After dropping two straight games, the Los Angeles Dodgers got back in the win column on Thursday night by earning an 8-2 victory in their series opener against the Atlanta Braves.
The star of the night for the Dodgers was Rich Hill, who drove in a run with his second hit of the season at the plate in addition to tossing seven shutout innings, allowing just three hits while striking out eight and walking one.
The outing was arguably Hill’s best of the season, and he has been in a groove since coming off the disabled list, posting a 2.45 ERA in 43.2 innings across eight games (seven starts).
Hill explained the reason he has been pitching so well as of late, crediting mechanical fixes he made while he was on the DL, via Ken Gurnick of MLB.com:
“That was a silver lining,” Hill said of the month he missed from May 20-June 19. While sidelined, Hill not only worked his finger blister into a protective callous, but he eliminated a mechanical flaw, improving his balance on the rubber and the angle of his delivery.
“The changes were very minuscule, but huge overall,” he said. “Looking back on it, absolutely, it was a good thing. Tonight was a good night. The ball came out really well, and I’m looking forward to continuing that. That’s what the bullpen and the work are for in between starts, to keep that feel and make sure you stick with the mechanical changes we made and don’t veer off.”
Hill got off to a rough start to the season, so it is definitely a positive sign for the Dodgers that he is starting to round back into the form that earned him a three-year, $48 million contract with the Dodgers prior to the 2017 campaign.
The 38-year-old was the team’s No. 2 starter in each of the last two postseasons behind Clayton Kershaw, and could very well fill that role again this October if he continues to pitch at a high level in the second half.
As part of our efforts to help you understand how we handle the personal information you share with us, and in preparation for the new European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), we’ve updated our Privacy & Cookies Policy. The updated Privacy & Cookies Policy will take effect on May 22, 2018. By using our services on or after that date, you’ll be agreeing to our updated Privacy & Cookies Policy. We recommend that you read our updated Privacy & Cookies Policy in full.