Walker Buehler’s debut went about as good as one could hope for on Monday night. He didn’t get the victory as the pitcher of record, but the Dodgers circled the wagons late to win the game 2-1. Buehler’s arsenal was as advertised; and in a word, his stuff was ‘hard’. Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles times reports that the Dodgers didn’t show the pitcher’s radar gun reading on the scoreboard:
The Dodgers are not showing Walker Buehler's velocity on the scoreboard, perhaps out of respect for the other pitchers in the building.
— Andy McCullough (@ByMcCullough) April 24, 2018
McCullough’s tweet seems to be in jest. This was most likely done to avoid having a 23-year old in his first career start, looking up to the scoreboard to see how hard every pitch was thrown. He had enough things on his mind, and as evidenced with the way things played out; Buehler was very pumped up. There’s no way to know for sure, but the Dodgers probably didn’t want Buehler out there over-throwing his fastball.
While I wasn’t as lucky as our editor and writing staff to be at the game – I did get to take it in on television and gamecast. This allowed me to see an accurate depiction of how hard Buehler was throwing, and the pitch type. I didn’t see Buehler throw anything aside from a fastball-curveball combination in his five innings of work.
Buehler’s curveball was surprisingly hard, at least to the human eye. It was clocked around the 86 or 86 miles per hour range routinely. The fastball was a completely different story. Buehler sat in the high 90’s and even hit triple digits with a couple of the heaters I saw.
I came away really impressed with Buehler’s stuff, and it had little to do with the radar gun. We all knew that he was a guy who threw hard. But the composure he displayed was beyond his years and he was able to work out of several jams with runners on by having ‘swing and miss’ stuff.
It will be interesting to see if this becomes a trend in regards to the radar gun when Buehler pitches. My more immediate concern is how many more starts will we see, and when? You know Buehler did a good job because he left us immediately wanting more. It’s nice to know that any time this kid is on the mound, it’s going to be a must-see event. Radar gun or not.
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