Dodgers News: Rich Hill Focused On Improving ‘Tempo’ & ‘Rhythm’ After Struggling Against Padres
Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Rich Hill against the San Diego Padres
Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Rich Hill pitched to mix results in his 2019 debut, then regressed and only manage to log four-plus innings against the San Diego Padres. He exited with the Dodgers trailing, though they came from behind for a second consecutive night.

Hill commended his teammates for fighting their way back to another win, but otherwise was disappointed with the game. “I need to do a better job next time out, make better pitches,” Hill said. “I left a lot of balls over the middle of the plate and at the end of the day, I have a lot more words for that outing but it was pretty bad. Look forward to the next one.”

Hill’s troubles began in the first inning when he hung a pitch to Manny Machado for a solo home run. Machado then clubbed a two-run homer off Hill in the third inning. “He’s obviously an elite hitter,” Hill said of his former teammate.

“I think he’s one of the best hitters in the league. Again, it comes down to making pitches and making better pitches. Tempo and rhythm was terrible, the timing was awful. There was not a lot of really good takeaways from tonight personally.”

Hill wasn’t quite certain what contributed to his subpar outing, as he felt fine warming up in the bullpen. “It wasn’t so much about the stuff,” he said. “When your rhythm gets messed up and your timing isn’t what you want it to be, it was effectively falling into making bad pitches.

“Just making sure I’m efficiently moving in between pitches and not taking too much time is one of the things I can really think of right now.”

On the season Hill has allowed eight runs (four earned) across 10 innings pitched in his two starts. He struck out six against the Pittsburgh Pirates, but only three in Saturday’s start against the Padres.

Additionally, the veteran left-hander has surrendered two home runs in each outing. “I just didn’t think Richie was sharp tonight,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.

“I thought the breaking ball just wasn’t sharp. I thought the fastball didn’t have the life and location it typically does. I think where he was at, it was a grind for him.”