D-backs @ Dodgers April 16, 2017: Hill returns, #Blisterwatch in effect

Photo: Stacie Wheeler

Yasiel Puig and the Dodgers’ offense channeled the great Jackie Robinson on Friday night, defeating the D-backs and their left-handed starter. The Dodgers activated Rich Hill from the 10-day disabled list on Easter Sunday as they look to secure the series win in the third game of a four-game series at Dodger Stadium.

The Dodgers go with 13 pitchers for now. Trayce Thompson was optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City to make room on the roster for Hill. Thompson went hitless in eight at-bats and looked rusty as one would coming back from a serious injury like a broken back.

Hill (1-0, 1.80 ERA, 5.34 FIP) missed one start after his blister problem resurfaced during his first start of the season on April 5. However, he looked fine in his first start of the season, dispelling the concerns some may have had after a tough Spring Training. Although he wasn’t quite as sharp as we’ve seen him before, the bullpen and offense was able to pick him up after his five innings of work. Hill has five career starts against the D-backs going 1-2 with a 4.60 ERA in 29 1/3 innings.

#Blisterwatch will be in effect.

D-backs
Dodgers
1:10 p.m.
Los Angeles
CF
 Pollock
LF
Toles
RF
 Owings
SS
Seager
1B
 Goldschmidt
3B
Turner
3B
Lamb
1B
Gonzalez
LF
Tomas
C
Grandal
2B
 Drury
CF
Pederson
RF
Peralta RF Puig
C
Iannetta
2B
Utley
P
Walker (R)
P
Hill (L)

The D-backs send 24-year old right-hander Taijuan Walker (1-1, 4.91 ERA, 4.12) to the mound. In his last start, against the Giants, Walker hit Buster Posey in the head with a pitch which ultimately landed the Giants’ star catcher on the 7-day concussion DL. It will be interesting to see if Walker is cautious about pitching inside after the incident.

Walker has only made one career start against the Dodgers and at Dodger Stadium, which fittingly enough came back on Jackie Robinson Day 2015 when he was with the Mariners. The 2015 Dodgers roughed him up, and he only lasted four innings and allowed five earned runs on six hits with four walks on 76 pitches.

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Let’s take a moment and talk about how good has Alex Wood has been. Even though I’d like to see him back in the Dodgers’ rotation, he has been impressive in his new middle relief role. He’s allowed one earned run on three hits in nine innings of work, striking out eight and walking six in three games (one game was a spot start for Hill in Chicago). He struck out three and earned the win in Friday’s game, impressive against a hard-hitting Arizona lineup.

Meanwhile, the Dodgers’ bullpen has been outstanding thus far. They are first in the NL with a 1.14 ERA/1.11 FIP and 32 percent strikeout rate. A big reason for their success has been Wood and Ross Stripling‘s ability to eat some innings due to short outings from Dodger starters including Kenta Maeda, who only lasted four on Friday. Regardless, the Dodgers look to Hill to remain healthy and blister-free for the majority of the year out of the rotation.

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Logan Forsythe is not in the starting lineup after being pulled early from Friday’s game with right hamstring tightness. Chase Utley gets the start at second base.

A reminder that the game will also be broadcast on KTLA.

A win on Sunday would go a long way considering that the Dodgers have only won one series so far — the opening set against the Padres earlier this month.

Adrian Gonzalez, we need some of this:

About Stacie Wheeler

Stacie Wheeler
Stacie Wheeler, born and raised in So Cal, has been writing about the Dodgers since 2010. She wrote daily as the Co-Editor of Lasorda's Lair for five long years, and she has also written for Dodgers Nation and Dodger Blue 1958. She currently contributes to The Hardball Times. Stacie graduated from the University Of Southern California with a bachelor's degree in Cinema-Television. You can also watch her videos on her YouTube channel, DishingUpTheDodgers.