With Rich Hill returning to Dodgers, let's look back at his amazing debut with the team
The Dodgers made sure to start the Winter Meetings with pomp and circumstance as they re-signed Rich Hill to a three-year, 48 million deal on Monday It's a move that ensures the club will have its double-left-handed, curveballing monster of Clayton Kershaw and Hill at the front of the rotation. Hill had a very Kershaw-like 2.12 ERA, with over a strikeout per inning in 2016, but he was perhaps even better than that in his debut with the Dodgers.
Having been on the DL with a blistered finger following his last appearance with the A's on July 17, Hill made a triumphant return to the mound in a new uniform on Aug 24. Showing a bit of rust in allowing two singles in the first inning, Hill would go six innings against the rival Giants and allow zero runs and zero walks. It was all thanks to that trusty curve -- coming in from any number of angles:
That was a good start to his Dodgers career, but he only improved upon it in his next two outings. He went six innings against the Padres in his next start while surrendering one lone hit and striking out eight. And in his third start as a Dodger, Hill worked a perfect seven innings against the Marlins and struck out nine. Unfortunately, due to the threat of an oncoming blister, the left-hander was lifted and didn't get a chance to close out the perfecto.
All told, Hill's first three starts with the Dodgers looked like this:
Or, the numbers and facts version: 19 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 20 SO.
The Dodgers will surely hope for more performances like that over the next three seasons. 37-year-old pitchers don't tend to be on their first major contract, so there aren't many comparable players out there. But, the simple fact is: When you get a chance to bring back Kershaw pt. 2, you do it.