Blister again forces Dodgers starting pitcher Rich Hill to leave game early
Rich Hill’s blister popped up again.
For the second consecutive start — his only starts this season — a blister foiled Hill’s chance to pitch deep into the game. Hill lasted only three innings in Sunday’s game against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The Dodgers said Hill left after “re-aggravating” the blister on the middle finger of his pitching hand.
He looked at his finger after Taijuan Walker singled in the third inning on a curve, the pitch that most triggers the apparently recurrent blister.
Hill completed the inning, giving up two runs on four hits and a walk, then returned to the dugout and slammed his glove against a wall as he headed toward the clubhouse. He returned to the mound for the start of the fourth inning, but Dodgers manager Dave Roberts removed him before the inning could start.
Hill has faced 33 batters this season. Alex Wood, a displaced starter forced into long relief, has faced 38.
When the Dodgers acquired Hill from the Oakland Athletics last July, he was on the disabled list because of a blister on the middle finger of his pitching hand. The Dodgers activated him last August, the blister came back after one start, and it returned after one start this season.
Roberts said before the game the Dodgers do not believe Hill’s availability will be on a start-by-start basis this year, but he also said the team has been unable to solve the blister issue.
“We’ve talked to a lot of different people that have issues with that outside of our game, and we just can’t pinpoint it,” Roberts said. “We’re going to continue to try. We don’t have an answer.”
The Dodgers signed Hill, now 37, to a three-year, $48-million contract last December.
Follow Bill Shaikin on Twitter @BillShaikin
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