Since making his weird and improbable return to major league baseball at age 35 in the second half of 2015, Rich Hill has been almost singularly enjoyable to watch when he’s a) in a groove and b) without a blister. He hasn’t had many outings like that lately, but when he has them, his curveball is breathtaking, he’s perfectly efficient, it’s all working and it’s simply so much damn fun to see. Hill was like that tonight.
And then his perfect game vanished with a ninth-inning error, just before his no-hitter disappeared with a 10th-inning walk-off home run.
Hill entered the ninth with a perfect game on 87 pitches. (Less than the 89 he had when he was pulled in the middle of a perfect game bid last year, for what it’s worth.) But on the first batter of the inning, Jordy Mercer, that all went to shit with an error on an amazingly routine play by third baseman Logan Forsythe:
That sucks! A lot! But it still left Hill with a no-hitter bid, a scoreless game to win for his team, and a low enough pitch count that he could reasonably be given room to keep working. Except all of that disappeared, too, with one swing by Josh Harrison in the bottom of the 10th:
Nine no-hit innings, no no-hitter, one incredibly disappointing walk-off loss.
May Hill take solace in the fact that, uh, he’s at least not Harvey Haddix?