There are very few instances in sports that leave me truly speechless, last night was one of those rare occurrences. Last night in Pittsburgh, the unimaginable happened. Rich Hill, a southpaw from LA had his stuff going early. His curveball was working for him early and before you knew it he was through 6 innings without allowing a baserunner. 18 up and 18 down. The only problem was that the Dodgers bats decided to fall asleep and were also held scoreless through 6. In the bottom of the eighth inning, with the score still scoreless, Josh Bell roped a ball to the second basemen Chase Utley to lead off the inning. It looked like the perfect game was over, but in pure Chase Utley fashion he dove and made a sensational, full extended catch. Its funny, in every perfect game you see, there is always that amazing grab or lucky bounce that preserves the PG. This was clearly that moment. He retired the next 2 batters and Rich Hill was three outs away from immortality, a feat that has not be accomplished since 2012 when the King was perfect on a warm Seattle day. The Dodgers knew they had to scratch a run across so their guy could finish the job.
The only real scoring chance the Dodgers had late was in the top of the eighth when the Dodgers managed to get two men on base. With two outs, Dodger third basemen Logan Forsythe stepped into the box. He hit the ball sharply to the left side of the infield, but it looked like it was high enough to get over the shortstops head. This was it, they were finally gonna break through. I was wrong. Jordy Mercer caught the ball and we were headed to the 9th, still knotted up at 0. In the bottom of the 9th Jordy Mercer led off the inning with a hard, but very manageable hit ball to Logan Forsythe. He bobbled the ball slightly allowing Mercer to reach base and just like that the perfect game was over. He still had a job to do though and got out of the 9th without allowing a hit but more importantly not allowing a run. Rich Hill had tossed 9 no hit innings yet the game was not over. It was heading towards extra innings.
The Dodgers failed to get a run across in the top of the 10th and Dave Roberts had a decision to make. Either call in the bullpen, or bring Rich Hill back into the game as his pitch count was still fairly low. He decided to go with Hill, as he still had a no hitter going.
That decision bit Roberts in the ass but we’ll get to that shortly. I had a bad feeling about the bottom of the 10th. The Dodgers just could not catch a break at least not on the offensive side and it seemed like they had their chance and blew it. To lead off the bottom of the 10th inning was all star Josh Harrison. He sent a 1-1 pitch deep to left field. The second it jumped off the bat I knew it was gone.
I felt so bad for that poor bastard Rich Hill. Dude tosses the game of his life and gives up a walk off homer, on the only hit he allows the whole night. I’m not even a Dodger fan but I felt their pain. That being said, these are the reasons why I, why we love sports, for nights like these, that literally leave us speechless.