In his return from the DL, blisters once again forced Rich Hill out of the game early in the Dodgers’ 3-1 loss to the Diamondbacks. Chris Iannetta hit a solo home run and Jake Lamb walked with the bases loaded in the third inning.
Taijuan Walker pitched five innings of one-run ball and struck out seven Dodgers. In the bottom of the first, the Dodgers loaded the bases with two outs, but Walker struck out Joc Pederson swinging. After the first inning, Walker settled down and retired the next seven batters before Yasmani Grandal singled to right field in the fourth. Yasiel Puig drove in Grandal with a double and the Dodgers scored their only run of the game off Walker.
Chris Iannetta hit a solo home run off of Rich Hill in the third inning. Hill threw Iannetta a fastball low and inside, and Iannetta hit it just over the wall in center field.
“Rich is a great pitcher, his track record speaks for itself,” Iannetta said. “He’s a guy you try to get his curveball up and his fastball down and hopefully you get a pitch to hit. He rarely gives you something good to hit, always shows good command, changes up speeds, location. I was fortunate enough to get a pitch.”
The Diamondbacks added another run in the third after loading the bases with one out. Jake Lamb got a four-pitch walk from Hill and the D-backs had a 2-0 lead. Hill threw the ball high and away, and out of the zone, walking in a run.
Hill was forced out of the game early when blisters on his left middle finger flared up again. Dave Roberts has not announced that Hill will be placed on the disabled list, but he did say that if he is, Alex Wood will be his replacement.
The Diamondbacks bullpen pitched well over four innings. Archie Bradley shut the Dodgers down for 2 2/3 innings, allowing only one hit and walking one batter. The Dodgers just never threatened. Fernando Rodney recorded the save by inducing Puig to ground into a double play.
Keys To The Game:
Rich Hill’s Blister
Rich Hill’s blister came back in the second inning, forcing him out of the game after the third. His hand was fine while he was warming up and whenever he played catch or threw in the bullpen. In fact, his blister only appears when he is already on the mound. This is a big problem for both Hill and the Dodgers. This off-season, the Dodgers re-signed Hill to a $48 million contract.
The Dodgers’ Bats
If the Dodgers want to win games, they need to get runners in scoring position, then drive them in. Whenever they threaten a pitcher, like they threatened Walker in the first, they need to actually convert. Each player needs to trust the batter behind him. The Dodgers should go to the plate looking for some outfield grass and trusting the man who is on deck to drive him in.
The Dodgers and Diamondbacks will play the final game of a four-game series on Monday. Robbie Ray will start for the D-backs, while Brandon McCarthy will look to keep his momentum going against his former club. McCarthy has pitched well in both of his starts this year, pitching twelve innings and allowing only two runs. First pitch will be a 7:10 pm PT. The game will be televised on SportsNet LA and broadcasted over the radio on AM 570 LA Sports.