As I mentioned a couple days ago, on July 14 I made my second visit to Cooperstown, and first as an adult. I took tons of pictures, and couldn’t help wanting to share some with you. Today, here is a set of shots focusing on the Dodgers, dating from their move to Los Angeles.
Tag: Rich Hill (Page 1 of 3)
Clayton Kershaw is by far the most dominant pitcher for the Dodgers — if not all of Major League Baseball — in the 21st century. Not surprisingly, he has pitched the game of the year for the Dodgers more times than anyone else.
But using the tried and true Game Score formula as a barometer, Kershaw has topped the charts in only four of his 11 big-league seasons. During the Kershaw era, some unexpected names have stolen the spotlight from Kershaw, if only for a moment.
In fact, in the 13 seasons from 2001 through 2013, 13 different pitchers had the top Game Score for the Dodgers.
Here’s a year-by-year rundown of the Dodgers’ best Game Score performances each year, dating back to 2000.
I’m writing about an event that likely won’t come to pass, an event that most Dodger fans hope doesn’t come to pass.
But as their three-game series at San Francisco begins tonight, the Dodgers could soon be facing as many as four consecutive do-or-die games to reach the National League Division Series.
Pitcher wins are a nuisance as a measure of success and basically only qualify as trivia, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be interesting or deeply weird trivia.
And it’s interesting and deeply weird that for the first time in franchise history, the Dodgers might not have a single pitcher win 10 games this season.
All summer long, the big question for the Dodger pitching staff has been which relievers would serve as the bridge to Kenley Jansen.
But with the distressing news that Jansen will be sidelined at least into September with an irregular heartbeat, we now have to ponder not only the bridge, but the destination.
You can read all the options the Dodgers have available in my recent review of the Dodger pitching staff, and Dustin Nosler of Dodgers Digest has a post up today looking specifically at who might close in Jansen’s absence.
My focus today is on the fact that it’s obvious that the Dodgers, who will soon have seven starting pitchers available with the impending returns of Alex Wood and Hyun-Jin Ryu from the disabled list, will need to move at least one starting pitcher to the bullpen — two if they don’t go with a six-man rotation.
Three of the most important numbers in the National League Championship Series have been three, four and five. Those numbers represent the three spots in the Chicago order that Dodger pitchers have dominated.
Chicago’s 3-4-5 hitters are 2 for 32 in this series.
In Game 1, Anthony Rizzo, Ben Zobrist and Addison Russell went 1 for 12 at the plate with a walk.
That same trio went 0 for 9 with a walk in Game 2.
The Cubs changed things up in Game 3 and went Zobrist, Rizzo and the hot Javier Baez and still managed to only go 1 for 11 with a walk.
The lone hits were a Zobrist double in the five-run Cubs eighth inning in Game 1 and a broken-bat infield single from Rizzo in the ninth inning in Game 3.
By Jon Weisman
On the verge of an early exit, Rich Hill turned his night around.
After 23 pitches in the second inning, Hill had only one out. A six-pitch popout by Javy Baez was sandwiched by a nine-pitch walk to Anthony Rizzo and an eight-pitch free pass to Jorge Soler. Game 3 of the National League Championship Series was teetering.
By Jon Weisman
Pitchers paint on the edge of a cliff. They are artists, tending to a tiny canvas that hovers in mid-air, and they are adventurers who might fall at any moment.
Rich Hill took a minor masterpiece into the sixth inning tonight at Dodger Stadium. After walking two of three batters with some tremulous brush work to start the top of the second, Hill was in his element. Twelve of the next 13 batters he faced became dots on his Seuratian landscape.
In the top of the sixth, the ground beneath Hill’s easel began to quiver. With one out, Kris Bryant singled to left center, for the second hit off the Dodger left-hander. With two out, Anthony Rizzo took the first four pitches, and three fell outside the borders of the strike zone. On deck was Javy Baez, whose electric play helped the Cubs win Game 1 of the National League Championship Series and nearly Game 2 as well.
Hill raised his arm and lofted the next pitch, a 74 mile-per-hour curveball that sidled through the California air with the arc of a rainbow, landing into the glove of Yasmani Grandal for strike two.
Then, at 87 mph, Hill dropped down with a master’s flourish.
Hill pumped his fist, shouted to the heavens and handed his work to the gallery, for 54,269 art-lovers at Dodger Stadium to marvel.
The 36-year-old’s six innings of two-hit shutout ball, his finest performance since he threw seven perfect innings at Miami on September 10, were framed by Grandal, the catcher who also hit a two-run home run off Jake Arrieta in the Dodgers’ 6-0 victory.
Taking a 2-1 lead in the NLCS, the Dodgers are as close to the World Series as they have been in 28 years.
Hill struck out six, giving him 19 in 13 postseason innings (13.2 strikeouts per nine innings) with a 3.46 ERA. With Joe Blanton, Grant Dayton and Kenley Jansen finishing the game, the Dodgers have thrown consecutive postseason shutouts for the first time in franchise history.
By Jon Weisman
“Go as hard as you can for as long as you can, and we’ll figure out the rest.”
