Baseball can be a cruel, cruel game.
Rich Hill learned that the hard way Wednesday.
Hill, as you probably know, took a perfect game into the ninth inning and finished the ninth with a no-hitter intact. The problem was, the game was tied 0-0.
Pirates firestarter Josh Harrison looped a walk-off homer into the left field seats in the bottom of the 10th inning to gives the Pirates a win, dealing Hill a loss in a start in which he didn’t allow a hit through nine innings.
The deeper you dig into the start, the more you feel for Hill.
First, he didn’t even give up the perfect game, of course; it was his teammate Logan Forsythe, who made an error at third base to blow perfection. And that’s…never been done before so late in the game.
Such a cruel way for Rich Hill to lose a perfect game! First time in @MLB history a PG bid has ever ended in 9th inning on an error.
— SABR (@sabr) August 24, 2017
The thing is, though, Hill did get stellar defense from his teammates all game long, including an absolute web gem from Chase Utley at second, so he can’t really complain too loudly about the fielding.
But then, to lose the best start of his career, maybe of t
he season, must really hurt. Hill doesn’t go the distance all that often, which made Wednesday even more incredible.
That was Rich Hill's first NL complete game since Sept. 22, 2006.
He lost that one too.
— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) August 24, 2017
Nobody does that.
In the context of the Dodgers season, Hill should be really encouraged about his performance because he was dominant. It’s a great sign with the playoffs looming. But to see what kind of history he was close to achieving, well, that sucks.
Having such a masterful performance in effect go to waste is tough to swallow.