The Los Angeles Dodgers (95-32) will start Rich Hill against A.J. Cole in game two against the Washington Nationals.
A win Saturday afternoon will give the 12-year veteran his 10th of the season-presumably making him the fourth Dodgers starting pitcher to reach the 10-win mark this season.
Hill is 9-8 overall, but has shown uncanny flashes of brilliance at 37 years old. His outstanding commitment to excellence has helped the Dodgers. They’ll be heavily relying on his services to win this series, increase separation from the Nationals for home-field advantage, and attain another NL West title later on this month.
During Friday’s MLB Network Showcase Ken Rosenthal stated the team looks like the old Dodgers; and asked Dave Roberts what has changed the last couple of days. Here’s Roberts’ response:
It’s been a tough couple of weeks, but this environment, this ball club-it brings out the best in everyone.
Individuals tend to become products of their environment, and the success surrounding the Dodgers organization has truly brought out the best in him. He hasn’t looked this good since his third season with the Chicago Cubs, with the exception of his amazing 2016 of course.
This team has given everything they’ve had all season, and Roberts is starting to see a collective resurgence during this revamped rebound in mid-September.
Hill has certainly delivered on the mound, and he’s an important factor in the rotation. His four-seam fastball is crisp, and he’s tightened up that signature curveball that gives opposing batters headaches. What is also nice is that only 5 Nationals have faced Rich Hill in the past 5 years, giving Hill the element of surprise. Unfortunately, only two Dodgers have faced Washington’s A.J. Cole, giving the Nationals this advantage as well.
There’s no doubt that the Dodgers will be successful if Hill can keep his competitive emotions in check, mechanics on point, and concentration together for six to seven innings. This is one of his last chances to win a World Series, and he’s looked like he’s ready to accomplish that goal this year.
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