#44 Rich Hill - Dodger Pitcher


10/25/2017 Dodger pitcher Rich Hill was textbook with his approach, and handling, the Astros lineup. The narration was worth listening to as well. The Dodger pitching staff tracked the Astros lineup and the narration of - batter tendencies of taking the first pitch, those weak with the duce, and so on, was first class.

These pitching duels are a gem for those who want more out of this game than just reaching for the fence. There’s a reason why these guys are where they are. This World Series is worth every bit a classroom as it is entertaining.


What do you think of the Dodgers’ strategy of pulling Hill early apparently so that none of the Astros batters would face him more than twice?


At the level that both clubs have brought themselves to, they are professionals and then some. A club doesn’t get that kind of recognition just by dumb-doda-luck. Professional means professional. I would have done exactly what you asked in your question. I believe, with great lineups comes recognition, long before they reach the Series. They’ve all seen these guys on the mound and know pretty well what they bring to the table.
I always wanted to pull a guy after about 4 or five innings of play going into a playoff series. Now let me qualify that by stating “good innings” - solid pitching, aggressive pitching, smart pitching.
Because if everything goes according to plan (yeah right) by the 4th or 5th inning, the guys that are coming to bat, have seen pretty much what a pitcher has to offer, and, if their bench is smart, they’ll adjust. So … put in another dependable, one the other bench hasn’t seen recently, and let those guys across from the dugout start the adjustment process all over again - DEAL WITH IT.
Now before someone starts with … “what about the pitcher’s stats?” Going into a Series, a playoff berth and so on, it’s more about everyone getting there. After a long, hard , tough season, everyone is pulling in the same direction, not just one individual going in his own direction.
I was always straight up with my guys and made that perfectly clear. WE are going this route, no just you.
Does that address your question Roger?


Another thing about Hill and why he was in the spot that he was. Hill has one of the most deceptive curveballs that I’ve ever seen. I mean, this thing has a travel path that varies in height, from about 40 feet from the plate, pitch after pitch, right up until it gets about 15 feet from the plate. At 15 feet from the plate it can literally change time-zones, drifts inward/outward, or just dies.
Now get a lineup whose charged up, adrenaline running like the Grand Rapids, and these guys are just pumped for heat. So, Hill starts to deal out a full deck with “dealer staying pat.” Love it. I watched this wizard walk around that mound last night like a magician … “and for my next trick.” I wish I could’ve used my VCR - but then it was too late to call over my granddaughter.
One of the biggest mistakes( I think) is to go into a game with heat, keep heat until it gets slammed, then bring in a reliever or closer - again with heat.
We’re going to see #44 Hill around for a long, long time. For those of you who want to see a professional at work, good mound presence, control of his emotions (most of the time), and worth studying - this Hill is the genuine article.


Yes, that addresses my question. I wasn’t really looking for a right or wrong assessment - just whether or not you liked the strategy. But I’m with you in that I like to make batters have to readjust at about the time they’re starting to get comfortable.


As I was watching Hill pitch, I noticed his arm slot varied. Specifically, he dropped to sidearm occasionally. I looked it up briefly and found out that is indeed something he does.

I’ve never noticed another MLB pitcher doing that. Are there many who do? Seems like it would throw off accuracy to keep switching between arm slots but he seemed to have a pretty good handle on it.


He’s probably been doing that a long time. I used to throw all of my pitches from the high 3/4 slot…except 2 or 3 times per game (maximum) I would drop down and throw from the side and throw a fastball or a slider. It was something I had done from about the time I was 11 or 12, so it didn’t mess with my mechanics. I’m sure most pitchers have played some wiffle ball and thrown some submarine and sidearm just messing around. I moved on to using a regulation ball for at the least the sidearm and crossfire delivery. It was VERY deceptive when I pulled that club out of my bag and virtually no one took a cut at it. All I had to do was throw a strike and it was essentially a free strike.

I had a guy deposit one of my regular curves into the seats in left center. I thought I had made a good pitch, but he still crushed it. The next time through the order I pitched him away until I got a strike on a 2-0 fastball. Then I came with my sidearm slider (take for strike 2) followed by a sidearm fastball, which he thought would be the slider again when he saw me drop down. He got out over the plate and I jammed him for check swing strike three. I found out later he was a Div 1 three hole hitter playing in our summer league. That’s why the memory is still with me.