Wednesday night in Colorado was another disappointment for Dodgers pitcher Walker Buehler. Trying to keep pace in the Cy Young race, Buehler needed to come out and dominate against the lowly Rockies. He did not do that.
Instead, the Rockies roughed him up for 5 runs and Buehler exited in the 4th inning. The Dodgers would go on to lose 10-5 and fall to 2 games back of the Giants in the NL West. Overall, not a great night in Colorado.
It was Buehler’s second start of the month in which he failed to get out of the 4th inning. All told, he’s allowed 16 earned runs in 19.2 innings of work in September, and that’s bad for Buehler. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts explained after the game that he thinks he knows what part of the issue is.
Walker is trying to figure out some things after his last few starts and I’m confident he will. I think obviously he’s convicted in kind of figuring out the fastball. With that comes command and sequencing. He’s got the ability to throw a lot of different pitches. I think that sequencing the right way, not getting bullish with a certain pitch, is important. But with Walker, he’s an easy guy to bet on.
Buehler went to his fastball 55 percent of the time in his outing on Wednesday. That’s way up from 44 percent usage on the year with the Dodgers. Part of that might be due to a lack of control of his offspeed stuff, and part might be due to pitching in Colorado.
Regardless, it’s worth keeping an eye on the rest of the year. It doesn’t help that Buehler’s velocity was slightly rated down in his last couple of starts, especially when he’s going to it more often. It’s the final push, and the Dodgers are going to need him at his best.