Walker Buehler managed to overcome not having a traditional Spring Training this year but he’s yet been able to fully solve his struggles on the road.
There have been flashes of Buehler’s dominance away from Dodger Stadium, with the latest coming in the Los Angeles Dodgers’ 9-0 win over the San Diego Padres on Tuesday. The Padres managed at least one baserunner in each of the first four innings but had nothing to show for it.
The Dodgers provided Buehler with a lead in the third inning and were ahead 8-0 after a five-run fifth. He finished the night with 11 strikeouts over six scoreless innings to earn an 11th win this season.
Although it was another impressive outing for Buehler, he felt there was room for improvement with his cutter and command of the fastball, as seen on SportsNet LA:
“I don’t think it was one of the better games stuff-wise. I thought the cutter was alright, fastball command was a little bit better than the last one. That’s always kind of the biggest thing for me.”
Some of the traffic Buehler faced was a result of self-inflicted damage. He issued two walks and also hit a batter, which nearly equaled the four hits San Diego did manage. Their first didn’t come until opposing starter Cal Quantrill dunked a leadoff into center field in the third inning.
Buehler improved to 6-3 with a 4.07 ERA in 13 road starts this season. Furthermore, he added to what’s been a dominant career against the Padres. In two starts this year, he’s collected 25 strikeouts in 15 innings and allowed just one run.
For his career, Buehler is 4-0 with 42 strikeouts and two runs allowed (0.64 ERA) in four starts against the Padres. Per Stats LLC, he is the second pitcher since 1913 to go 4-0 with a sub-1.00 ERA and more than 40 strikeouts in his first four starts against a team.
Pedro Martinez was first to accomplish as much, doing so against the Seattle Mariners.
More importantly for the Dodgers, their young right-hander proved to be effective away from Chavez Ravine. Although he has been unable to explain the road woes, Buehler is mindful of needing to improve with his consistency in road starts.