It's a rarity in baseball when a feat occurs that has never been done before. The sport has been around for over 100 years, so when something happens for the first time, you know it's special. Well, last night was a special night for Dodgers pitcher Rich Hill. I'm sure he wouldn't tell you it was anything special, but that'd just be him being humble and maybe a little bit upset. Hill dominated the Pittsburgh Pirates lineup last night, he was in top form, hitting all his spots, getting great movement on his pitches, and getting a little help from his defense along the way. He was so good he didn't allow a hit or walk through 9 innings of baseball. That means he threw a perfect game, right. Well, not exactly.
The Dodgers did allow a base runner in the 9th inning due to Logan Forsythe error. Routine grounder to the third baseman and he just booted it. That put an end to the Rich Hill perfect game to no fault of his own. Usually a walk is what ruins a perfect game, but Rich Hill would finish the night with 0 walks and 10 strikeouts. He made it through the 9th inning and the no hitter was complete, oh wait, the score was still 0-0. Yeah, Rich Hill allowed no hits through 9 innings, however the Pirates pitching staff was pretty good themselves allowing no runs of there own either. Now, Rich Hill has nothing to show for his outstanding effort. Dave Roberts wasn't going to let that happen, especially after pulling him from a perfect game the year prior. Rich Hill trotted out to the mound for the 10th inning. Hill was still under 100 pitches at this point, so there was no reason to pull him from this game just yet. Turns out that maybe they should've. Josh Harrison was the first batter of the inning and he hit a high fly ball to left field, Curtis Granderson gave it chase, but he couldn't quite there in time, the ball just got over the wall, and just like that devastation set in.
Not only did Rich Hill not get a no hitter, he didn't get a shutout, and he didn't even get the win. Imagine pitching the game of your life and the offense that has been great for the Dodgers all year just doesn't show up. Only needing one hit to win a game is very special and Josh Harrison did just that with his walkoff home run. What a way to break up the no hitter and tear a pitchers heart out. Rich Hill was the first pitcher I've seen go into extra inning in what feels like forever since pitchers usually can't even make it through 6 innings nowadays. This is something that hasn't been done in over 100 years. A pitcher to have a no hitter go into extra innings and then lose after only giving up one hit while walking no batters the entire game. Pirates showed what it means to live and die by the long ball last night. I feel for Rich Hill, however when the team he plays on is 50 games above .500 and destined to win a World Series it's hard to feel really bad for him. I'm sure a nice commissioners trophy will help heal the shitty feeling of watching your no hit bid disappear in the blink of an eye after nearly 9 perfect innings.