The Pittsburgh Pirates are looking at Hill to not only eat innings but also to be an example and potentially a mentor for many of the young arms. Of course, until the Trade Deadline at least. Hill, a crafty lefty, will most likely have a playoff team or two looking to bring him in. Especially if he keeps up what he did after the first inning against the Reds.
Hill would go on to get through 5 complete innings, something that has become rare for the Pirates starters. Also, he was able to strike out 7 hitters in those innings, showing he still has a devastating breaking pitch. He actually only conceded 3 total hits in his 5 innings of work.
It will be interesting to see if Rich Hill will be consistent with a few different things this year. One being whether or not he will continue to strike out more than a batter per innings if he does then that is great heading toward the Trade Deadline. The other question is whether or not the first-inning woes against the Reds will be something of a theme for Hill. While both home runs were very much aided by the ballpark they were runs nonetheless.
So what should we make of Rich Hill's first start? It was solid above all else. He gave up some runs in the first but kept the opposing team off the scoreboard for most of the game. The Pittsburgh Pirates offense did not help the cause much, which is going to need to happen in Hill's starts. He is not a dominant ace, he is a 43-year-old pitcher here to eat innings effectively, he did that Saturday.