Walker Buehler returned to his 2018 form on Monday night, tossing 7 innings and allowing just 3 runs on 5 hits while striking out 8 in the Dodgers’ 5-3 win over the Braves.
After a poor first 6 starts where he couldn’t get out of his own way, it seems that Buehler has figured something out. He was pounding the zone, changing speeds, and changing eye levels. This allowed him to put up a solid line of 7 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 8 K.
The Dodgers got on the board quickly and they continued to score in the first 5 innings. In the first, the Dodgers hit back to back singles, then Corey Seager drove in the first run of the game with an RBI groundout.
The Dodgers took advantage of a miscue by Braves’ catcher, Brian McCann in the second to add another run. With runners on the corners, Buehler attempted a squeeze bunt. When the pitch was wide to the outside, it deflected off McCann’s glove and allowed a run to score.
In the third, the Dodgers strung some hits together and took advantage of another Braves miscue to score two more runs. The Dodgers loaded the bases with a double and two walks. Chris Taylor hit an RBI single to left field to drive in a run. Because it was a line drive, Seager was nearly forced out at third, but the Braves didn’t communicate and the ball was cut off. This allowed Alex Verdugo to hit a sac fly and drive in another run.
Taylor’s night got even better in the 5th inning when he hit an RBI double. Taylor stayed inside an fastball on the inner half of the plate, driving it down the right field line. Seager scored and the Dodgers had a 5-0 lead.
The Dodgers gave the ball to Julio Urías in the 9th inning to close it out and earn his first career save. Urías didn’t disappoint, tossing a 1-2-3 inning to end the game.
Hyun-Jin Ryu and Max Fried will face off in game two of the series at 7:10 pm. Ryu has been one of the Dodgers’ better pitchers this year, going 3-1 with a 2.55 ERA. Fried has also been solid with a 4-1 record and 2.11 ERA.