Walker Buehler was named National League Pitcher of the Month for July, becoming the first Los Angeles Dodgers hurler to receive the honor since Hyun-Jin Ryu in May 2019.
The Dodgers did have AJ Pollock and Chris Taylor both earn NL Player of the Week honors in July. Pollock put together an impressive four-week stretch, but NL Player of the Month went to the Cincinnati Reds’ Joey Votto.
As for Buehler, his July entailed going 3-0 with a 1.67 ERA and 0.90 WHIP over five starts. The right-hander collected 38 strikeouts over 32.1 innings pitched across those outings. Buehler additionally went at least seven innings in three of the starts.
Buehler’s first start in July was a bit of a struggle as he allowed four runs (three earned) on five hits and managed to go just five innings in a no-decision against the Miami Marlins. It marked the first time this season he didn’t pitch at least six innings.
Buehler bounced back from the shaky performance to allow a combined three runs throughout his next four starts in July; two of those were scoreless efforts. Furthermore, Buehler twice pitched well against the San Francisco Giants as the Dodgers continued to trail in the National League West standings.
Although Buehler has an electric fastball and sharp slider to complement it, he recently has begun incorporating a changeup as well. The usage this season is a minuscule 2.46% but represents its highest mark since the 2018 season (3.8%).
“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 last week.
“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.”
Next for Buehler
After the Dodgers went 3-3 on their road trip, they return to Dodger Stadium on Tuesday for the start of a two-game series against the Houston Astros.
Buehler takes the mound in the series opener, followed by Max Scherzer making his Dodgers debut the next night.
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