Buehler’s Night On
Fans, do not wait to watch Walker Buehler pitch in Rancho Cucamonga, if you do, you may regret it later. Not attempted to stoke any trade rumors, just trying to warn fans. The warning is this: Watch your stars before they are gone. Again, not a trade rumor, no insider information, just a plea to anyone reading. Go watch Walker Buehler pitch before he is moved up to Tulsa. Fans may have a few more starts with Buehler at the Dodgers Class High A affiliate in Rancho, but after that, he may just move along towards to big leagues. Tonight Walker Buehler threw only three innings, but they were three electrifying innings.
There was much more to the story on this night for the Quakes, but pitching still the prime topic as the bullpen was fantastic. Shea Spitzbarth came in to prolong the Lake Elsinore team’s strike out streak, that Buehler had started, by ringing up the first batter of the top of the fourth. Spitzbarth, already with 2 saves on the year finished the Padres minor league affiliate in order to conclude his work for the night. Dean Kremer came in for the next three innings for the Quakes. Although Kremer did surrender the three runs the Storm scored on the night, his stuff looked great and he did strike out five batters in his three innings of work. Wes Helsabeck came on in relief in the 8th inning. He worked both the 8th and the 9th, the lefty from North Carolina was certainly on his game tonight. He struck out the side in both innings to earn his first save of the season. The Quakes pitching staff ended up striking out 20 Storm batters on Saturday night.
Quakes Offense Keeps Rumbling
Drew Jackson drove in the games first run in the bottom of the second when he singled to left field, Ibandel Isabel scored on the play. Luke Raley was thrown out at third on Jackson’s RBI base knock. The Quakes offense went back on the attack in the next inning as Will Smith smacked a triple off the wall in center field, scoring both DJ Peters and Yusniel Diaz. The Dodgers farm hands were now up 3-0. Next batter, Ibandel Isabel got a chance with Smith at third base and he capitalized, plating the young catching prospect with a fairly deep fly to left field. 4-0 Quakes until the next frame for Rancho, that’s when Drew Jackson came up and had Logan Landon in scoring position. Landon came around to score after Jackson singled sharply to left field. Drew Jackson, one of the newest prospects in the Dodgers organization ended up a great night. 2-4 2RBI’s and 2 clutch singles when his team needed them the most.
Back to Walker
Walker Buehler began the game by surrendering two singles. The first was a squib just past the pitchers mound to the right of Buehler. Omar Estevez, at shortstop, charged hard and attempted the bare-hand, but was unsuccessful. The next batter, Chris Baker singled to left field sharply and the Quakes found themselves in a jam early. Or so it seemed. You could see no emotion from the Quakes right handed pitcher, but you got the feeling he was none too happy. The Vanderbilt alum went to work. He got the next batter for the Storm, Josh Naylor, to fly out to left field. After that, no other pitch by Walker Buehler was put into play. Buehler went on to strike out the next two batters to complete the first inning and to get out of the first inning “situation.”
Walker Buehler did not stop there. He went on to strike out the side in not only the second inning, but also in the 3rd inning. Walker was dominate as he disposed of would-be hitters one by one. He had 8 strike outs, five looking, three swinging. Walker threw 53 total pitches and 37 of those were strikes.
Not sure how accurate the stadium radar gun reading is, but according to that, (besides breaking balls) Walker did not throw a fastball slower than 94 MPH. He was consistently in the 97-98 MPH range. It even registered 99 MPH once.
The Dodgers organization is being very careful with young prospect pitchers such as Mitch White and Walker Buehler. Walker was not allowed to continue his strike out streak in the fourth inning. Quakes Manager Drew Saylor took him out after his 53 pitches.
The final score tonight Quakes 5 – Storm 3
Buehler’s Pitching Line From Tonight
Career Pitching Stats – Walker Buehler