Record: 6-11, .353 W%, Pace 57-105
Walker Buehler put on a power pitcher’s clinic tonight, dominating the Diamondbacks with his full arsenal of Fastballs, Knuckle Curves, Cutters and Changeups enroute to a 4-0 Dodgers victory. Using that repertoire he mowed down the D-backs lineup, allowing just three base hits and a hit batter on the way to his 3 hit shutout. He struck out 10, and needed 108 pitches. It was the first shutout of his career, and the first complete game shutout in MLB this year.
Christian Walker managed a hard hit single in the second inning, and Daulton Varsho had a two out line drive to right in the third. That was it until a two out single in the 9th by David Peralta. The D-backs were set down in order 4 times and Walker retired 15 in a row before Peralta’s base hit.
After the game Torey resisted the “tip of the cap” cliche, expressing some disappointment in his hitters approach and ability to grind at bats.
“It was one of those games where we were going to have to grind it out. Buehler had really good stuff , and I thought we went out of the zone a few times and gave him a chance to look even better and work even more efficiently. I think in those critical counts we’ve got to be a little bit more stubborn Those 1-0, 2-1 counts that we kind of push out of our favor and make them 1-1 instead of 2-0 and 2-2 instead of 3-1 . When he’s going that good, you put yourself in a really big bind. ”
Merrill Kelly started for the D-backs and his night got off to a rough start. A leadoff walk to Mookie Betts was followed by back to back doubles from Freddie Freeman and Trea Turner. The Dodgers had a quick 2-0 lead and that was all they would need.
Merrill worked out of trouble in the 2nd and then settled down for the 3rd and 4th. He gave up a run on a Max Muncy double to right center that Pavin Smith couldn’t get to. But he came back out for the 6th to retire the side in order. His final line was:
6 IP, 3 ER, on 7 hits, 2 walks and 4 K’s, throwing 98 pitches.
Tyler Gilbert worked the final three frames. He gave up a single and a walk in the 7th but got out of it. In the 8th Will Smith hit a one out solo shot to left on a 3-1 center cut fastball to tally the Dodgers final run. A three up three down 9th closed out his outing.
In all, giving up 4 runs to the best lineup in the majors is no shame, both pitchers did well, but against Dodger Pitching you almost have to throw a shutout these days.
One positive note in the game for the D-backs was the defense of Geraldo Perdomo at thirdbase. He turned a nice double play on a high chopper in the first, tagging Trea Turner trying to advance from 2nd to 3rd for some reason, then fired to first to nab Justin Turner. That got Merrill out of that first inning jam.
There was a slight hiccup in the second, when Perdomo failed to cut in front of Nick Ahmed and pick off a ball, and by the time Ahmed fielded it, it was too late to nab Gavin Lux streaking down the first base line. After some communication with him in the dugout, later in the game Perdomo made the quick adjustment, cutting in front of Ahmed to snare a ball and make a strong thrown to first. He fielded 5 balls and recorded 6 outs in the game and showed he can handle thirdbase just fine.
There was a scary moment in the 5th just before Muncy’s double. With Betts on third Trea Turner hit a pop fly into shallow right. Smith charged in, Marte ran out, and the two collided. Smith caught the ball and even checked Betts at 3rd. Then checked on the sprawled out Marte, who was down for a minute, having taken Smith’s arm to the face, but he was ok and stayed in the game.
The only D-back hitter that did not have a negative WPA was Jordan Luplow, (0.00) who was sent up as a sacrificial lamb to pinch hit for Perdomo in the 8th. Tough way to start the season for a right handed platoon player, against arguably the best right hander in the league having a great night.
I can’t find any Sedona Red comments in the thread and it’s getting late.
They’ll try again tomorrow night at 6:40, Zach Davies against Tony Gonsolin