Dodgers @ Rockies April 6, 2019: Walker Buehler looks to rebound

Walker Buehlers first start of the season was an absolute disaster. He had the fastball velocity (actually up from last year, if you can believe it) but could not throw his breaking pitches for strikes. The Diamondbacks properly waited for him to find the zone with his fastball, and they pounced on it. It was one of the worst games of his career.

Dodgers
Rockies
5:10 p.m.
Colorado
LF
Pederson
RF
Blackmon
SS
Seager
SS
Story
3B
Turner
3B
Arenado
1B
Bellinger
LF
Dahl
CF
Pollock
CF
Desmond
2B
Muncy
1B
Reynolds
RF
Verdugo 2B Valaika
C
Barnes
C
Wolters
P
Buehler (R)
P
Gray (R)

Coors Field is not the ideal place to recover from this. Another one of Buehler’s worst starts came on the same field last June, in which he allowed four runs in five innings while striking out only two batters and allowing eight hits. He did show an ability to pitch in Denver in his next two starts, combining for four runs in 13 innings pitched. There’s hope for him to find his form, though it may take more time due to his abbreviated spring.

Opposing Buehler will be Jon Gray, who turned in a decent start against the Marlins in his season debut. Gray struck out 10 batters and walked one in 6-2/3 innings, but allowed three runs in the process. Gray’s fastball averaged 96 and touched 98 in that start, though he only threw 50% fastballs. He mixes in the standard three pitches (slider, curve, and change) to fill out his arsenal. Dodger batters will face a decent challenge today, attempting to overcome that sort of velocity.

Alex Verdugo will get a rare start against Gray today, with Chris Taylor and Enrique Hernandez both beginning today’s game on the bench. Cody Bellinger will get his second start of the season at first base, as Max Muncy slides to second and Austin Barnes gets the start at catcher. After a few starts off for left-handed starting pitchers, Joc Pederson gets the nod today in left field.

——

Clayton Kershaw will get another rehab start before his return to the rotation:

Rich Hill threw a bullpen session today and results were positive, though the team has not talked about potential rehab starts yet. It sounds like he is still a few weeks away.

Joe Kelly was not added to the injured list yet after taking a comebacker to his right wrist in last night’s game. He is currently day-to-day following negative x-rays. It is unclear whether or not he will be available to pitch in tonight’s game. Kenley Jansen should be available, though having to warm up in yesterday’s game is not what the Dodgers wanted. If he pitches tonight, he may not be available for tomorrow night’s contest.

About Daniel Brim

Daniel Brim
Daniel Brim grew up in the Los Angeles area but doesn't live there anymore. He still watches the Dodgers and writes about them sometimes.