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D-backs’ Taijuan Walker pitches only one inning in Game 1 of NLDS

Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Taijuan Walker throws to a Los Angeles Dodgers batter during first inning of Game 1 of a baseball National League Division Series in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

It would be impossible for the Arizona Diamondbacks to not have some type of positive momentum after the way Wednesday’s NL Wild Card Game at Chase Field unfolded, a dramatic 11-8 win.

That momentum suddenly changed when Arizona’s Game 1 starter Taijuan Walker gave up four runs and lasted just one inning in Game 1 of the NLDS against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Walker threw 48 pitches to the nine hitters he faced in the first inning.

Chris Taylor singled to open the bottom half, Corey Seager walked and Justin Turner hit a three-run home run. Cody Bellinger singled on the next at-bat and Yasiel Puig followed with a double to score him.

Walker struck out the next two hitters to get his first two outs of the inning, walked Logan Forsythe and then got Clayton Kershaw to strike out to end the inning.

Even with the pitcher’s spot due up first in the top of the third inning, D-backs manager Torey Lovullo chose to bring in Zack Godley for the bottom half of the inning, ending Walker’s night at only one inning pitched.

Despite still being young and without a career playoff start, Walker’s numbers in the regular season lined up to him being the logical choice for the start.

The most earned runs he had allowed in one start in the regular season was five, and while he only pitched seven innings or more twice, he was reliable for giving his offense a chance to win the game.

While four runs on paper isn’t a massive hill to climb, when given the context of starting against Kershaw, it is.

His start was the shortest in D-backs postseason history.

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