Dodgers News: Walker Buehler Confident ‘Strikeouts Will Come’
Walker Buehler
Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports

After dropping the final two games in their series with the Atlanta Braves last week, the Los Angeles Dodgers returned to the win column against the Pittsburgh Pirates behind some timely hitting in the middle innings and another solid start from Walker Buehler.

The right-hander tossed seven scoreless frames despite not having his best swing-and-miss stuff, finishing with a season-low two strikeouts. He nonetheless held the Pirates to just two hits and matched that total by going 2-for-3 at the plate.

“It’s an interesting one. When you don’t punch many guys out, you feel like you should probably give up a bunch of hits,” Buehler said. “Got kind of fortunate that way as well. Just a weird one.

“I think I tried to attack and get ahead. I got behind on a few guys and they got some good swings off, but for the most part I kind of settled in and felt pretty comfortable. We think the strikeouts will come and I’m working on things all the time.”

Buehler’s strikeout totals have been a talking point seemingly after each start this season. He began to see an increase in late April and into May, but has been inconsistent since.

“I don’t necessarily think that I’ve always tried to punch guys out at a crazy rate,” Buehler said. “I think when I was young I probably tried to throw every pitch as hard as I could for a long time. Being here for a little bit now, I think getting deep into games, trying to save the bullpen and things like that are more important to me as a starting pitcher.

“I’m proud of that kind of stuff. I would love to punch guys out, but seven innings is seven innings for me, and I’m happy that way.”

Buehler worked around his lack of strikeouts by pitching to soft contact against the Pirates and retired the final 13 batters faced. “They put it in play and the defense played well,” he said.

“Obviously got lucky there in the first and kind of went from there. Defense played well. They got the guys out for me. Kind of an interesting one and little different for me than usual, but happy to win.”

Roberts: Buehler start vs. Pirates ‘one of his best’ all season

Despite his low strikeout total, Roberts felt Buehler’s start against the Pirates was one of his top performances of the season. “I think it was probably one of the best ones he’s thrown this year for us,” Roberts said.

“The efficiency, getting ahead of guys, using his entire mix, a lot of soft contact. There was some humidity out there, but he wasn’t fazed.

“I could’ve pushed him a little bit more but I felt seven shutout innings was plenty. Like I said I felt it was one of his better starts of the year.”

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