DIAMONDBACKS (43-44) AT DODGERS (58-29)
10:10 p.m. ET; SNLA, MLBN, FS-A, MLB.TV
Los Angeles Dodgers (-1.5) right-hander Walker Buehler is set for his first start since being named a National League All-Star, but he will have something else motivating him Wednesday when he faces the Arizona Diamondbacks (+1.5).
In his most recent outing, three days before learning of his first All-Star nod, Buehler had his worst outing of the season when he gave up seven runs on 13 hits over 5 2/3 innings in a game the Dodges ultimately won 12-8 at Colorado.
The stumble came after Walker had given up two earned runs or fewer in seven of his previous eight outings.
Even after learning he was an All-Star on Sunday, he couldn’t talk about the honor without mentioning the outing in Denver. It came after he struck out 16 Rockies on June 21 in a complete-game, three-hit win.
“I think the biggest thing for me is kind of getting off to a bad start (this season) and simplifying the game,” Buehler said on SportsNetLA. “The kind of run the past couple of months I’ve had, with the exception of (Coors Field), has been limiting walks and striking guys out. It’s been a good run, and obviously I’m very honored.”
The last time Buehler faced the Diamondbacks was on June 3 at Arizona when he struck out 11 while giving up just one run on two hits over eight innings in the Dodgers’ 3-1 victory. He is 1-0 in his career against Arizona with a 3.47 ERA over four starts.
The Dodgers hold a 7-4 lead in the season series and are 4-1 in games at Dodger Stadium after a stunning 5-4 win Tuesday. Arizona was ahead 4-3 in the bottom of the ninth, with two outs, no runners on base and an 0-2 count. Diamondbacks closer Greg Holland then walked that batter and the next three to tie the game, and T.J. McFarland walked Cody Bellinger to send home the winning run.
The result was Los Angeles’ fourth consecutive walk-off victory at home. In their previous homestand, they got three consecutive game-ending home runs from rookies.
Merrill Kelly (7-8, 4.00 ERA) will try to get the Diamondbacks back on track Wednesday when he makes his first career appearance against the Dodgers. The 30-year-old right-hander, who spent the previous four seasons in Korea, is coming off a strong June in which he went 3-2 with a 2.75 ERA over six starts.
As good as Kelly was in June, teammate Ketel Marte was even better. The second baseman batted .374 with seven home runs in the month, with the push allowing him to earn a starting spot in the All-Star Game.
Right-hander Zack Greinke was also named an All-Star, but otherwise the Diamondbacks had a ho-hum June, going 15-13. Arizona is looking for more as it heads toward the end of the first half.
“It seems like we win one, lose one, win one, lose one, win two, lose two, win three, lose three,” Diamondbacks right fielder Adam Jones said, according to the Arizona Republic. “You’ve got to just get on that roll where you win seven out of 10 for a couple of 10-game stretches. You’ve got to get on a roll.”
–Field Level Media