Dodgers: Walker Buehler Looks to Get Back on Track in His Second Start
This evening the Dodgers will take on the Rockies in the second game of their three-game series. Walker Buehler takes the mound looking to bounce back after a rough first start.
Walker Buehler will soon be the ace of the Dodgers’ pitching staff. In his first start of the 2019 season, he looked like anything but an ace. He lasted just three innings while allowing five earned runs and he did not record a single strikeout. To Buehler’s credit, he had a rushed version of spring training after dealing with a dead arm period.
If the Dodgers’ had a fully healthy rotation they most likely would’ve let Walker work his way back with a few minor league rehab assignments but they needed him now. Today the young ace in the making will face off against the Colorado Rockies, a team that he has seen a lot of in his brief Major League career. Buehler has started six times against the Rockies, posting a 3.14 ERA.
Charlie Blackmon has given Buehler a tough time batting .294 against him with one home run and three RBI’s in seventeen at-bats. Chris Iannetta who has quietly become a Dodger killer has one home run against Buehler as well in eight plate appearances.
Nolan Arenado has yet to deliver damage against Walker with no home runs or RBI’s and a .231 batting average against him. Mark Reynolds also has a grand slam against Walker in two plate appearances. Of course, this start will be more about Buehler finding his stuff as he gets to what would normally be the end of the spring training period of his schedule.
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On the opposite side, the Dodgers will oppose John Gray who possesses good stuff but he has yet to put it all together. In his season debut, he flashed some of that “stuff” striking out ten Marlins over 6 2/3 innings. He did allow three runs and now faces a red hot offense in the Dodgers. Over the last three seasons, Gray has started ten times against LA posting a 4.78 ERA.
The Rockies will be looking to get some innings out of Gray after the Dodgers jumped all over Tyler Anderson and made the Rockies burn up much of their bullpen. Max Muncy has homered twice off Gray in just five at-bats, while Corey Seager has hit .385 with a home run against him. Plenty of Dodgers have hit over .300 against Gray including Justin Turner, A.J. Pollock, Chris Taylor, and Cody Bellinger.
In just eight plate appearances against Gray, Bellinger has hit .750 with two runs batted in. Given the hot start, Cody has had, it would not be surprising if he goes yard for the seventh time this season. Gray walked as many as five batters against the Dodgers last year, so the lineup needs to grind out their AB’s, get runners on, and then tack on some big hits to improve to 7-2 on the young season.