Dodgers Nation will be following Walker Buehler’s starts as he seeks to be the next elite Dodgers pitcher. The Dodgers have a history of dominant players on the mound from Sandy Koufax to Don Drysdale to Clayton Kershaw. As a former first round pick and a highly touted prospect, Buehler looks to be the next big thing in Los Angeles. All we can do is relax and enjoy the show.
July 13th, 2018
Season statistics coming into the game: (4-2, 3.44 ERA)
Season statistics after the game: (4-2, 3.45 ERA)
The Opponent: Los Angeles Angels
Stadium: Dodgers Stadium
Days of Rest: 15
Catcher: Yasmani Grandal
Innings Pitched: 5
Earned Runs: 2
Home Runs: 2
Pitch Count: 79
Batters Faced: 22
MLB.com Game Score: 43
Walker Buehler pitched decently well in his tenth career start facing the Los Angeles Angels on Friday night. The Angels have had a moderately successful season in 2018 coming into the game with a winning 48-46 record. Unfortunately for the Angels, the AL West boasts one of the toughest divisions with the Houston Astros, Seattle Mariners, Oakland A’s, Los Angeles Angels, and Texas Rangers combining to post a Major League best .553 winning percentage.
Buehler struggled mightily in his last appearance on June 28th, allowing five hits and five earned runs in only one inning of relief work coming back from the DL against the Chicago Cubs. Tonight’s game was won by the Dodgers 3-2. Buehler completed the game with a no-decision as the Dodgers rallied in the 7th inning and scored 2 runs to erase the potential loss Buehler would have incurred as he left the game down 1-2.
Walker Buehler started the game in troubling fashion allowing two consecutive hits. However, with runners on first and third with one out, he sparkled in classic Buehler fashion by striking out the next two batters to escape the inning. The Dodger’s Max Muncy would give Buehler the early lead of 1-0 with a first inning solo homer. However, the Angel’s right fielder, Kole Calhoun, got the best of Buehler’s aggressive, high velocity approach by hitting two home runs in back-to-back at bats. The first homer allowed was an elevated 95 MPH fastball on the inner part of the plate that Calhoun squared up in the 3rd inning. The second was a hanging 88 MPH change-up on the inner part of the plate that was driven on a line to left field in the 5th inning. Other than these two mistakes, Buehler looked sharp locating his fastball down and on the corners most of the night.
Calhoun strikes again in the 5th. A second solo shot, gives #Angels a 2-1 lead.
— Alanna Rizzo (@alannarizzo) July 14, 2018
Buehler continued to show the same moxie he has shown all season by getting out of jams using his electric fastball to get hitters to chase off the plate. The first, second, and third inning all involved base traffic and high leverage situations in which he routinely found a way to get out of the inning. And as has already been mentioned, Buehler located his fastball excellently at the bottom of the zone and even got a few kind calls by the plate umpire.
Buehler’s most obvious blunders on the night were his two solo home runs given up to free-swinger, Kole Calhoun. Both pitches were high and inside, a devastating mistake to someone with as much raw power as Calhoun who lives for that pitch. Furthermore, Buehler was privy to a few bloated pitch counts on a few innings due to hits allowed combined with an unusually high number of 2-2 and 3-2 counts.
It was not a necessarily poor outing by any stretch for Buehler as he did his job as a starter. He kept the boys in blue in the game. It would have been nice for him to have made it at least to the 6th inning. Although it is very likely that his pitch count was being watched very closely due to a recent DL stint. This start was definitely something to build off of as Buehler is coming off the worst appearance of his career. On June 28th he was slammed around in an inning of work against the Chicago Cubs to the tune of 5 hits and 5 ER. The Dodgers are in dire need for Buehler to remain healthy and effective over the second half of the season. This start should give Roberts and Buehler alike confidence going into the all-star break that more of what we have seen already is to come down the stretch.
[button color=”red” size=”big” alignment=”center” rel=”follow” openin=”samewindow” url=”https://www.dodgersnation.com/dodgers-nation-poll-results-approval-ratings-rise-for-starting-pitchers-jw0692/2018/07/11/”]Approval Ratings Rise for SPs[/button]