After losing six games in a row, the Los Angeles Dodgers are now on a three-game winning streak. Their most recent wins came in a doubleheader against the Washington Nationals after Friday’s game was rained out. The Dodgers won their first game with Ross Stripling as a starting pitcher. Stripling is usually a bullpen pitcher but has now started in three games this season due to injuries to Clayton Kershaw, Hyun-Jin Ryu, and Rich Hill.
Stripling’s stamina has increased in each of his starts. On Saturday he pitched six innings, and only allowed one run. This not only allowed the Dodgers to win the first game of the doubleheader, but it also may have saved them in the second game.
Since Stripling managed to pitch six innings, the bullpen was still fresh for the second game. That was lucky, since the Dodgers had to use eight pitchers in the second game. Rich Hill was the starting pitcher for game two, but he was taken out of the game after throwing just two pitches. Hill was once again sidelined with a recurring blister injury to a finger on his throwing hand.
Hill came to the Dodgers in 2016 as part of a trade that also included Josh Reddick. Although it was immediately apparent that Reddick was not a good fit with the Dodgers, Hill seemed to fit in well. Although he pitched well for the Dodgers in 2016, Hill was already struggling with blister injuries.
Despite his blisters, the Dodgers decided to resign Hill after 2016 with a three-year, $48 million contract. Although Hill pitched well enough for the Dodgers in 2017, he continued to struggle with blister issues. This year his blister issues have only gotten worse.
Hill has already missed time on the DL this year and when he has tried to pitch through his finger issues he’s ended up with an ERA of 6.20. He has had to be taken out of multiple games early, leaving the bullpen to pick up the slack.
Hill may be a talented pitcher, but his constant blister injuries make him too unpredictable. Hill has been struggling with blisters for three years now, so it seems unlikely that the issue will go away. Hill is simply paid too much to miss so much time. It has taken longer to become apparent, but Rich Hill is just as bad a fit for the Dodgers as Josh Reddick was.