D-backs muster 3 hits, get blanked by Walker Buehler in loss to Dodgers
PHOENIX — The Arizona Diamondbacks failed to play a complete game once again on Monday night at Chase Field.
In a 4-0 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers in front of 17,750 fans, the D-backs managed to play outstanding defense and got two solid pitching performances, but failed to show up offensively against L.A. starting pitcher Walker Buehler.
The Dodgers righty was nearly unhittable on the night, as only Diamondbacks’ Daulton Varsho, Christian Walker and David Peralta managed to hit their way on, while Seth Beer reached after getting hit by a pitch for a grand total of four baserunners on the night — all of which were left on.
“He threw a lot of breaking balls, keeping you honest so you couldn’t just sit on that fastball. He pitched a heck of a game,” Beer said postgame. “I felt like I took some good swings today. I wish I would’ve gotten a little bit more barrel on my third at-bat, that ball I hit out to left, I saw it pretty well.
“I didn’t see too many pitches today, but for the most part, I feel like he just had an idea of a game plan of attacking and filling up the zone with all kinds of pitches so you couldn’t just be sitting or looking for one. It’s just one of those games where you have to tip your cap. He’s an incredible pitcher and you just have to live on for tomorrow.”
Buehler finished the night with a complete-game, three-hit shutout — the first of his career — to go along with a season-high 10 strikeouts and no walks on 108 pitches (75 strikes).
“Buehler had really good stuff and I thought we went out of the zone a few times and gave him a chance to look even better and work even more efficiently,” D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said postgame. “So I think in those critical counts, we have to be a little bit more stubborn. Those 1-0, 2-1 counts that we kind of push out of our favor making 1-1 instead of 2-0 and 2-2 instead of 3-1. When he’s going out good you put yourself in a really big bind.”
The one bright side for the Diamondbacks on the night was their pitching and fielding.
After allowing two runs in the first inning on a two-RBI double from Trea Turner that drove in Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman, Arizona starting pitcher Merrill Kelly settled down and only allowed one more after that in six innings pitched — marking the second time a D-backs starter has gone into the sixth inning other than Tyler Gilbert.
Diamondbacks third baseman Geraldo Perdomo, who was making his first career start at the hot corner, helped Kelly get out of the first-inning jam by making this double play almost singlehandedly:
Not bad for your first-ever professional play at third base. 👏 pic.twitter.com/fI0Ru0dweY
— Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) April 26, 2022
Kelly finished the night with a quality start having allowed three runs on seven hits while striking out four and walking two on 98 pitches (64 strikes).
“Didn’t feel the best today,” Kelly said postgame. “Kind of one of those days — I’ve talked about it before — just kind of a grinder of a day. So against that team to be able to go six and keep us in the game, I was happy with.”
Left-handed pitcher Tyler Gilbert — who was recalled from Triple-A Reno earlier on Monday — came in to relieve Kelly after six innings and only allowed one run on a Max Muncy solo homer. Gilbert also struck out three and walked one to bring his season total to six strikeouts and two walks over 8.2 innings while only allowing two runs in two appearances (one start).
“Merrill was, I thought after two quick runs, was fantastic and kind of closing the door, closing the gap up limiting one limiting them to one run over the next five,” Lovullo said. “We depend on him to do that and he made some adjustments inside of the game and handed it over to Gilbert who gave up one run.
“But it was mostly about our offense not really being stubborn in some critical situations — where I thought we could have done a little bit more to have a successful at-bat.”
The D-backs host the Dodgers in Game 2 of the three-game series on Tuesday at 6:40 p.m. on ESPN 620 AM or 98.7 FM HD-2.
Arizona RHP Zach Davies vs. Los Angeles RHP Tony Gonsolin is the expected starting pitching matchup.