The Los Angeles Dodgers didn’t put forth their best offensive performance, but nonetheless began their final homestand of the regular season with a 2-1 win over the San Diego Padres.
Walker Buehler entered the night with a 7.32 ERA over four starts in September, but looked more like the pitcher that helped carry the staff for most of the year, tossing seven scoreless innings and allowing only three hits.
Buehler struck out five batters in the outing, increasing his total to 201 on the season. The seven innings he logged also puts him at 202.2, which is a new career high.
“Not right now. Probably something after the season that I’ll look back and feel some pride on,” Buehler answered when asked if the milestones mean anything to him. “Hopefully early in November I’ll look back on it.
“That’s kind of what I’ve been talking about all year, is trying to go deep into games and perform. Those two numbers together are something I’m definitely proud of.
“I think it’s a big thing for me as a starting pitcher to have a year like that. It’s something I obviously want to do again and keep doing. The 200-inning mark is a special thing for starting pitchers.”
Buehler became just the fourth pitcher to reach the 200 innings threshold this season, joining Zack Wheeler (213.1 innings), Adam Wainwright (206.1) and Sandy Alcantara (200.2). The accomplishment has become somewhat rare in recent years, but Buehler couldn’t quite state how difficult it is.
“Obviously I’ve never done it before,” he began. “It’s weird because it used to kind of be the norm and used to be what all the starting pitchers did. It’s been a goal of mine for a long time and it’s just one of those things that’s hard to put into words because you’re doing it over 32 or 33 starts.
“It’s not one bad inning that gets you out early, it’s that over 33 times and something that you try to build to. I think it’s a big thing for me and a point of pride. It says a lot to our medical staff and strength and conditioning staff to be able to get there.”
Dodgers’ position in National League West race unchanged
Although the Dodgers hung on for a win against the Padres, they remain two games behind the San Francisco Giants in the National League West following their victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Should L.A. wind up in the Wild Card Game, they would host the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday, Oct. 6.
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