In his first outing of the month on July 1st against the San Diego Padres, Hill tossed 7.0 innings of shutout ball with a season-best 11 strikeouts, limiting the Padres to just four hits and one walk on only 92 pitches. The impressive start was his first scoreless outing on the season after logging five such starts last year between Oakland and Los Angeles. On July 6th against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium, Hill notched nine strikeouts without issuing a walk over 7.0 frames. The 13-year-veteran limited the opposition to just two hits and one earned run. Over the course of his dominant month, Hill did not allow more than two runs in any start and reached the 5.0-inning mark in each outing. Across his last seven starts dating back to June 21st, Rich has compiled a 6-1 record with a 1.88 ERA and 55 strikeouts over 43.0 innings pitched. During his hot stretch on the mound, the University of Michigan product held opponents to a .175 batting average on just 27 hits. An integral part of the pitching staff, Hill has helped the Dodgers enter play today with the lowest team ERA (3.08) in the Majors.
Starting pitcher Aaron Nola (3-1, 1.32 ERA, 34.0 IP, 43 SO) of the Philadelphia Phillies also posted a strong month. In seven starts from June 22nd-July 26th, Nola recorded at least seven strikeouts in each start, becoming the first Phillies pitcher to do so since Curt Schilling in 1998 (March 31st-May 7th). The seventh overall selection in the 2014 MLB Draft logged at least 6.0 innings in each start during his excellent month, limiting the opposition to two runs-or-fewer in each outing. Others receiving votes for NL Pitcher of the Month included Hill's Dodger teammate and three-time NL Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw (3-0, 0.72 ERA, 1 CG, 33 SO); 2017 All-Star Zack Greinke (4-0, 2.12 ERA, 34.0 IP, 33 SO) of the Diamondbacks; Lance Lynn (3-1, 1.47 ERA, 36.2 IP, 24 SO) and Michael Wacha (4-1, 1.93 ERA, 1 CG, 1 SHO) of the St. Louis Cardinals; Brent Suter (2-0, 1.50 ERA, 30.0 IP, 25 SO) of the Milwaukee Brewers; Gio Gonzalez (2-3, 2.14 ERA, 42.0 IP, 37 SO) of the Washington Nationals; and Jhoulys Chacin (4-0, 2.51 ERA, 28.2 IP, 25
SO) of the Padres.
In recognition of their Pitcher of the Month Awards, James Paxton and Rich Hill will each receive a specially designed trophy, suitably engraved, for their accomplishments.