ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS

D-backs’ Torey Lovullo: ‘No regrets whatsoever’ in starting Taijuan Walker

Oct 7, 2017, 12:00 AM | Updated: 10:35 pm
Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Taijuan Walker, left, and Los Angeles Dodgers' Justin Turner ...

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)

(AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

LOS ANGELES — The last thing Arizona Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo wanted following a short start from his ace in the National League Wild Card Game was to have to use another quick hook.

That’s exactly what he had to do.

Taijuan Walker, who got the start because Lovullo was forced to use presumed starter Robbie Ray in a win over Colorado Wednesday night, lasted all of one inning in a 9-5 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 1 of the National League Division Series Friday night.

L.A. center fielder Chris Taylor led off the game with a single, which was followed by a Corey Seager walk. Third baseman Justin Turner then clubbed a 2-2 fastball from Walker over the fence in left field to give the home team a 3-0 lead before many Dodger fans had found their seats.

The damage wasn’t done. Cody Bellinger singled, then scored on an RBI-double by Yasiel Puig to make it 4-0. Walker labored through the rest of the frame, eventually striking out the side. But Lovullo exercised the quick hook, going to right-hander Zack Godley in the second inning.

Lovullo surprised some by going with Walker over Godley or left-hander Patrick Corbin in Game 1.

“No regrets, whatsoever,” Lovullo said. “He was the choice — the clear-cut choice. We held him back off the Wild Card roster for the potential of this happening. He just never got in a rhythm.

“You’ve got to give the Dodgers some credit, they hit a couple mistakes and unfortunately he never got grounded.”

Walker threw 48 pitches in the inning — 38 before he recorded his first out. It was the shortest postseason start in D-backs’ history, two innings shorter than three-inning stints turned in by Joe Saunders in Game 4 of the 2011 NLDS against Milwaukee and two three-inning starts by Albie Lopez in the 2001 postseason.

Interestingly enough, Arizona won two of those three short starts. That wouldn’t be the case Friday, mostly because giving three-time Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw that kind of cushion isn’t the recipe for success.

Kershaw wasn’t his normal dominant self, but again, he didn’t need to be. The lefty gave up four home runs — all solo shots — but lasted 6.1 innings while striking out four and walking three. It the first home postseason win of his career.


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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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