On Wednesday night Dodgers pitcher Rich Hill lost his bid for a perfect game and subsequently his chance at a no-hitter in one of the most heartbreaking games of baseball you’ll ever witness. It will surely go down as one of the greatest pitching performances in a loss in the history of baseball.
But before the night turned tragic, Hill had some help, most notably from veteran second baseman Chase Utley, whose flash of the glove in the eighth inning would save Hill’s perfect game for the moment.
With no outs in the inning, Pirates first baseman Josh Bell hit a shot toward second that for a moment felt like the end of Hill’s pursuit of perfection, only for Utley to make a diving catch that would have gone down as the defining defensive moment of this game had the perfect game come to fruition.
As the announcer’s call goes: “CHASE UTLEY… OH MY GOODNESS… He saved the day for now.”
For an instant after Utley came down with the ball, it felt like perfection was simply in the air, and inevitable outcome for one of the hottest teams in regular season baseball history.
Sadly for Hill, Utley, and the rest of the Dodgers, the announcer’s call would prove foreboding. Hill would lose the perfect game in the ninth after an error by third baseman Logan Forsythe, and give up the no-hitter and the win in the tenth inning with a walk-off to Josh Harrison.
Rich Hill had pitched nine no-hit innings only to take the loss, and Utley left the game with a defensive highlight that will go unremarked in the history books besides a possible spot on tomorrow’s SportsCenter Top 10.
The Dodgers and Pirates will face off again on Thursday.
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