Dodgers News: Dave Roberts Intended To Lift Rich Hill Even With No-Hitter
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Dave Roberts faced a difficult decision a mere five games into his tenure as manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers. In a performance no one could have predicted, Ross Stripling put together no-hit work in his Major League debut.

Roberts said prior to the season beginning the club was going to have a pitch count and innings limit on Stripling throughout the season. As such, Stripling was removed with one out in the eighth inning after reaching 100 pitches.

Five months later a similar scenario nearly unfolded. Rich Hill walked the first batter of the game, then retired 14 in a row.

The streak was snapped on an Adam Rosales two-out walk in the fifth inning. Hill’s no-hit bid reached the sixth.

He struck out the first two batters faced before allowing a base hit to Alexei Ramirez. Although there was some disappointment, Hill completed six shutout innings.

But even if the southpaw had kept his no-hitter intact, it was doubtful Hill was going to remain in the game. “He wasn’t going to see that next inning regardless,” Roberts said.

“[Removing Hill] would have been a bigger fight. Where he was at with his pitch count, to imagine him going any further, there might have been another inning we could’ve got out of him, but to figure out how to manage three more innings, just wasn’t going to happen.”

Hill’s start on Saturday came after he was scratched earlier in the week from the nightcap of a doubleheader at Coors Field. He’d thrown 40 warmup pitches the night prior but never took the mound because of the game getting postponed. The club had concerns over Hill’s lingering blister.

“We’re trying to obviously win each baseball game, but with his history this season and the blisters, we’re really trying to be cognizant of that,” Roberts explained.

“To give us 89, 90 pitches, we’re trying to make sure we’re out of the woods. As we continue to go further, feel good about it, and sustain where he’s at with the finger and blister, going forward I don’t think the arm is a problem.”

Even though history wasn’t made Saturday night, for the Dodgers to receive another strong outing from Hill was a welcomed sight. He’s now tossed a combined 12 scoreless innings with 11 strikeouts over two starts with Los Angeles.