Dodgers News: Walker Buehler Relieved To Feel ‘More Like Myself’
Walker Buehler
Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY Sports

Falling behind other starters during Summer Camp, Walker Buehler spent his first four outings this season working to iron out various kinks. Buehler showed flashes of his usual form but struggled to pitch with any sort of consistency.

Just over one week ago Los Angeles Dodgers manager pointed to Friday’s start against the Colorado Rockies as the game Buehler would put it all together. The right-hander made his manager look prophetic with six dominant innings.

Buehler didn’t allow a baserunner until Charlie Blackmon’s two-out single in the fourth inning. He held a potent Rockies lineup to just one run and set a season high with 11 strikeouts.

“There was just a lot better command and landing some breaking balls. Obviously we know how talented that team is over there. We play them a lot, we know a lot about them, they know a lot about us. To get going against them, I felt good about it,” Buehler said.

He’d previously voiced frustration with ongoing consistency and after facing the L.A. Angels said a shift in philosophy was likely needed. Buehler’s performance against the Rockies brought about a sigh of relief.

“Outside of the baseball stuff, just kind of tired of being s—-y, to be honest,” he said. “I don’t really know how else to say it, so I’m sorry for the language. I’m kind of tired of it. Trying to salvage the fastball, land some breaking balls, and I think from there things kind of flow. Definitely felt more like myself.”

Although Buehler didn’t earn a decision until Friday, the Dodgers are 4-1 in his starts this season. “First and foremost, having a team like we do can kind of help you in that regard,” he said of avoiding significant pressure mounting. “You don’t feel like you’re ruining everything.

“I think it definitely would be harder to struggle on a bad team. I don’t think there was anything crazy or otherworldly with the way I felt walking into the stadium. I just felt better and more confident, locked in and all those cliche terms you want to throw out there. Just glad it went the way it went, we put up some runs and that gave me a cushion to be aggressive. It worked out in our favor.”

Watching Kershaw

The Dodgers starting rotation undeniably is led by Clayton Kershaw and Buehler, and the past two games served as another reminder of how formidable the duo can be. Kershaw himself had 11 strikeouts Thursday, also setting a season high.

“I think any game that he pitches there’s stuff that all of us that are younger can pick up on. His aggressiveness, his ability to own the 0-0 count, throw his other stuff anytime he wants and kind of do what he wants with it,” Buehler said of following the longtime ace.

“I don’t know if it’s necessarily watching him do it. I think he’s proven he’s one of the best ever and does those things how you’re supposed to. But I think reminding yourself that’s how it’s supposed to be done is a big thing. It’s a step forward and we’ll try to keep building from here.”

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