The Postseason of Pitchers Hitting? Rich Hill got his first hit since 2009
In Game 2 of the Cubs-Giants NLDS on Saturday night, the Cubs generated the first two hits by a pitcher of the postseason -- Kyle Hendricks' two-run single and Travis Wood's home run. The momentum for pitchers at the plate kept rolling Sunday afternoon during Game 2 of the Dodgers-Nationals NLDS, when Dodgers pitcher Rich Hill recorded a bunt single in the top of the fourth inning.
But here's the thing about Hill's hit -- it was his first Major League hit in more than seven years! His last hit came on June 19, 2009, when he was a member of the Baltimore Orioles. That game was so long ago that the top of the Dodgers batting order that day looked like this: Juan Pierre LF - Rafael Furcal SS - Orlando Hudson 2B. It was more than three years before the Dodgers acquired Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Josh Beckett from the Red Sox. You could say it's been a while.
It was particularly good to see Hill successfully navigate his way down the first-base line given the way he ended the previous inning. After striking out Jayson Werth for the third out, he celebrated with a movement that might be described as a stumbling skip reminiscent of a baby deer:
Professional athletes can be awkward, too.
Since 2009, Hill has primarily pitched out of the bullpen in the American League, so plate appearances have been few and far between. This time, however, he was able to capitalize on a first-pitch fastball down in the zone to give his team a baserunner. Unfortunately for Hill, he was unable to score and he took to the mound in the bottom of the fourth with the Dodgers holding onto a 2-0 lead -- only to see that lead vanish upon yielding a three-run homer to Jose Lobaton.
The Nationals held onto their lead to win 5-2 and knotted up the series at one game a piece. Tune in to see who will take the series lead in Game 3 of the NLDS on Monday at 4 p.m. ET on MLB Network.