Pirates Need Just One Hit to Stun Rich Hill, Dodgers in Extra Innings Walk Off - NBC Southern California
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Pirates Need Just One Hit to Stun Rich Hill, Dodgers in Extra Innings Walk Off

Rich Hill had a perfect game through eight innings, a no-hitter through nine innings, but a walk-off home run by Josh Harrison in the bottom of the 10th was the only hit needed for the Pirates to shock the Dodgers, 1-0, on Wednesday night at PNC Park.

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    Pirates Need Just One Hit to Stun Rich Hill, Dodgers in Extra Innings Walk Off
    Justin K. Aller/Getty Images
    Rich Hill #44 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches in the third inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on August 23, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

    So close.

    Rich Hill had a perfect game through eight innings, a no-hitter through nine innings, but a walk-off home run by Josh Harrison in the bottom of the 10th was the only hit needed for the Pirates to shock the Dodgers, 1-0, on Wednesday night at PNC Park.

    It was a heartbreaking night for Hill as he retired the first 24 hitters he faced as he absolutely befuddled the Bucs batters all night long.

    "After the seventh inning I realized we had a good chance of having something special happen," Hill told a horde of reporters after the game. "Everyone did a great job." 

    Hill lost his perfect game to leadoff hitter Jody Mercer in the bottom of the ninth.

    Mercer started off the ninth with a hard-hit ball to third base that was bobbled by Logan Forsythe for the error.

    "Tommorrow is a new day," Hill optimistically said after the game. "You just have to keep moving forward. Sometimes, luck is disguised as that."

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    The error by Forsythe ended the perfect game, but kept the no-hitter intact.

    However, the Dodgers, who have the best offense in baseball, could not give Hill any run support despite recording eight hits, leaving 11 runners on base, and going 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position.

    "That was really special to watch. Unfotunately, we just couldn't get that one hit," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts told the media after the game. "We've done it all year long, but we couldn't get it tonight. That's baseball."

    With no run support, the game went into extra innings and Hill came back out for the bottom of the 10th inning.

    However, life comes at you fast, and Harrison led off the bottom of the 10th with a walk-off home run just over the wall in left field to end the no-hitter and the win for Hill.

    "We knew we had a chance to win with one hit," Harrison told the local Pirates broadcast after the game. "I think the 9th inning got him out of his rhythm. I just got a pitch I didn't want to miss."

    Curtis Granderson, who went all out into the wall to try and catch the home run ball said after the game he just missed the catch by a bout a half-second.

    "Harrison has been swinging the bat well all series long," said Granderson. "I was about a half-second too late. I wish we had gotten some runs across the board earlier in the game so that Hill could have been a part of history."

    Hill became the first pitcher to take a no-hitter into extra innings since Pedro Martinez on June 3, 1995.

    "I feel sad for Rich," continued Roberts. "It's a game we got beat, but to have a chance at a no-hitter, I was very excited for him, but disappointed he didn't get that no-hitter."

    Hill (9-5), also lost his first game in his last nine starts as he allowed just one run on one hit with 10 strikeouts and no walks.

    "It falls on me," Hill shockingly said of the loss. "I made one bad pitch. Late in the game like that, you need to make better pitches."

    Early in the game, the Dodgers defense had Hill's back with some spectacular diving catches by veterans Adrian Gonzalez and Chase Utley.

    Despite the loss, Hill's performance was one of the most impressive performances by a starting pitcher in a losing effort that you'll ever see. 

    Pirates stater, Trevor Williams, matched zeroes with Hill early in the game, as he was also stellar on the night, throwing eight shutout innings of his own.

    "It's disappointing when you make one bad pitch, but those guys played a really good game too," Hill said of Williams and the Pirates. "They pitched their tail off and made a lot of plays."

    On the bright side, Corey Seager went 3-for-5 and extended his hitting streak to 12-games.

    The game marked the 300th of Seager's career, and added to his record for most hits in franchise history (364) by a player in their first 300 career games.

    The previous record was held by Dodgers catcher Mike Piazza.

    "That was a tough game," said Dodgers' catcher Austin Barnes who called the game and caught Hill all night long. "Especially the way it ended. We just didn't come through for him offensively. He deserved it and it hurts."

    He's right. Hill deserved better.

    Up Next:

    The finale of the four-game series takes place on Thursday afternoon as LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu heads to the mound for the Dodgers opposite RHP Chad Kuhl. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 PM PST.

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