That’s the mantra Dave Roberts has sent to his starting pitchers. Sure, seven, eight innings would be nice, but that’s no longer the barometer. For that matter, the homespun charm of a quality start started sounding all too quaint around the fourth of July.
“There’s not been really one formula for us to win the baseball games that we’ve won,” Roberts said today, before Game 3 of the National League Championship Series. “So this postseason, it’s more for me just kind of sending the message to the starters to go out there and leave it all out there.”
Rich Hill, who in the regular season with the Dodgers never went fewer than five innings and had seven perfect frames September 10 at Miami, epitomizes this approach. In this postseason, he has struck out 13 batters in seven innings over two starts, including six in 2 2/3 innings on three day’s rest in the final game of the National League Division Series against Washington.
By Jon Weisman
Clayton Kershaw has thrown 218 pitches since the playoffs began October 7, 117 of them in the five days preceding his start today in Game 2 of the National League Championship Series.
That’s a hearty if not quite outrageous amount, buoyed by the fact that Kershaw hasn’t had any physical complications since his return from a herniated disk in September.
“Fortunately for us, the back hasn’t been an issue since he’s come back,” Dave Roberts said, adding that the Dodgers are mainly monitoring his overall usage.
Kershaw has never let on that his arm has been fatigued in any previous postseason, but Roberts suggested that the lefty’s midsummer absence might have given him a little something extra this October.
“I think that the velocity’s played up,” Roberts said, “and he’s holding velocity. His pitch mix is right on point. … There’s a lot of bullets left in that arm this season.”
By Jon Weisman
Carlos Ruiz and Kiké Hernández will make their first 2016 postseason starts for the Dodgers, on a day the team confirmed that Clayton Kershaw will be the starting pitcher in Sunday’s Game 2 and Rich Hill in Game 3 at Los Angeles on Tuesday.
Ruiz had a two-run homer and RBI single off the bench in the National League Division Series, while Hernández will be making his 2016 postseason debut, taking the Chase Utley/Charlie Culberson spot at second base.
Dave Roberts cited Hernández’s athleticism, versatility and “the potential slug” for bringing him back into active duty.
“It was a tough decision with Charlie, but I think (Kiké) could pay a huge benefit for us,” Roberts said.
Otherwise, the Dodgers have their regular postseason lineup against a left-handed pitcher, with Yasiel Puig and Howie Kendrick subbing for Josh Reddick and Andrew Toles.
By Jon Weisman
You are dry. You are bled dry, you are bone dry, you are a body crawling across the desert toward paradise, and not until the last reach of the arm, not until the last extension of the fingertip, not until the last grain of sand was behind you, did you know if you had reached a mirage or the Promised Land.
You open your eyes, and it’s paradise.
In the most epic Dodger playoff game in a generation, in the longest nine-inning playoff game in postseason history, the Dodgers found the buried treasure of a four-run seventh-inning rally, then watched Kenley Jansen and Clayton Kershaw drag that golden chest to glory, defeating the Washington Nationals, 4-3, to advance to the National League Championship Series.
Jansen, whom Dave Roberts boldly put into the game with the tying run on base in the seventh inning, threw a career-high 51 pitches — four fewer than Dodger starter Rich Hill — to get the Dodgers within reach of victory.
Kershaw, the 19th Dodger to play in the game, got the final two outs, two nights after he threw 110 pitches in the Dodgers’ Game 4 victory — instantly recalling Orel Hershiser’s extra-inning save in the last playoff series the Dodgers came from behind to win, the 1988 NLCS.
[mlbvideo id=”1206140483″ width=”550″ height=”308″ /]
Could not be prouder of Clayton!!
— Orel Hershiser (@OrelHershiser) October 14, 2016
The winning pitcher was none other than Julio Urías, who became the youngest pitcher in MLB playoff history to get the W.
It was the victory of a generation. It was a victory that seemed to take a generation.
By Jon Weisman
What’s the ideal scenario for the Dodgers at Washington tonight in the deciding game of the National League Division Series?
Pretty simply: An early lead, six or seven combined innings from Rich Hill (officially announced as today’s starting pitcher) and Julio Urías, and matchups from the set-up men before Kenley Jansen sends Los Angeles to Wrigley Field.
It’s hardly implausible, given that the Dodgers scored four runs in the first three innings against Nationals starter Max Scherzer in Game 1. Then there’s the potential of Hill and Urías.
By Jon Weisman
The cut on Rich Hill’s non-pitching hand looked small. The bruise on his psyche looked large.
On a day that the Dodgers — baseball’s No. 2 offense in 2016 with the bases loaded — couldn’t take advantage of five such at-bats, Hill saw a promising start derailed by a three-run home run from Nationals catcher José Lobatón, lifting Washington to a 5-2 victory that evened the best-of-five National League Division Series at 1-1.
Game 3 of the NLDS takes place at Dodger Stadium on Monday at 1:08 p.m.
Following Lobatón’s homer, Hill was shown on the Fox Sports 1 broadcast with the small mark on his right hand after banging it in the dugout in anger. It was not the only time today a Dodger would hit something hard in vain.