With the Los Angeles Dodgers looking to bounce back from a deflating loss and three in a row to the San Francisco Giants, Walker Buehler once again answered the bell with a dominant outing in an 8-0 victory.
In his fifth time facing the Giants this season, Buehler collected eight strikeouts and scattered three hits over seven shutout innings. The start came on his birthday, which Buehler has now done three times in his career.
The right-hander allowed a combined nine runs (six earned) on 11 hits over nine innings in his first two birthday starts. “I think this is the first time it’s ever gone well,” Buehler said after blanking the Giants.
“I think I’ve given up about a run an inning before tonight, so glad to get a good one on my birthday finally.”
Part of Buehler’s success on Wednesday night stemmed from mixing his pitches, which included twice throwing a changeup. That tied a season high for number of times he’s thrown a changeup n a single start this season.
“Just trying to keep working on what I do and go implement that any way I can. The changeup has been a little bit of a new wrinkle that we’ve added in and I think it’s helping a lot,” Buehler said.
“I think trying to keep guys off base, strike guys out here and there, and be efficient is the thing for me. I don’t care if they swing and miss 80 times. As long as there’s zeros I’m pretty happy.”
Roberts details Buehler’s changeup development
Buehler’s changeup usage this season is a minuscule 2.6% but incorporating it has given opponents an additional pitch to plan for to some degree.
“I think it’s just something that is in the lane of the fastball and cutter,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “I think he was tinkering with it about four starts ago. Maybe in a ‘pen before that, so you’re looking at about a month ago.
“He just had the confidence to put it into a game and got a couple awkward swings. From that point on it just built confidence. He throws it a handful of times; I thought the one to Wade was exceptional. It’s just another toy he’s got in his bag.”
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