Hill spins a gem in final NLDS tuneup

Hill spins a gem in final NLDS tuneup

LOS ANGELES -- Rich Hill is ready for the postseason.

The left-hander turned in seven scoreless innings, reaching double-digit strikeouts for the third time this season while holding the Padres to two hits in a 10-0 victory on Wednesday night at Dodger Stadium in his final outing before an expected start in Game 3 of the National League Division Series presented by T-Mobile.

The Dodgers' $48 million investment rarely ran into any trouble against the Padres, fanning 10 and retiring nine of the 10 first batters he faced, setting the pace for an easy outing.

"It was a good night for Rich," manager Dave Roberts said.

Roberts on Hill's command

During his first eight outings of the season, Hill went through a tough stretch. The 37-year-old lacked command, consistently ran into high pitch counts en route to posting a 3-3 record, allowing 20 runs to go along with 23 walks to the tune of a 5.14 ERA.

Like rotation-mate Yu Darvish, Hill worked with pitching coach Rick Honeycutt to fix his delivery. Now, those troubles are all behind him, just in time for October. Hill has been dominant in September, sporting a 1.93 ERA and 39 strikeouts in 28 innings.

"Complete command," Roberts said about Hill's outing. "Throwing the ball all over the plate, life to the fastball. Breaking ball had the right shape. It was fun. He was pretty much stress-free all night. For that to be his last start going into the postseason, it's pretty exciting."

Hill will throw a simulated game or a bullpen session between starts to stay sharp, Roberts said. Regardless, Hill feels he'll be ready for October.

"I think just all comes down to effort and the way you go about your business," Hill said about preparing for the postseason. "It doesn't matter when the game is or when the next outing is for me. It's just keeping that effort consistent and that intensity consistent."

Joshua Thornton is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.