D-backs @ Dodgers May 8, 2018: Rich Hill Returns

Photo: Stacie Wheeler

The Dodgers (15-19) stumble home to open a six-game homestand Tuesday. Their current baseball stupor isn’t because they drank too much tequila down in México, but it is because they’ve been playing poorly. They were shutout by the Padres on Sunday and lost the México Series. It started off so well with the historic combined no-hitter on Friday, the first in franchise history. Unfortunately the road trip was a disaster overall. They lost seven of 11, but they’re finally back at Chavez Ravine. That road trip seemed to be extra long with the international trip. They’ll play the D-backs (23-11) again for a brief two-game mid-week series. Rich Hill returns to the mound for the first time in over three weeks.

7:10 PM
Los Angeles
Ahmed 3B Muncy
Godley (R)
Hill (L)

Hill (1-1, 6.00 ERA, 5.02 FIP ) was scratched from his previously scheduled start on Sunday, and Ross Stripling got the ball instead. We didn’t know about Clayton Kershaw‘s biceps tendinitis at the time, so it was puzzling that Hill’s start was delayed. He insisted he was good to go and his torn left fingernail and infection (!) was healed. It makes sense in hindsight, but now Hill’s health is even more important with Kershaw out for an unspecified time.

The veteran southpaw’s season debut started off well with a six-inning scoreless outing against the Giants on April 1. His next two starts, including the loss against the D-backs on April 14, were not as sharp. Hill allowed 10 earned runs on 12 hits in nine innings. Hill’s struggles against the Snakes are nothing new. He’s 1-6 with a 5.50 ERA and 11 home runs allowed in 10 career starts vs. Arizona. The usual culprit, Paul Goldschmidt, is 7-for-14 (.500) with two home runs against Hill.

The Dodgers have already faced Zack Godley (4-2, 3.41 ERA, 3.21 FIP) three times this season. The scheduling this year has been disjointed and confusing. Not that it’s any excuse for the injuries and poor performance by the Dodgers, but it doesn’t help matters any. Godley is 1-2 with a 3.71 ERA in the three matchups this year between the two NL West rivals. Chris Taylor has five hits including two home runs off Godley, and Matt Kemp has homered against him as well.


The Dodgers made a roster move while you were enjoying the off-day Monday. They optioned Breyvic Valera back to Triple-A Oklahoma City. He was the 26th man for the weekend series in México and had two pinch-hit plate appearances, striking out and walking once each. He still has yet to get a hit as a Dodger and has only one hit at the major-league level. That sole base hit came when he was with St. Louis last season. Brock Stewart was also optioned back to OKC on Tuesday to make room for Hill.

Puig is playing in a rehab assignment with the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes tonight at Lake Elsinore.

Kershaw’s shoulder is okay.

That’s the best news I’ve heard in a long time.

About 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, Dodger Blue 1958 and The Hardball Times. She currently contributes to True Blue LA. 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.