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Chronicling Walker Buehler’s 13th Career start vs. Astros

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.

August 5th, 2018

Season statistics coming into the game: (4-4, 3.65 ERA)
Season statistics after the game: (5-4, 3.63 ERA)
The Opponent: Houston Astros (71-42)
Stadium: Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles

Days of Rest: Five
Catcher: Yasmani Grandal

Game Results

Innings Pitched: 5.1
Earned Runs: 2
Hits: 4
Home Runs: 2
Strikeouts: 8
Walks: 2
Pitch Count: 91

Batters Faced: 23
Baseball-Reference Game Score: 58

Dodgers 3, Astros 2 (Box Score)

Buehler Notable Quotes

“It was 96 (miles per hour), and it was down and he clipped it” – Buehler on the lead off home run to George Springer.

Performance

The Astros had the best record (71-41) of any team that Buehler has earned a win against. He beat Gerrit Cole who entered the game with a 10-3 record – and Cole had a game score of 50 compared to Buehler’s 58.

In terms of stuff – I felt like Buehler displayed as good of velocity and breaking balls as he’s displayed all season. After the home run to Springer he attacked aggressively, getting 10 swing and misses. He sat in the upper 90’s and appeared to be incredibly confident in throwing his entire repertoire of pitches.

Something else to note: he was pitching inside and owning the inner-half of the plate. This led to Buehler hitting two batters, neither of which resulted in a run. There’s a fine line when a pitcher has the kind of stuff Buehler has. If he has the willingness to throw inside and send the message to hitters that he will not concede the inner-half; it serves to his benefit. On Sunday, I loved seeing that from Buehler.

The Highs

After allowing a home run to Springer, he gave up just three more hits. One was a home run to Tony Kemp. Marwin Gonzalez and Alex Bregman scattered singles and were left stranded.

The high-point came in the top of the fourth inning. Buehler struck out Tyler White and J.D. Davis in succession with two runners on and the Dodgers leading 3-1. This was a prime example of when Buehler needs his strikeout pitch, he’s got plenty of it.

Eight strikeouts to just two walks is a ratio you’ll take in any start.

The Lows

  • Buehler hit two batters (and nearly a third in Springer)- hopefully he continues to pitch inside without actually drilling guys.
  • Allowed two home runs to Springer and Kemp.
  • Fell short of a quality start by two outs – Dave Roberts elected to go to Dylan Floro after Buehler allowed a double to Bregman and a walk to Gonzalez despite a pitch count of 91.

Analysis

In a weird way, this was my favorite Buehler start of 2018. Sure, it wasn’t his prettiest stat line. However, Buehler took the ball against the ace of a great opposing team. With the Dodgers in a little bit of a skid, he was commanding and at times dominant. The offense didn’t give him a ton of run support – but three was just enough with the stuff Buehler brought to Chavez Ravine on getaway day. After nice assistance from the bullpen, Buehler earns his fifth win of the year. It’s no small footnote that he’s now 1-0 lifetime against the Houston Astros. Something tells me that their paths will cross once again.

[button color=”yellow” size=”big” alignment=”center” rel=”follow” openin=”samewindow” url=”https://www.dodgersnation.com/game-recap-machado-rakes-and-buehler-deals-in-win-bs0193/2018/08/06/”]Machado Rakes, Buehler Deals in Dodgers Win Over Houston[/button]

Written by Clint Evans

Clint lives in Ohio, and played collegiate baseball. He loves the Dodgers due to his first memories of Chavez Ravine when he was nine years old. The voice of Vin Scully has been a staple in his life since he was a kid. No amount of baseball talk is ever enough, and he wishes the regular season was year round. He has written about baseball online since 2007.

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