ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS

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

Oct 6, 2017, 8:51 PM | Updated: 11:17 pm
Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Taijuan Walker throws to a Los Angeles Dodgers batter during ...

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)

(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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Los Angeles Dodgers' Yasiel Puig celebrates after his triple against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the seventh inning of Game 1 of a baseball National League Division Series in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) Los Angeles Dodgers' Yasiel Puig celebrates after his triple against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the seventh inning of Game 1 of a baseball National League Division Series in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) Arizona Diamondbacks' A.J. Pollock watches his home run off Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw during the third inning of Game 1 of a baseball National League Division Series in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Arizona Diamondbacks' A.J. Pollock hits a home run off Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw during the third inning of Game 1 of a baseball National League Division Series in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Arizona Diamondbacks' A.J. Pollock scores on a home run past, Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal during the third inning of Game 1 of a baseball National League Division Series in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Dodgers' Justin Turner watches his RBI single against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the fourth inning of Game 1 of a baseball National League Division Series in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) Arizona Diamondbacks' J.D. Martinez rounds the bases after a home run off Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw during the sixth inning of Game 1 of a baseball National League Division Series in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017.(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) Los Angeles Dodgers' Chris Taylor celebrates in the dugout after scoring on a hit by Justin Turner during the fourth inning of Game 1 of the baseball team's National League Division Series against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) Arizona Diamondbacks' J.D. Martinez celebrates in the dugout after his home run against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the sixth inning of Game 1 of a baseball National League Division Series in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Arizona Diamondbacks' J.D. Martinez celebrates his home run past Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal during the sixth inning of Game 1 of a baseball National League Division Series in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017.(AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw reacts after giving up a home run to Arizona Diamondbacks' J.D. Martinez during the sixth inning of Game 1 of a baseball National League Division Series in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017.(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) Arizona Diamondbacks' J.D. Martinez hits a home run off Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw during the sixth inning of Game 1 of a baseball National League Division Series in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw is removed during the seventh inning of Game 1 of the baseball team's National League Division Series against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) Arizona Diamondbacks' Ketel Marte celebrates after his home run against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the seventh inning of Game 1 of a baseball National League Division Series in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Arizona Diamondbacks' Ketel Marte, right, celebrates his home run with Jeff Mathis during the seventh inning of Game 1 of the baseball team's National League Division Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw sits on the bench after being removed during the seventh inning of Game 1 of the baseball team's National League Division Series against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Taijuan Walker, front, and Los Angeles Dodgers' Yasiel Puig watch Puig's RBI double during the first inning of Game 1 of a baseball National League Division Series in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher Brandon Morrow throws to an Arizona Diamondbacks batter during the seventh inning of Game 1 of a baseball National League Division Series in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw sits in the dugout before Game 1 of the baseball team's National League Division Series against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Yu Darvish waits for Game 1 of the baseball team's National League Division Series against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Kenta Maeda stands in the dugout before Game 1 of the baseball team's National League Division Series against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) Actress Isabela Moner sings the national anthem before Game 1 of baseball's National League Division Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Arizona Diamondbacks in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Former Los Angeles Dodger Don Newcombe waves before throwing out the first pitch at Game 1 of the baseball team's National League Division Series against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) Actress Isabela Moner sings the national anthem before Game 1 of baseball's National League Division Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Arizona Diamondbacks in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw throws to an Arizona Diamondbacks batter during first inning of Game 1 of a baseball National League Division Series in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw throws to an Arizona Diamondbacks batter during the first inning of Game 1 of the baseball team's National League Division Series in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, left, greets Arizona Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo before Game 1 of a baseball National League Division Series in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw prepares to throw to an Arizona Diamondbacks batter during first inning of Game 1 of a baseball National League Division Series in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Members of the Los Angeles Dodgers participate in a moment of silence for the victims of the Las Vegas shootings, before Game 1 of the baseball team's National League Division Series against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) Fans participate in a moment of silence for the victims of the Las Vegas shootings, before Game 1 of baseball's National League Division Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Arizona Diamondbacks in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Arizona Diamondbacks stating 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) 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) Los Angeles Dodgers' Justin Turner, left, celebrates his three-run home run with manager Dave Roberts at the dugout during the first inning of Game 1 of the baseball team's National League Division Series against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Dodgers' Justin Turner watches his three-run home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the first inning of Game 1 of a baseball National League Division Series in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Dodgers' Justin Turner, right, celebrates his three-run home run with manager Dave Roberts at the dugout during the first inning of Game 1 of the baseball team's National League Division Series against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) Los Angeles Dodgers' Justin Turner celebrates in the dugout after his three-run home run during the first inning of Game 1 of the baseball team's National League Division Series against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) Los Angeles Dodgers' Justin Turner celebrates his three-run home run during the first inning of Game 1 of the baseball team's National League Division Series against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Taijuan Walker, left, and Los Angeles Dodgers' Justin Turner watch Turner's three-run home run during the first inning of Game 1 of a baseball National League Division Series in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Dodgers' Cody Bellinger scores past Arizona Diamondbacks catcher Jeff Mathis on a double by Yasiel Puig during the first inning of Game 1 of a baseball National League Division Series in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) Los Angeles Dodgers' Justin Turner hits a three-run home run off Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Taijuan Walker, left, during the first inning of Game 1 of baseball's National League Division Series in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Dodgers' Yasiel Puig hits an RBI double against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the first inning of Game 1 of a baseball National League Division Series in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Dodgers' Yasiel Puig watches his RBI double against the Arizona Diamondbacks during first inning of Game 1 of a baseball National League Division Series in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Taijuan Walker, front, and Los Angeles Dodgers' Yasiel Puig watch Puig's RBI double during the first inning of Game 1 of a baseball National League Division Series in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw sits in the dugout during the second inning of Game 1 of the baseball team's National League Division Series against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) Los Angeles Dodgers' Justin Turner, right, celebrates his three-run home run with Corey Seager during the first inning of Game 1 of the baseball team's National League Division Series against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Zack Godley throws to a Los Angeles Dodgers batter during the second inning of Game 1 of a baseball National League Division Series in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) Arizona Diamondbacks' A.J. Pollock watches his home run against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the third inning of Game 1 of a baseball National League Division Series in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) Los Angeles Dodgers bullpen catcher Steve Cilladi throws during batting practice before Game 1 of the baseball team's National League Division Series against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager throws during batting practice before Game 1 of the baseball team's National League Division Series against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) A stadium worker stocks the shelves with baseballs before Game 1 of a National League Division Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Arizona Diamondbacks in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) Arizona Diamondbacks stretch before Game 1 of a baseball National League Division Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) Arizona Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo watches batting practice for Game 1 of the baseball team's National League Division Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Arizona Diamondbacks right fielder J.D. Martinez bounces a ball off his bat before Game 1 against the Los Angeles Dodgers in a baseball National League Division Series in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Arizona Diamondbacks right fielder David Peralta watches batting practice before Game 1 of the baseball team's National League Division Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Fans arrive under flags that have been lowered to half staff in respect for the victims of the Las Vegas shootings, before Game 1 of a baseball National League Division Series between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Los Angeles Dodgers in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

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