The Los Angeles Dodgers starting rotation was expected to be one of the team’s strengths this year, and through two and a half months of the regular season, that notion has proven true.
While Clayton Kershaw, Trevor Bauer and Julio Urias have all enjoyed excellent campaigns thus far, Walker Buehler leads the way in numerous categories, including ERA (2.38) and WHIP (0.94).
The right-hander improved to 6-0 last week after tossing six scoreless innings against the Texas Rangers. In doing so, Buehler extended his streak of completing at least six innings in all 13 starts this season.
Buehler is in the midst of an even more impressive streak, having not taken a loss since Sept. 21, 2019, to the Colorado Rockies. It’s a span that includes an L.A. franchise record 22 consecutive regular season starts and 29 when factoring in the postseason.
“To me that’s a team number,” Buehler said of his unbeaten streak. “That doesn’t happen unless the offense has saved me a bunch of times, which they have.
“There’s a little bit of pride involved in that and trying to go and compete and get deep enough to avoid that kind of stuff. But really, I think that’s a credit to the team and offense we have.”
Should Buehler remain undefeated after his next start against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturday, he will tie Kirby Higbe for the longest unbeaten streak in Dodgers franchise history at 23 starts.
Buehler is 2-0 with a 2.47 ERA and 0.92 WHIP in nine career starts against the Diamondbacks.
Buehler not feeling pressured to pitch well amid injuries
For as good as the Dodgers’ starting rotation has been this season, several key contributors have missed time due to injuries. Tony Gonsolin was sidelined the first two months of the regular season with shoulder inflammation and Dustin May underwent Tommy John surgery.
Such injuries could force other pitchers to feel pressured, but Buehler doesn’t believe that was the case with him. “I don’t think the injuries have anything to do with it,” Buehler said of his success this season.
“This is my fourth season here and I think the days of trying to go five innings, do well and get a win, are gone for me. We’ve obviously had some real success, won a World Series, and I want to continue that.
“From my perspective and my end of things, whatever I can contribute to our team is trying to go deep into games and give us a chance to win. That’s my goal and that’s all there really is to it.”
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