Since his debut back in 2017, Walker Buehler has been one of the most electric young arms in the league. This year has been no different has he now carries a perfect 7-0 record in 14 starts with a 2.38 ERA.
He secured that 7th win and his 23rd consecutive start without a loss that dates back to September 21, 2019. Not only that but Buehler also flirted with a spot in baseball history as he took a no hitter against the Diamondbacks into the 8th inning. Unfortunately, a leadoff David Peralta single ended the no hit bid and Buehler was removed from the game two batters later.
After the game, Dave Roberts spoke about how he was ready to let Buehler go the distance if the no hitter was kept intact despite his already high pitch count.
“I was gonna ride him. I just think that the pitch count is one thing but I think when you peel back a layer, it’s stress of innings and there wasn’t any stress, and he was repeating his delivery – he was locating his stuff, so I was going to see it through. I wanted it for him.”
Not only did Doc want it for him, but so did Chase Field which was made up almost entirely of Dodger fans. The entire stadium was a sea of blue that was cheering on the 26-year old right-hander from the get go.
However, Roberts’ remarks about letting Walker stay in to finish the no hitter seems to go against certain moves he’s made in the past. In fact, Dave was questioned about what made this different since he has a history of pulling pitchers with no hitters.
“It’s a narrative that obviously gained a lot of traction. You get a guy that’s never gone in the seventh inning, coming off of Tommy John, making his first start, never threw more than eight something, eighty six pitches. There’s another guy with a blister that there’s blood on the baseball so, I just don’t think that you can – they’re all the same and today, where he was at, the stress of innings, it just made sense. And after if it would have went through the eighth inning, we would have saw, kind of read and react at that point.”
Of course, Dave is mentioning Ross Stripling’s attempt against the Giants during his debut, and Rich Hill’s against the Marlins after being traded to LA from the A’s. While both were pulled early, they may have been the right moves for each player at the time. Buehler was different, and although his career high pitches in a game is 117, Roberts was willing to let him go to around 125 to secure his date with history.
Sadly he wasn’t able to get the job done, but he did do enough to secure another Dodger win and move the team within 1.5 games of the Giants for the division lead.