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Buehler Mania Goes Off Without a Hitch, Well Almost

Walker Buehler

The Walker Buehler mania almost went off without a hitch on Monday evening at Dodger Stadium. The Dodger’s top pitching prospect made his season debut and first MLB start in place of the injured Rich Hill against the lowly Marlins. It seemed like a great idea due to the situation being a low pressure game against a bad team at home. The youngster performed well regularly hitting the upper 90’s with his fastball on the radar gun. At one point he touched 100 MPH and his slider/curve were sharp as well.

Dodger Stadium and twitter were rife with Ferris Buehler’s Day off puns while the youngster twirled five shutout frames, striking out five. Dodger Stadium organist Dieter Ruehle serenaded the crowd with sound bites from the movie after every Buehler strikeout. There were tons of Mathew Broderick memes and Los Angeles was filled with puns. The kid pitched well despite an early inning hiccup and picked up his first Major League no-decision as the Dodgers beat the Fish 2-1.

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Marlins  1 6 0

Dodgers 2 6 1





It’s too bad that the kid couldn’t pick up the win. But the bullpen couldn’t hold the 1-0 lead. Even though they were facing the rebuilding Marlins nothing was easy when the Dodger bats scuffled (one run on four hits) through the first seven innings and a hit by pitch and a throwing error allowed the Marlins to tie the game in the eighth inning. Thankfully the Dodgers would bounce right back to score the go-ahead run in the bottom of the eighth on a Chris Taylor double and a Cody Bellinger sacrifice fly. But let’s get back to Buehler’s day.

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Buehler escaped a first inning jam when he allowed two singles and a walk to load the bases. Fortunately he struck out Brian Anderson and J.B. Shuck to end the inning. He struck out two more in the top of the second (Lewis Brinson, Yadiel Rivera) and then induced three consecutive grounders in the top of the third. Buehler’s command was a little off (he walked three) but was helped on the defensive side in the fourth when Yasmani Grandal caught Cameron Maybin stealing second. In his final inning of work Buehler pitched around a single, racking up another strikeout. Buehler allowed four hits and three walks over five innings and struck out five. He made 89 pitches and it looked like he was in line for the win.

But the Dodger hitters couldn’t do anything against Marlin’s pitcher Jarlin Garcia who was also impressive and more efficient. Garcia allowed just one earned run on four hits while striking out seven over six innings. He walked one and the lone blemish on his night was a fourth-inning solo home run from Enrique Hernandez. Speaking of Hernandez, he had quite a night with the bat and the glove. He made a couple of outstanding defensive plays at shortstop (filling in for Corey Seager, who took the night off). Check out these defensive gems. Hernandez would also factor heavily later in the game with a bunt single, but we’ll get to that in a minute. Hernandez would finish with a 3 for 4 night.

The Fish would tie the score in the top of the eighth though. Here’s how it happened. J.T. Chargois started the inning by hitting J.T. realmuto with a pitch. There was a botched double play on Starlin Castro’s grounder. The Dodgers got the force out at second, but Austin Barnes throws the ball over Bellinger’s head. Brian Anderson’s ground ball single into center scored Castro to tie the game and send my blood pressure sky high. Adam Liberatore had to come in and restore order by getting two ground outs to preserve the tie.

The Dodgers would fight back in the bottom of the eighth. With Kyle Barraclough on the mound, Taylor slashes a double to lead-off the inning. Hernandez’s bunt single towards third would put runners at the corners. One out later, Cody Bellinger’s sinking line drive to right was deep enough to score Taylor, and the Dodgers retook the lead 2-1. That was all the boys in blue would need. With Kenley Jansen getting the night off, Josh Fields was tapped to get the save, and he would do so. The right hander tossed a scoreless drama-free ninth inning to secure the Dodger win.

Buehler will stick around for another spot start on the next road trip in San Francisco before likely heading back to Oklahoma City. In the meantime the Dodgers/Marlins series continues Tuesday night with Kenta Maeda battling southpaw rookie Dillon Peters.

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

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Scott Andes
Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

18 thoughts on “Buehler Mania Goes Off Without a Hitch, Well Almost

  1. There’s a lot to like about Buehler. His rifle for an arm, his ‘stuff’, and his young age all add up to a very promising career. My only criticism would be his efficiency. He took a lot of pitches to get through the 4 innings he did pitch. The Marlins were a good team to introduce him to for his 2018 debut. Let’s hope this will accumulate some good confidence for his next start against a better team. He has yet to show he can stand in with real competition.

    Stripling is really becoming our long man that we can count on. A solid two innings is an important contribution to our starters who often falter in the early game. I’m sure everyone noticed that Jansen did not close out the game. This was probably a good thing considering how he has pitched this season. Fields should be more than capable of handling this role.

    I can’t get over Roberts ‘cockamamy’ substitutions in the batting order. Cockamamy is about the only word that makes sense to me, it being used more in the 50’s than it is currently in the English language.

    Is something wrong with Seager? Is that why Hernandez got the start? He did a great job, a marvelous throw and a 3 hit night. Barnes at 2B throws an error. I can see the logic of plugging him in there, but not for his defense, but for his bat. I think Hernandez is making his case to be the ‘utility’ guy on the team. Another reason for the superfluousness of Joc.

