In similar fashion to Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler got off to an inconsistent start this season. Both pitchers didn’t have much of a Spring Training because of separate arm issues, and each began to find their rhythm with every outing.
For Buehler, he entered Sunday’s series finale against the San Francisco Giants having allowed one earned run in two of his past three starts. The one exception was a rocky performance in which Buehler allowed five runs to the New York Mets in just five innings.
He erased the memory of that outing by setting a season high with 11 strikeouts over eight dominant innings against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Buehler was pitted opposite longtime ace Madison Bumgarner in his matchup with the Giants.
He rose to the challenge by firing seven shutout innings, complete with nine strikeouts. Following the Dodgers’ 1-0 win, Buehler noted he’s pleased with his current stretch, via SportsNet LA:
“To be honest with you, I’ve been feeling pretty good since well before that. I think that (Mets game) was just kind of a bad outing for me, which will happen. Obviously, five (runs) in five (innings) isn’t good enough when I’m not feeling right. I’ve got to be better than that; sometimes you feel A, B, C and so on. I’ve been feeling pretty good. I just think that one got away from me a little bit and this one got me back on track.”
Buehler largely cruised through his start at Oracle Park, and when he did face trouble, received help from Justin Turner.
After allowing consecutive base hits to put runners at the corners with nobody out in the sixth, Turner fielded a one-hopper and threw home to start a rundown. Buehler retired the next two batters faced to keep the Dodgers’ lead intact.
Overall this season, the right-hander is now 7-1 with a 3.35 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, and 78 strikeouts against 13 walks over 75.1 innings pitched. Buehler has logged at least six innings in six of his past seven starts.