Following yesterday afternoon’s champagne-filled celebration, the Dodgers made a significant, last-minute tweak to the starting rotation for game 162. Rich Hill, and not Walker Buehler as was previously announced, will take the mound in San Francisco looking to add a sixth straight division championship to the team’s resume.
The move gives the Dodgers the flexibility to have Buehler pitch in a winner-take-all division championship game, should both teams end the regular season with identical records. Down the stretch, Buehler’s been one of the most exciting and reliable starting pitchers in Robert’s rotation – in his last start against Colorado he shut them out over 6 innings.
It should be noted that Rich Hill will be pitching on a weeks rest. His last outing against the Padres was solid, giving up 1 ER over 7 innings. However, he’s struggled in recent outings, having allowed 4 ER in 3 of his last 4 appearances.
Hill will be matched up against fellow southpaw Andrew Suarez in Sunday afternoon’s critical matchup. The rookie owns a 4.22 ERA this season and has lost 3 of his last 4 decisions. He has faced the Dodgers before, blanking them over 6 innings and recording the no-decision.
The Dodgers will counter Suarez with an all right-handed lineup.
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) September 30, 2018
Despite Hill’s inconsistency this season, he’s shown a knack for pitching in “big-game” situations over his career – including a wealth of Post-Season pitching experience. He’ll likely need to be crisp today if the Dodgers hope to keep pace with the Rockies, who won’t be facing Max Scherzer after all.
Regardless of how today’s game plays out, Los Angeles will be playing into October once again. It’s been a roller-coaster of a season, with injuries and regression threatening to de-throne the team all season long. Resiliently, they battled back from a historically bad start and now have the opportunity to win their 6th straight NL West title – but it will take some outside help.