Coming off a series win against the Padres to start the road trip, the Dodgers started the series against the Diamondbacks in Arizona tonight and they ended up cruising to a 4-0 victory.
The best sign to come from the game wasn’t the offense that starred in the last series, but Walker Buehler‘s dominance was absolutely immense, even against a weak hitting side.
Of course, the Dodgers grabbed the lead from the very beginning against Merrill Kelly. To start the game Mookie Betts drew a walk, Freddie Freeman jumped on the first pitch for a double, and Trea Turner dropped in a double of his own to score them both and make it 2-0.
They were not able to add onto that in the 1st and also missed chances in the 2nd (double, single) and 4th (single, wild pitch, walk). However the top of the order came through again in the 5th, with Mookie singling and then stealing second, eventually scoring on a double that Max Muncy crushed into the right-center field gap for a 3-0 lead.
Kelly was done after six innings, giving way to Tyler Gilbert in the 7th, who allowed a walk and a single but no damage. Gilbert continued on in the 8th, and the Dodgers finally got a ball out of the park despite the ball being dead, as Will Smith crushed his second homer of the year to extend the lead to 4-0.
Really though the Dodgers won the game after the first three batters because Walker Buehler was just dominant. Yes, it was a shitty offense, but it was not only the results. His pitches looked crisp and his velocity was up another tick as he seems to be settling into the season.
Buehler allowed just two singles and only faced one runner in scoring position when he hit a batter and threw a wild pitch. Other than that he didn’t even allow the Diamondbacks offense to threaten, much less do damage, and at one point retired 16 batters in a row.
That streak ended one out away from the shutout with (of course) a David Peralta single, but he bounced back and got the final out: 9 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 10 K.
First complete game of the 2022, obviously the first shutout of 2022, and Walker Buehler’s first shutout of his career.
As alluded to earlier, the ball is dead.
The umpires are as tired of the checks as the pitchers.
12-4 on the year now. A 120+ pace for wins and a half-game lead in the NL West over the Giants, lol.