know how I feel about Timmons. The crime he was convicted of was horrible, even by today’s standards. There were times and places where he literally would have been burned at the stake for it. And unfortunately other times and places where people of a certain rank or class could literally do as they wished without fear of punishment. I think both extremes are wrong but it is not my place to judge history, even his. I think I would not socialize with him, but there are others on the Internet I would also not socialize with, even though I have heard little or nothing of any past deeds. Keep reminding yourself you know almost nothing of ANY OF US who post on the Internet. There are probably other bad guys out there. Now his blog. He runs a good blog, gets along well with the commenters, probably because a lot of them are “yesmen” who parrot whatever he says. It is because I can’t stand them I no longer post there. There are some very good commenters there and I do go there to read them. I would be pleased if they would post over here as well. To name a few, AlwaysCompete and Vegas Dodger. If you’re a Dodger Junkie, you take your fix where you find it.

      2. I read their comments sometimes and RBI has really cut back on her comments. Don’t know the story. Maybe she is just tired or bored, who knows?

      1. I’m 40 some years older than Agone and I still don’t have my swing back… Badger doesn’t either… Time wounds all heels… How come Jordy Mercer isn’t eating baseballs today?

        I smell Baez warming up to blow the game…

        1. Both those pitchers had negative numbers with their respective teams. The moves were just more risk reward gambles by management. Maybe they work it out, maybe they don’t. I don’t expect much.

          My swing is still ok. I have my bat over by the fireplace and I still swing it about 20 times a day. I could increase that to 100 a day and be ready in a month. It’s my eyesight that’s a problem. Can’t pick up spin anymore.

          1. Don’t know why that pic is sideways. It’s upright in my photo library. Oh well. It’s a 32″ Reggie Jackson S2 Louisville Slugger. Probably from the 80’s. I’ve had it a long time.

          2. I have a 33 Manny Ramirez. Bought it years ago and have gone in the cage to see if I can still hit a fastball……..if it is in the 80’s I am ok. Anything over that, it’s over.

      2. He did pretty good today. And he was not given Cody’s spot. He was the first baseman before Cody got here. And it is Roberts policy for a player not to lose his starting job to injury. That being said, Cody injuring his ankle gives the team the opportunity to rest the kid since he has never played more than 125 games in a season. He is at 100 now.

  10. Starting to look like July was another FAZ choke job. He couldn’t pull the trigger for the pitchers we needed, so he picked up a couple from the garbage can and put a fresh coat of paint on them. But the wood underneath is still rotten.

    1. Actually Artie, Watson has been one of the better relievers the last few years and he started the year as the Pirates closer. He is much better than Hatcher. According to some reports I have read, the Dodgers found a hitch in his mechanics and are working to fix it. He is basically right now a specialist against lefty hitters. They got him because he has dominated some of the lefty’s they will see in the playoffs.

  11. Uh-oh, Pedro hit the panic button. What is that running down his legs? Do you suppose Mr. Sock Puppet will be smart enough to pull him in time?

    1. Leadoff hitter with 3 hits and a walk, 0 runs scored.

      5 different guys with a ribbie. Good.

      Turner 0 for 5. Bad

      Hernandez, hitting .220, with 2 hits. Good.

      Team 3-13 WRISP. Bad.

      Grandal still a squirrel. Is Gonzalez now a squirrel too? Or did he just find his swing?

      Ryu continues to surprise.

      We win another series against a sub .500 club.

  12. My last word on Timmons. He is knowledgeable, but he is a bully. You disagree and you are on his shit list. I read about the trial and concluded he was not a very good person. Therefore I do not visit his site, and I consider him persona non grata.

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