The reins are loosened for Rich Hill, but will rain challenge him Saturday?
By Cary Osborne
When 4 p.m. hits on Washington D.C. on Saturday, there is a strong likelihood that it will be raining and extremely humid for the start of Game 2 of the Dodgers-Nationals National League Division Series.
That’s the sort of concoction that could issue a challenge for the Dodgers’ Game 2 starter Rich Hill, who has fought blister problems since July.
Hill threw 40 warmup pitches in Colorado on August 30 in preparation for that day’s game, which eventually was rained out. Hill was held out the next day as a precaution. Hill was removed after seven innings while pitching a perfect game on September 10 in Miami because he reached 89 pitches and the heat and humidity also posed a threat to his fingers.
The 36-year-old said he doesn’t plan on altering his preparation Saturday when he warms up in Washington, though.
“You just kind of gauge it as the day goes,” Hill said. “If it rains, it rains. I can’t control Mother Nature. But (you) stay ready, and when they say it’s time to pitch, it’s time to pitch. Get loose, warm up and do your job.”
He said his middle and index fingers are in good shape.
“Oh yeah. Everything’s great,” he said. “Fingers are great. Everything’s come together at a really good time.”
Hill’s last three games of the season saw outings of 5 1/3, five and five innings. Dave Roberts said he anticipates that Hill is now ready to go longer.
“With the training staff and with Rich’s buy-in, all that stuff, he is as ready to go as he’s been in any one of his starts this year,” Roberts said. “So there should be no reins on him. He should be able to go out there and pitch to help us win a game.”