    Muncy not doing anything, really.

    1. Jeff

      That is the perfect word for the different line ups.

      I felt the same about Corey, because he is beginning to hit, and they have already had so many days off in April.

  2. Both young pitchers looked very good. I am not going to blame our bats tonight. And going with Fields was the right call too.

    I still remember Urias’ debut start, and Buehler for this game looked better.

  3. Buehler’s got a nice nickname from college: Bluegrass Slim. The (Dodger)Blue, the (Chavez Ravine) grass, and the slim fits him very well! He got 11 groundouts today for a ridiculous 83% GB rate.

  4. I have mentioned before during ST, but it seems pretty obvious that all things ain’t right with Seager. He seems to have a different throwing motion, it seems to be bothering him hitting also. Then you add on top that they didn’t even let him play most of ST (okay it could be the Club Med ST sponsored by Roberts).

    Kindly Gascan gets a night off, when if anything he needs to get more and more innings in to recover from his Club Med ST. His velocity is down, his location is really bad and he just isn’t dominant, could we see a guy that is hiding an injury? You have to wonder, I won’t be surprised if we hear of a DL in his near future. Something ain’t right here.

    Kike goes Ozzie Smith for one night. Good job Kike. We may need this guy at SS, I fear we may have a injury problem with Seager.

    Enough already, Munchin ain’t the answer at 3B! HELLO the answer is sitting on your bench night after night, give Farmer those starts, WTF!!!

    1. Agree with Seager, his throws to first are decidedly slower than last year.

      As per Muncy and Joc, the team values LH batters, obviously.

  5. Yeah it is high time to send down Muncy (and Joc).

    Too bad what is going to happen is that Forsythe will get the call for Muncy, and they will wait for Toles to get back before sending Joc down. I’d really like to see Jake Peter, who can actually play all the positions that BOTH Muncy and Joc plays (except CF, but I think Puig, Kike and Bellinger can all play CF in a pinch, and to be honest Joc at his current weight and footspeed is not a better CF than any of those guys).

  6. YF
    I don’t know if they will send Joc down. Roberts loves him and he has a lot of power with the FO. That is what is supposed to happen but I am leaning against him going down. It is funny to see folks such as yourself propose different scenarios that make sense and then watch Roberts and company do something off the wall.

    1. Farmer hit the ball hard last night, even after not starting or getting many at bats, since Muncy came up.

      If the Marlins other leftie is pitching tonight, hopefully Farmer will get another start.

      Muncy has been up and down to the majors, more then Farmer ever has, because Muncy was on the A’s at one time.

      And as everyone knows, young players get more chances on a team like the A’s.

      Kike certainly had a good night on the field, and with the bat

      Kike is a good part time utility player, but when he plays to much, he gets exposed up at the plate.

    2. Package

      YF is a very bright and thoughtful guy, and his analysis seem to be right on, about anything, he is talking about.

      1. Thanks MJ. I think package actually agrees with my last comments (most of it anyways). He’s just saying that the FO never does the easy and sensible thing and I am glad he is able to find that funny. It’s a healthy way to live.

        1. YF

          Your welcome, and I meant that.

          I was just telling with Package, that everything you post, makes good sense.

    3. Yeah Package. Part of me thinks it is funny too – making too much sense is just too much for the FBZ and Roberts to handle. They have to go out of their way to make themselves look like they are ahead of the curve; but all it does is prevent them from seeing that they are being left behind.

      The rest of me is just doing a constant frown and head shaking. So many opportunities lost to other ball clubs.

      1. YF
        I did think your comments about sending Muncy and Joc was spot on. I agree with many here on some subjects. I think your thought process is good but I do not care for sabermetrics much. Most of the time MJ has it right. We have argued many times but she is very educated on some players and their progress. She also does not hold grudges which I admire. The things FAZ does has no logic sometimes. You have hit it many times but they just will not yield. They are stubborn and bullheaded and it costs them dearly. I too think other organizations have borrowed some of their plan and have passed them because they would not ever get a top tier player. What a shame. Keep up the good work YF.

        1. Just so you know, Roberts told the media today before the game, that he was going to continue to get Joc at bats. Why? I really have no clue Package. I myself have felt that Joc would probably benefit more from playing everyday at OKC and bring up Verdugo if Toles is still not ready and see what the kid brings to the dance. Toles as of today is still on the 7 day DL down there. And OKC did not play tonight. Now some have suggested that they bring up Jake Peter and send Muncy down. Peter is hitting .280 down there but he has no homers and only 3 RBI’s in 50 at bats, and he has been playing 2B most of the time. The best hitting infielder down there right now is Donovan Solano at .389. No homers and only 4 RBI’s Locastro is at .358. He has 1 homer and 3 RBI’s. So there are really no real options down there. Valera was up here for a couple of games, but he is more a SS. Solano can play all over the infield. And just so you know, I do not have a favorite player anymore. As far as Joc goes I have just been trying to explain how come he is still here. Not that I agree with that at all. I quit having favorite players a long time ago because of free agency. There is no loyalty in the game anymore. Hasn’t been for a long time. My favorite player was and always will be Duke Snider. I even patterned my stance after his when I was a kid. Koufax is my all time favorite Dodger pitcher.

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