Rich Hill entered today’s game with a 1.66 ERA and .89 WHIP against the Padres since becoming a Dodger in 2016. He’d allowed just seven runs over 38 innings in that stretch, striking out 50 for a 34.5% strikeout rate. Pretty good. Hill struck out eight over six innings of two hit ball, dropping his ERA against the Padres as a Dodger to 1.43. The offense went off for 11 runs, and Hill even got in on the action, registering his fourth career run and 12th career RBI. Shohei Ohtani who?
The game started off well for D. Mountain. He started by striking out Freddy Galvis, and then retired the next two batters rather easily.
The offense came out of the gates “hot”, as Brian Dozier roped a 105 MPH double down the left-field line on the second pitch of the game. Dozier advanced to third on a fly-out by Justin Turner, but was thrown out easily at home on a ground ball to the short-stop. The Dodgers are like 1-40 when running on the contact play. Manny Machado, who reached on the previous fielders-choice, scored from first on a single by Matt Kemp when right-fielder Franmil Reyes booted the ball while trying to field it. 1-0 Dodgers.
Hill continued his strong start in the second, striking out Austin Hedges looking and Cory Spangenberg swinging. Six up, six down, with eight swinging strikes through two — already better than his start in Seattle.
Like in the first, the Dodgers started the inning with a left-field double, this time off the bat of Enrique Hernandez. Yasmani Grandal followed with a walk, because you can’t properly ruin a scoring opportunity without a ground-ball double play. However, instead of squandering a scoring chance, Cody Bellinger poked a single into right-field bringing home Hernandez. 2-0 Dodgers. Dozier being good at baseball, ripped another double down the left-field line directly over the third base bag. 3-0 Dodgers. Turner followed with a single, which brought home Hill which is my all-time favorite baseball occurrence. Hill scored his fourth run of his career in 210 career plate appearances. Baseball is good again. 4-0 Dodgers.
Hill was as sharp as ever in the third, striking out the side on 12 pitches. Nine up, nine down, six K’s through three.
In the fourth, Hill stayed perfect striking out just one.
On offense, Dozier walked reaching for the third time in four innings, while Turner followed with a 421 foot blast to center. 7-0 Dodgers. This effectively took Richard out of the game as they brought in Miguel Diaz in relief.
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) August 25, 2018
Hunter Renfroe doubled to right-field to lead off the inning effectively ending the perfect game. Hill bounced back by getting out of the jam thanks to a spectacular two-out catch by Taylor in left.
The Dodgers threatened again in the fifth, as Enrique and Yasmani both drew one-out walks. Bellinger doubled to center to drive in Hernandez, and DICK MOUNTAIN KNOCKED AN RBI SINGLE TO MAKE IT 9-0 DODGERS.
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) August 25, 2018
Hill started the sixth inning with a strikeout, but Galvis hit a triple to right past a diving Kemp. Galvis was stranded at third after Hill made a jumping snag on a chopper up the middle for the second out, and got a grounder to short for the third out.
Phil Maton “Spin Rate” came in for the Padres in the sixth, and he proceeded to allow just one hit while striking out the side.
Pedro Baez took over in the seventh, striking out two while walking just one. For as much hate as he gets, he’s down to a 3.53 ERA on the year. It’s been pretty much solidified that the team probably doesn’t want him pitching super meaningful innings, but he is perfectly serviceable.
The scoring continued for the Dodgers in the seventh, as Max Muncy parked a pinch-hit two-run homer halfway up the right-field bleachers. 11-0 Dodgers.
No.2⃣9⃣ for Mad Max! pic.twitter.com/xv0PIB29rU
— SportsNet LA (@SportsNetLA) August 25, 2018
Yimi Garcia had the eighth, where he allowed one run on two hits. His ERA is up to 5.40. Unlike Baez, Garcia has been less than serviceable this year. 11-1 Dodgers.
Robert Stock took the eighth for the Padres, striking out two while walking one. Stock came out throwing 99 MPH fastballs with arm-side run and a sharp 84 MPH slider. The fact that there is a guy out there who can do that, while pitching in a blowout for the worst team in the NL, and most people likely haven’t even heard of him says a lot about where the game is at today.
Pat Venditte had the ninth inning, which is always fun. Venditte struck out Renfroe while pitching right-handed, and then switched hands and struck out Spangenberg.
In other news, both the Rockies and Diamondbacks lost, dropping the deficit to 3.5 games. Onto the next one.
The Dodgers will go for the series win tomorrow, as they’ll send Clayton Kershaw against 24 year-old Brett Kennedy. Kennedy will be making his fourth career start, while Kershaw will look to continue an excellent run of form, as he has just a 1.82 ERA & 2.03 FIP in 34.2 innings over his last five starts. As usual you can watch on SNLA at 6:10 PT.