Everyone wanted to be studly, but these three men shared the award Wednesday night. Trevor Williams threw eight shutout innings at the best team in baseball. Rich Hill threw a
perfect game no-hitter through nine. Ultimately, it was the diminutive Pirates’ second baseman Josh Harrison who led off the bottom of the tenth inning with a solo homerun, his career best 16th, to give the Pirates an intensely fought 1-0 victory.
Hill was nearly perfect, mowing down the Pirates with a minimum of pitches, frequently catching batters looking at 89 mph fastballs for strike three.
Josh Bell nearly beat out a slow grounder to first base, but replay overturned the safe call, showing the Hill had tagged Bell just before reaching the base. Chris Stewart lined out to left field with one out in the second. Starling Marte smacked a grounder at 105 in the seventh, but right to second baseman Chase Utley, who was again tested and shone bright diving full out to snare Bell’s line drive in the eighth.
Meanwhile Williams kept putting up zeroes. He scattered seven hits and four walks in his eight innings, the longest outing of his career, and was aided by two ground ball double plays. With Williams done after 114 pitches, Felipe Rivero then pitched an easy ninth.
The perfect game was lost on the first batter in the bottom of the ninth when third baseman Logan Forsythe, subbing for Justin Turner, booted Jordy Mercer’s grounder. Chris Stewart bunted Mercer to second, but Hill induced soft groundouts from both pinch-hitter Jose Osuna and Marte.
After Juan Nicasio breezed through the tenth, Hill came back out for extras, having only thrown 95 pitches in regulation. Two and a half hours of tension exploded when Harrison drove an 2-1 fastball over the inner third of the plate high and deep to left. Dodger’s outfielder Curtis Granderson looked as though he attempted to run through the outfield wall to make the catch, but as he bounced off the padding and lay on the warning track, the ball was in the second row - the round-tripper ending the game in a 1-0 victory for the hometeam Pirates.
Hill walked none and struck out ten as everyone except Harrison went oh-for-the-night.
The series concludes Thursday afternoon with Hyun-jin Ryu facing Chad Kuhl.