Rich Hill did what he could to keep the Red Sox in the game against the Cubs on Friday, even tumbling while making a play at first base.
When Hill threw his first pitch to Wilson Contreras, he knew something was wrong right away. The 42-year-old remained in the game but was removed after hitting a batter, issuing a walk and giving up a single. The Red Sox called it a left knee sprain for Hill.
After the game, the right-hander said he should have come out when first felt the pop.
“I just felt a pop in my knee. I feel stupid for staying in, to be honest with you,” Hill told reporters, per MLB.com’s Ian Browne. “Stubborn. I put us in a really bad position. … I thought it was going to be just kind of a little tweak or whatever and pitch through it. But we?ll find out what the extent of what?s going on in the next couple of days.
Hill is no stranger to knee issues, suffering an MCL injury in 2019 while a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
“I’ve had some MCL issues before, in 2019,” Hill said. “But I thought this might be something breaking up or some scar tissue or something like that. In the heat of the moment, being out there and competing, it was something that I thought I could pitch through.”
At the end of the day, Hill did his job and the bullpen imploded and could not hold on to a lead.
It’s unclear if Hill will miss any amount of time. But if he does, Chris Sale’s return is on the horizon. Sale will pitch for Triple-A Worcester on Wednesday in what could be his final rehab start. Should Hill make a trip to the injured list, the Red Sox could slot Sale in his place.