It’s hard to believe that Walker Buehler is in his 4th season as a constant member of the Dodgers starting rotation. It almost feels like yesterday that the highly touted prospect was making his big league debut in a late-season call-up back in 2017.
But here we are, a couple of years later and watching him be one of the best in baseball. The Dodgers hurler is still in the hunt for the NL Cy Young award, though recent starts will likely keep him from getting his first one.
But Tuesday night in Los Angeles was big for Buehler and the Dodgers. He got back to his 2021 form and held the Padres scoreless through 7 innings of work. Buehler also reached the 200 inning mark for the first time in his young career, becoming the 4th pitcher in baseball to do so this year.
Probably something that I’ll look back at after the season and feel some pride on. Hopefully early November I’ll look back on it. I think that’s kind of what I’ve been talking about all year is trying to go deep into games and perform. Those 2 numbers together are something that I’m definitely proud of.
Those 2 numbers he’s talking about are the 200 innings but also passing 200 strikeouts. Buehler punched out 215 batters during his 2019 campaign, so that’s not new to him. But the 200 innings of work means a lot to this Dodgers team.
In a year where injuries have dominated headlines in Los Angles, Buehler stepped up. Of his 32 starts in 2021, Buehler has gone into the 7th inning 17 times. That’s incredible for a team that needed their starting pitchers going deep into games all year long.
The next step? Carrying that success into October. Buehler has a 2.35 ERA in postseason play, and he’s a big reason why the Dodgers won a World Series in 2020. If they win another one this year, he will once again be a big part of that.