You know that “sad trombone” sound effect used after a contested on the Price is Right guesses wrong (or something to that effect)? Yeah, we really needed one for this series of plays from Dodgers starter Rich Hill. Because what started as a magical trip around the bases, ended with a giant thud.
Let me set the mood: Most teams/fans don’t expect much out of their starting pitchers at the plate or on the base paths. 15 NL Managers reluctantly watch as their pitchers trot out to the plate (or eventually down to first, if they’re lucky) every day with the singular hope that no one gets injured. And when one of those pitchers also happen to be a 38-years-old veteran who’s spent more than his fair share of time on the disabled list, well, let’s just say the expectations are slim.
But that’s precisely why it was a whole lot of fun when Rich Hill, who turned 38 back in March, bunted for a base-hit on the Fourth of July. With a perfectly laid bunt and plenty of hustle, he did what he wasn’t expected to do: contribute offensively! And that’s also why it was even more fun when he grabbed both second and third on balls in the dirt/against the backstop.
So when a fly ball was lifted into center field and Hill was going to get a chance to tag up, score, and essentially manufacture a run with his legs like he’s Javy Baez or something, the expectations were higher than normal … and then ended in hilariously bad fashion:
He was out by a mile and a half and you can see the balloon deflating as Hill lays on the ground next to the plate. Oh, well. It was a fun trip while it lasted.