Rich Hill had arguably his worst start with the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday night against the St. Louis Cardinals, as he lasted just four-plus innings while allowing five runs.
It wasn’t that Hill got hit particularly hard by the Cardinals, but rather his lack of command was the biggest issue. The southpaw walked a career-high seven batters, and 42 of his 80 pitches were for ball.
“Getting behind hitters, we saw a little of it in Spring Training. Very uncharacteristic of Rich,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.
One positive aspect to take out of the subpar start is that Hill’s blister did not flare up, and he claimed to be fully healthy.
Hill has been limited to just four starts and 17 innings this season, as he landed on the 10-day disabled list after his first outing due to the blister. He returned after the minimum 10 days, but was forced to leave the start, again because of the blister.
Hill landed back on the disabled list for a second time. Wednesday marked his second start since returning from the DL, and it was easy to see that he’s quite himself thus far.
The Dodgers re-signed Hill to a three-year, $48 million contract during the offseason with the intention of him being the team’s No. 2 starter behind Clayton Kershaw. Los Angeles has yet to see much return on that investment.
Roberts, however, is not concerned. “I think we all know what Rich can be, what he has been in recent history,” he said.
“At the forefront of all of our minds has been keeping the blister at bay. Now it’s going out there and pitching well. This guy is ultra-competitive. After this start, I know he has them again in St. Louis, so he’ll be ready to go.”