Dodgers News: Walker Buehler Frustrated By Lack Of Execution In Loss To Nationals

The last time Walker Buehler faced the Washington Nationals, he held them to four hits and had seven strikeouts over seven shutout innings. Buehler didn’t factor into the decision as the Los Angeles Dodgers squandered his performance in a 5-2 defeat at Dodger Stadium.

More than two months later, Buehler took the loss in an outing that quickly spiraled downward after he initially kept pace with Stephen Strasburg. Whereas the Nationals righty was perfect through four innings, Buehler worked through some command issues to keep the game scoreless.

The Dodgers broke through against Strasburg to take a 1-0 lead in the top of the fifth, though Buehler coughed up three runs in the bottom half of the inning. Brian Dozier put the Nationals ahead with a two-run homer, and Anthony Rendon’s RBI single extended their lead.

Buehler managed to record just one out in the sixth and exited with the Dodgers facing a 6-1 deficit. Following their loss, Buehler spoke with some frustration when assessing his performance, as seen on SportsNet LA:

“I threw some good cutters and some decent sliders but the fastball, just didn’t execute enough. Got myself in bad counts and made some pitches that caught too much of the plate.”

The seven runs charged to Buehler tied a season high, though only four were earned. Joc Pederson’s throwing error to home plate on a potential force out with the bases loaded allowed a pair of runs to score.

Meanwhile, Buehler’s 5.1 innings pitched marked his shortest start since only going five frames against the New York Mets on May 29. Additionally, Sunday’s loss was Buehler’s first in 10 starts, and it spoiled his 25th birthday.

Even with the defeat, Buehler and the Dodgers could take solace in knowing they won the series at Nationals Park and continue to pace the Majors with the best record. On a personal level, Buehler is now 9-2 with a 3.38 ERA in 20 starts.

He battled some consistency and rustiness early in the year as a result of a shortened Spring Training, but pitched well enough to earn a first career All-Star Game selection.