Dodgers look for record-tying effort from Walker Buehler vs. Diamondbacks

MLB

The Los Angeles Dodgers’ relievers know they can take a little extra time getting comfortable in the bullpen when Walker Buehler is on the mound.

That’s because Buehler has lasted at least six innings in all 13 of his starts this season, and he’ll try to go deep again Saturday night against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Phoenix.

Buehler (6-0, 2.38 ERA) also will try to add to his string of victories and shutout innings. He has not allowed a run in the past 14 innings and has not lost in his past 22 starts dating to Sept. 29, 2019.

The Dodgers’ record for most consecutive starts without a loss is 23 by Kirby Higbe for the Brooklyn Dodgers, who set the mark from 1943-1946, though Higbe didn’t play between 1944-1945 while serving for the United States in World War II.

“To me, that’s a team number,” Buehler said. “That doesn’t happen unless the offense has saved me a bunch of times, which they have.”

Buehler will be up against an Arizona team that is struggling mightily.

The Dodgers handed the Diamondbacks their 15th straight defeat on Friday night, 3-0 in the opener of a three-game series.

The Diamondbacks are scheduled to send rookie right-hander Matt Peacock to the mound on Saturday.

Peacock (2-4, 5.26) made one of his six starts this season against the Dodgers on May 19 and did not receive a decision in a 4-2 Arizona loss.

He gave up one run and four hits in 5 1/3 innings and left with a 2-1 lead before the Dodgers scored three in the seventh.

One issue affecting Peacock in recent games has been his control. He walked just three in his first 11 appearances this season covering 28 innings, but he has walked 10 in his past three outings covering 11 1/3 innings, all losses.

He most recently allowed three runs and 10 hits in five innings of a 5-2 loss to the San Francisco Giants on Monday. He walked three and struck out three.

Peacock has shown he can bounce back, however.

He quit baseball after getting off to a slow start at South Alabama, worked for his grandfather’s business for a year, and then returned to college, where he was eventually a 23rd-round pick of the Diamondbacks in the 2017 MLB Draft.

Peacock was out of baseball for most of 2020 after the minor-league seasons were canceled and again went to work for his grandfather.

He impressed the Diamondbacks enough in spring training to make the 40-man roster and was called up to the majors in early April.

Peacock distinguished himself in his first game, becoming the first pitcher since 1945 to win an extra-inning game and produce a hit in his MLB debut.

“It’s weird, after leaving baseball and coming back,” Peacock said. “I see the game a little differently than anyone else. I know there are things you can be doing, like working 12-hour shifts, and just not enjoying life as much. So I don’t let the moment get too big. I stay in the moment.”

Buehler will try to maintain his focus and keep the Dodgers in line for another victory, something he has learned from teammate Clayton Kershaw, a three-time NL Cy Young Award winner.

“It’s all about your perspective and your expectation of yourself. (Kershaw) has taught me a lot about that,” Buehler said. “So I expect to go deep into games and have some success. Obviously, I don’t think I would think or believe quite the same if he wasn’t here. It’s just kind of a nod to what kind of person and player he has been for a long time.”

–Field Level Media

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