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Walker Buehler dominates in best start of season

11 strikeouts in six innings

Colorado Rockies v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images

Coming into the game, Walker Buehler was 0-0 with a 5.21 ERA. In 19 innings of work, he had 17 strikeouts, nine walks and had allowed five homers. It had been a struggle for him through his first outings.

Safe to say, Buehler didn’t struggle on Friday night.

He picked up his first win of the season, as the Dodgers defeated the Rockies, 5-1. For the night, Buehler struck out a season-high 11 without issuing a single walk. As I mentioned earlier, through his first 19 innings this year he had 17 strikeouts. In only six tonight he got 11. That’s the dominant Buehler we’ve all come to know and love.

Buehler was in cruise control all night, as he didn’t even allow a Rockie to reach base until the fourth inning. Overall, he allowed only four to reach base total. His only tough situation in the game came in the sixth inning, as he allowed three consecutive singles. Colorado had runners on second and third with only one out, with Charlie Blackmon representing the tying run. Buehler struck him out on three pitches, and then got Nolan Arenado to fly out to escape the inning.

Then, in typical fashion, the Dodgers’ bullpen shut everything down. Adam Kolarek, Caleb Ferguson and Kenley Jansen combined to throw three scoreless innings with three strikeouts and zero hits.

On the offensive side of the ball, LA scored five runs on 10 hits. With the exception of Austin Barnes (who entered the night as LA’s top hitter based on average), every player in the starting lineup recorded a base hit.

A pair of doubles got the Dodgers on the board in the first inning. Joc Pederson led the inning off with a double and then came in to score on a double courtesy of Cody Bellinger. Over his last three games, Bellinger has five hits and appears to be heating up at the plate. Once he gets it going, good luck MLB.

Speaking of doubles, the Dodgers had more of them in the fourth inning. AJ Pollock led the inning off with a double. A few batters later, the king of doubles added one himself, as Corey Seager doubled in two runs to give LA the 4-1 lead.

Friday particulars

WP: Walker Buehler (1-0) 6 IP, 1 ER, 11 SO, 0 BB

LP: Jon Gray (1-3) 3 23 IP, 4 ER, 7 H, 0 SO

Home runs: None

Box score

Up next

The Dodgers will look to pick up the series win on Saturday, as Dustin May (1-1, 3.00 ERA) takes the mound for LA. He’ll face Kyle Freeland (2-1, 2.56 ERA). First pitch is at 6:10 p.m. PT on SportsNet LA and MLB Network (out of market). With their win on Friday, LA became the first team in the MLB to reach 20 wins this season.