Hours before the Los Angeles Dodgers took the field against the Colorado Rockies in the finale of their four-game series and homestand, manager Dave Roberts put responsibility on Rich Hill to “set the tone.” Roberts was confident the Dodgers offense would follow Hill’s lead.
Instead, the first four Rockies batter reached base, just as they had against Clayton Kershaw. Included in that was a Nolan Arenado RBI single that gave Colorado an early lead. To Hill’s credit, he worked out of the bases-loaded jam with only the one run allowed in the inning.
He worked around a hit by pitch in the second, but gave up a leadoff home run to Arenado in the third inning. That was all Hill allowed as he battled a high pitch count and some command trouble through five innings.
Following the Dodgers’ 10th straight loss, Hill voiced disappointment in his performance, via Andy McCullough of the L.A. Times:
“I obviously did not throw well,” Hill said. “That was extremely disappointing to me, to go out there and not have my best stuff.”
Although the veteran left-hander kept the Dodgers in the game by only allowing two runs, Mark Reynolds’ grand slam off Walker Buehler in the eighth inning, and Tony Wolters’ RBI single off Tony Cingrani erased any thought of a potential comeback.
For Hill, he’s now gone five innings or less in two of three starts since Josh Harrison’s walk-off home run in the 10th inning ended his bid for a no-hitter. Hill has suffered the loss in each of his last four outings, and now is 9-8 with a 3.67 ERA, 3.97 FIP and 1.15 WHIP.
He’s yet to replicate the sustained success seen in July, when Hill went 4–0 with a 1.45 ERA and 0.77 WHIP, while collecting 40 strikeouts against just five walks, and holding opponents to a .171/.220/.288 batting line. The performance garnered National League Pitcher of the Month honors.