Dodgers Spring Training: Walker Buehler Takes Start Against A’s In Stride
Walker Buehler, 2020 Spring Training
Rick Scuteri/USA TODAY Sports

One day after Clayton Kershaw struck out four against the San Francisco Giants, Walker Buehler was scheduled to become the next Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher to log three innings of work in Cactus League play.

Buehler was sharp in his 2020 debut, working two perfect inning against the Colorado Rockies. However, he labored during stretches of Thursday’s outing and fell short of reaching the targeted goal.

Buehler threw 50 pitches over 2.1 innings and exited with the Dodgers facing a 1-0 deficit. A second run was charged to Buehler on Mark Canha’s sacrifice fly against Parker Curry.

The uneven performance in a 5-1 loss to the Oakland Athletics was not something Buehler was overly concerned by as he identified what led to trouble, via Ken Gurnick of

“Feel healthy. Just got to keep going,” said Buehler, who allowed a home run to Matt Chapman, one of three hits along with a pair of walks and two strikeouts in 50 pitches. “Got in some bad counts, feel like I made some good pitches and some bad ones. Too many hittable pitches. Nothing I have to go back to the drawing board [about]. My velocity was a little bit down. Second outing, one more than all last spring.”

Buehler has already tied his career high for most starts in Spring Training, which he originally set in 2018. Shoulder/arm trouble limited him to just one Cactus League outing last year, and it later was attributed to a shaky start to the regular season.

He adjusted his routine over the winter by continuously throwing leading up to Spring Training. Buehler took the approach in part because of a conversation with Washington Nationals ace Max Scherzer during the 2019 MLB All-Star Game.

Prior to starting a game, Buehler threw multiple rounds of live batting practice at Camelback Ranch, with one of those sessions stretching to a third inning.

“I think that Walker feels that if he’s facing hitters, it brings out more of his edge and focus,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts explained. “Just to do the ‘pens, versus the lives, and then get into a game, that’s just what he wants. Every pitcher is different. With Walker, it might be this way this year and next year it could be completely different.

“I guess if you look at everyone else (three innings is aggressive) but it’s not a game. He just faced one hitter, I think threw three or four pitches in that third inning.”

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