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.
June 2, 2018
Season statistics coming into the game: (3-1, 2.20 ERA)
Season statistics after the game: (3-1, 2.74 ERA)
The Opponent: Colorado Rockies
Stadium: Coors Field
Days of Rest: 5
Catcher: Yasmani Grandal
Innings Pitched: 5
Earned Runs: 4
Home Runs: 0
Pitch Count: 84
Batters Faced: 24
Game Score: 40
Walker Buehler came into his eighth career start having already faced the Rockies five other times in his career. He faced them once earlier this year at Dodgers Stadium allowing a run in seven innings. His two previous outings at Coors Field took place last year as Buehler came out of the bullpen. He allowed a total of two runs in three innings at Colorado.
For only the second time this year, Buehler allowed more than two runs in a start. He struggled early on with his fastball command, allowing all four of his runs in the second inning. Compared to his other starts this season, he looked overmatched, especially by the top of the Rockies lineup. He got in and out of trouble multiple times and did not throw a 1-2-3 inning until his final inning of work, the fifth inning. His game score of 40 matched his season low.
Buehler is done for the night: pic.twitter.com/bJAMNv3Rbs
— Alanna Rizzo (@alannarizzo) June 3, 2018
Despite his struggles on the mound, Buehler’s fastball velocity remained in the high 90s throughout his start. He also got into a groove as the game progressed. He allowed only one hit in his final three innings of work.
Pitching in Colorado, we did not expect Buehler to pitch a complete game shutout. He kept the Dodgers in the game while lasting five innings and allowed the offense to pounce on Rockies bullpen.
Buehler’s struggles came in the fourth innings. He threw 33 pitches that inning as he got knocked around, allowing four runs on five hits while facing all nine batters. He nearly allowed a run earlier in the first inning but got bailed out by an outfield assist by Matt Kemp.
Buehler also did not have swing-and-miss stuff as he struck out only two batters. This marked the first time this year he struck out less than five batters. He struggled with his command walking two batters and hitting another.
With a game score of 40, Buehler’s start against the Rockies was arguably his worst of his young career. Although he struggled, he limited the damage to the second inning where he allowed four runs. He improved his command as the game progressed while keeping his velocity. Even in a game where he was pitching in a hitter’s ballpark and where he did not have his best performance, he kept the game in reach. The offense came through and most importantly, the Dodgers picked up the win.
Buehler’s next projected start will be against the Atlanta Braves at Dodgers Stadium next weekend.
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