Dodgers News: Walker Buehler Took ‘Step Forward’ But Still Seeks Improvements

The Los Angeles Dodgers appeared on their way to getting back in the win column but squandered a late lead to the Chicago Cubs and were swept for the first time this season.

One bright spot from the loss was that Walker Buehler turned in another efficient start. In six innings of work, he allowed just two runs on five hits with eight strikeouts and no walks.

“I think I located my fastball decently, slider was better,” Buehler said of his outing. “Step forward for me, but I’ve got to be cleaner late, stay in later. So that’s a problem for me.”

Buehler cruised early on before running into some trouble in the fifth when he allowed a game-tying two-home run to Jake Marisnick. The 30-year-old outfielder jumped on a first-pitch cutter that clocked in at 91 mph.

Buehler’s cutter velocity this season is right in line with his career average, but his fastball thus far has declined slightly and only improved recently. “I kind of miss it being harder, but I threw it fine today,” Buehler said.

“I think for me, there was one pitch I kind of regret and didn’t like, but I feel pretty good about it otherwise.”

Despite his fastball velocity not being where he wants it, Buehler has still put up solid numbers to this point. Through six starts, he’s 1-0 with a 3.13 ERA, 3.00 FIP and 0.94 WHIP with 39 strikeouts against two walks in 37.1 innings pitched.

Roberts: Dodgers must close out winnable games

In the wake of back-to-back extra-inning losses, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts stated the team must do a better job at closing out winnable games. “Certainly, you can look back at the game and there’s certain things that we should’ve won that game in nine innings,” he said.

“I thought Walker was outstanding. Left a cutter up to Marisnick and he put a good swing on it. But outside of that, he was dominant. Up to that point we were in a great spot.”

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