First career complete-game shutout for @buehlersdayoff. pic.twitter.com/1MGWFuqXwR
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) April 26, 2022
I am not sure what I can add to Walker Buehler’s game shutout on Monday Night. Those who watched saw a masterful performance from Buehler. While not at the same level of dominance as last night, this is the Walker Buehler that we have come to enjoy.
Yesterday I mentioned that at this time last year, Walker had 4 quality starts and none thus far in 2022. That changed dramatically on April 25, 2022. Buehler was as productive at the end of the game as he was throughout. He was still hitting 96 on his fastball in the ninth. Four of his eight fastest pitches of the game came in the final inning.
It was the first complete-game shutout for a Dodgers pitcher since Hyun-jin Ryu on May 7, 2019. It was the first shutout of any pitcher this season, the first complete game, and only the second time a starting pitcher had even faced a batter in the ninth this year.
To illustrate how much the game has changed in just a short while, 22 percent of all starts last at least six innings so far this year. While a decade ago, 63 percent of starts went six innings or more at this same point in the season. The game is being changed as a result of computer nerds invading this great game. You can decide if it is for the better.
I think Walker became a true pitcher last night. He admittedly did not have his #1 with the Velo he likes, but he was able to pinpoint his two secondary pitches; his curve and change, for strikes all night. The D-Back hitters thought they were going to get a feast of Buehler’s specialty, his four-seamer, but instead got a look at who Walker Buehler is becoming…a CY favorite. I do not know who the more fierce competitor is, but it is great to see Buehler and Kershaw on the same team.
Per Dave Roberts on Buehler in the later innings:
“Once he got through the seventh inning I thought, he didn’t labor, there was no stress, he had command of his entire pitch mix, and I thought there was a good chance,” Roberts said. “After coming out of the eighth inning he said, ‘I’m not coming out of this game,’ and I trusted him. I believed him.”
So how did Walker feel about his night?
I thought that I would compile some of the videos depicting last night’s performance, pitching, offense, and defense.
Here is a video of Buehler’s 10Ks.
Trea Turner drills a ground ball down the line for a 2 run double.
Max Muncy opens the lead with a run-scoring double.
After Will Smith had crushed a pitch that seemed to die in the outfield, he hit a no-doubter in the 8th for the Dodgers final run.
While JT is not hitting as robustly as we might want, his defense is not being negatively impacted. His throws have been crisp after a couple of years of watching rainbows from 3rd to 1st. Take a look at the great play that JT made on a bunt from the very speedy Geraldo Perdomo.
Another player who is not living up to the legend in making that we may have been hoping for thus far, Mookie Betts is still making things happen by helping the Dodgers win. He is showing real signs of coming out of his slump, but he did what he does better than anyone else in MLB, and that is score runs. He scored twice last night and now leads MLB in runs scored with 16.
While I am going out on a limb and predicting that Walker Buehler will get the Pitcher of the Week when announced next week, let’s not forget who was player of the week last week…Cody Bellinger. It should however be noted that Walker Buehler’s game shutout is well deserved.
Your NL Player of the Week, @Cody_Bellinger! pic.twitter.com/F1SouKO8cw
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) April 25, 2022