Dodgers News: Dave Roberts Feels ‘Sick To Stomach’ Over Removing Rich Hill From Perfect Game
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

When discussing the challenges rookie manager Dave Roberts has faced with the Los Angeles Dodgers this season, the conversation naturally focuses on the rash of injuries. And rightfully so, as the Dodgers set a Major League Baseball record for most players (28) put on the DL in a single season.

The record was previously held by the Boston Red Sox, who lost 27 players to the DL during the 2012 season, and finished the year in last place of the American League East division with a 69-93 record.

But on Saturday night Roberts found himself at the center of another difficult decision. Rich Hill, making just his third start for the Dodgers since he was acquired at the Aug. 1 non-waiver trade deadline, was spinning a gem against the Miami Marlins.

The veteran southpaw mowed his way through the Marlins’ lineup with one breaking ball after another, and got through seven perfect innings on 89 pitches.

After some discussion with Roberts and Dodgers pitching coach Rich Honeycutt, Hill was removed from the game. Joe Blanton lost the combined perfect game on a Jeff Francoeur two-out single that skipped off Corey Seager’s glove.

Although the Dodgers came away with a 5-0 victory, the focus was on Hill’s removal. Roberts acknowledged the difficulty that came with his decision and offered an explanation, via Bill Plunkett of the OC Register:

Roberts faced a similar decision during the first week of the regular season when Ross Stripling was pulled from his MLB debut in the eighth inning with a no-hitter intact. Los Angeles lost the no-hit bid and the game.

Prior to making his Dodgers debut on Aug. 24, Hill was scratched from three starts and essentially went more than one month between starts.

An outing with the Oakland AthleticsJuly 17 was cut short after just five pitches, because the blister on the middle finger of his left hand ripped open.

Hill was also scratched from the second game of a doubleheader at Coors Field, because of concern over the blister. He had warmed up to make a scheduled start the night prior, only for the game to be rained out.

While there may be some disappointment over not being allowed to finish a bid for history, Hill has now thrown 19 shutout innings with 20 strikeouts and only six hits allowed over three starts with the Dodgers.

Hill lost a no-hitter with one out in the sixth inning in his previous outing, and Roberts said after that game he intended to remove the southpaw even if he still hadn’t allowed a hit.