The Dodgers shutout the Dbacks 4-0 in the series opener on Monday evening at Chase Field. The Dodgers scored two runs in the early frames against opposing starter Merrill Kelly and never trailed. A two-run double from Trea Turner, solo home run from Will Smith led a well balanced offensive attack for the Boys in Blue. Something remarkable happened tonight in what seemed like a predictable Dodgers victory. Walker Buehler pitched a complete game shutout.
This doesn’t happen often, as a matter of fact it almost never happens these days. The Dodgers haven’t had a complete game shutout win since May of 2019 when Hyun-jin Ryu twirled a 93-pitch masterpiece over the Braves. In an age where starting pitching is becoming obsolete (thanks to the analytics) Buehler brought us back to the halcyon days when starters dueled, bullpens were used sparingly and pitchers went deep into games. The bullpen wasn’t needed on this night.
Buehler allowed just three hits, and no walks over his nine-inning work of art. He struck out ten and made 108 pitches. Everyone was surprised to see Buehler back out in the bottom of the ninth with a four-run lead, especially closer Craig Kimbrel who was warming in the bullpen. Despite allowing a base hit to David Peralta with two outs, Buehler quickly and efficiently finished the game himself while hitting 97 mph on the radar gun.
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) April 26, 2022
This was Buehler’s first career complete game shutout, and the first complete game shutout in the majors this season. In case you were wondering as comparison Clayton Kershaw has thrown 15 complete game shutouts in his illustrious career. Neither pitcher has had his arm fall off. Proof that it is still possible for a starter to go deep into games, let alone nine frames. The Dodgers improve to 12-4, the best record in the majors.