Phillies Vs. Dodgers Game Preview: Walker Buehler Starts In Place Of Clayton Kershaw

The Los Angeles Dodgers dropped the opener of their four-game set with the Philadelphia Phillies after being unable to finish what would have been a memorable comeback.

It was a disappointing loss that led to more disappointing news when it was announced that Friday’s scheduled starter, Clayton Kershaw, was placed on the 15-day injured list with right SI joint inflammation.

With Kershaw and his history of back troubles, the Dodgers will err on the side of caution with their veteran left-hander who was having one of the better starts to his season in years.

Garrett Cleavinger was recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City and Walker Buehler, who is on regular four-day rest, starts in place of Kershaw.

Buehler’s success to start 2022 has once again put him in the discussion of top starting pitchers in the National League, and he is doing it without his usual strikeout stuff, which leaves the door open that his best stuff is still ahead.

Following his complete-game shutout against the Arizona Diamondbacks on April 25, which also happened to be his 100th career start, Buehler maintained he was still searching for consistency in his game.

Buehler’s most recent start on the road against the Chicago Cubs notched his second-longest outing of the season with seven innings of one-run baseball while punching out six. On the year he has posted a 2.99 FIP with a 1.96 ERA while limiting hard contact by avoiding barrels.

Much of that can be attributed to Buehler’s increased usage of his cutter, which is up nearly 10% from last season.

With Kershaw hitting the IL, Buehler will need to carry much of the load for the Dodgers’ starting staff, and with an upcoming schedule as unforgiving as L.A. has, he will need to provide quality innings in large quantities.

The Phillies counter with Kyle Gibson who making his seventh start of the season and has gone 3-1 with a 2.94 ERA and 29 strikeouts in 33.2 innings pitched. Gibson is coming off of a six-inning, two-run outing against the New York Mets and on the year has four starts of at least five innings pitched.

In his most recent start against the Dodgers in 2021, Gibson allowed six earned runs and seven hits in just 4.1 innings pitched.

Dodgers lineup

RF: Mookie Betts
1B: Freddie Freeman
SS: Trea Turner
3B: Max Muncy
DH: Justin Turner
CF: Cody Bellinger
LF: Chris Taylor
2B: Gavin Lux
C: Austin Barnes

Phillies lineup

LF: Kyle Schwarber
3B: Alex Bohm
DH: Bryce Harper
RF: Nick Castellanos
C: J.T. Realmuto
1B: Rhys Hoskins
CF: Odubel Herrera
2B: Johan Camargo
SS: Bryson Stott

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