Red Sox: Rich Hill honors late father by pitching on Marathon Monday
Rich Hill pitches with heavy heart following his father’s passing
Marathon Monday meant a little more this year to Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Rich Hill. The left-hander took the mound at Fenway Park on Patriots’ Day, just three days after his 94 year-old father, Lloyd Hill Sr., passed away.
"“Yeah, it’s been, you know, it’s gonna be a long week. It was a tough weekend. But the job is to be a professional and show up and, you know, no matter what circumstances there are outside of the clubhouse, or outside of the lines, that you show up and you’re a pro and that’s something,” an emotional Hill cracked via NESN, “that I learned from my dad.”"
On Monday, Hill became the first Massachusetts native to be the starting pitching for the Red Sox on Patriots’ Day. Pitching in his first home start since 2015, he threw 80 pitches in 4 2/3 innings while giving up 4 runs, 6 hits in which 2 were home runs, 2 walks, and 2 strikeouts in the 8-3 loss to the Minnesota Twins.
It wasn’t the storybook pitching line Hill or the Red Sox were looking for, but he did stay in the game longer than originally anticipated, especially after how the first three innings played out.
"“… For him to give us 4 2/3 (innings) the way it started was great. And everybody is proud of him in this clubhouse,” Cora said, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. “I told him, ‘Thank you for competing, we’re very proud of you and go get them the next time.’ ”"
The Milton native wanted to honor his dad the only way he knew how. That was to compete and never give up on his teammates.
From manager Alex Cora, to his teammates, to the Fenway faithful, the 42 year-old showed us all how proud he was today to be a Boston Red Sox. He grinded through those innings to reach the 5th just so the bullpen wouldn’t have to work extra hard a day before an important series against the AL East leading Toronto Blue Jays.
The competitiveness and passion Hill showed on the mound under the circumstances resonated with his teammates.
"“Of course, we feel sad for him,” said Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers, via Ian Browne. “He’s a really good competitor and he did a tremendous job out there today. We feel really proud of him and the way he pitched today.”"
It was fitting that Hill was scheduled to pitch on Marathon Monday, the same week his father passed away. According to Chris Cotillio of MassLive, Cora originally wanted to avoid throwing Hill on Monday because he thought the 11:10 a.m. start time might be tough for the oldest pitcher in the majors to accommodate to. Hill was not going to have any of that. He knew his father would of wanted him to pitch. After all, Lloyd was an avid participant in the Boston Marathon, running in a total of 37 races.
Hill told CBS Boston News earlier this week that he plans to run the Marathon in his father’s honor one day.
I have no doubt in my mind that his teammates will support him throughout that journey just as he supported them all today.