Pirates 1, Dodgers 0: Rich Hill was perfect until he wasn’t; offense MIA

Photo: Stacie Wheeler

Rich Hill retired the first 24 hitters he faced on Wednesday night in Pittsburgh. He had a no-hitter through nine innings and pitched into the 10th! Unfortunately for him and the Dodgers, the offense was stifled against Pirates’ starter Trevor Williams and they dropped the game 1-0.

Hill looked to be on his game early, as he retired the Pirates in order (two strikeouts) in the first inning on just nine pitches. He got some help defensively. Chris Taylor and Curtis Granderson made a couple nice catches in the outfield, but Hill was dialed in. The closest thing to a hit in “regulation,” came in the eighth inning, but Chase Utley had other ideas.

Through eight innings, Hill was at 87 pitches. In the ninth inning, he faced the 7-8-9 hitters. Jordy Mercer swung at the first pitch and hit a hard grounder to third base. Logan Forsythe got in front of the ball but it hit off his glove and Mercer reached safely. It was the first base runner of the night for the Pirates.

At least it led to some good Twittering.

#Rekt

But then…

…nice going, dumbass.

Of course, we should have all seen this coming.

Thanks, Chad.

Chris Stewart, who was upset at Hill for “quick pitching” him earlier sacrificed Mercer to second. With the no-hitter still intact (but not certain since, you know, zero runs by the offense), Hill got Jose Osuna and Starling Marte to ground out to end the ninth.

Hill finished his first nine innings with 95 pitches. The idea he could, conceivably, come out for the 10th inning was in play, and Dave Roberts said, “Let’s get weird.” The Dodgers needed a long start from Hill, but I’m not sure anyone was expecting this. Hill came back out for the 10th inning and, on his fourth pitch of the 10th, Josh Harrison said, “I wanna go home.

If that’s not a hell of a way for a baseball game to end, I don’ t what is.

Anyway, this was Hill’s final line:

  • 9+ IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 HR, 0 BB, 10 K, 99 pitches, 75 strikes, 9/4 GO/AO.

Not shown there is the average exit velocity against of just 77.1 MPH. For context, the MLB average is 86.7 MPH. He was on his game tonight.

Hard same.

The same couldn’t be said about the Dodgers’ offense. It collected eight hits, including three by Corey Seager, but it couldn’t get a key hit with runners aboard (0-for-9 with RISP, 11 LOB). Credit goes to Williams for holding down the offense, but the Dodgers certainly had their chances. Oh well.

The Dodgers fall to 89-36 on the season. They hold a 20 1/2-game lead on Arizona (which is losing 4-2 in New York in the top of the 7th) and a 21-game lead on Coloardo (which is winning 2-1 in Kansas City in the top of the 5th). For fun, they still hold a 13-game lead on Houston (which is winning 2-1 at home in the bottom of the 6th). The Dodgers are going to be just fine.

Tomorrow, Hyun-Jin Ryu (3.45 ERA, 4.31 FIP) takes on Chad Kuhl (4.52 ERA, 3.84 FIP) in an afternoon delight. First pitch from Pittsburgh is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. Pacific time.

About Dustin Nosler

Dustin Nosler
Dustin Nosler began writing about the Dodgers in July 2009 at his blog, Feelin' Kinda Blue. He co-hosts a weekly podcast with Jared Massey called Dugout Blues. He is a contributor/editor at The Hardball Times. He graduated from California State University, Sacramento, with his bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in digital media. While at CSUS, he worked for the student-run newspaper The State Hornet for three years, culminating with a 1-year term as editor-in-chief. He resides in Stockton, Calif.