Thank goodness it’s still spring. Starter Walker Buehler was roughed in his latest Cactus League outing. The righty was tagged for nine earned runs in just 4 ⅓ innings, as the Dodgers fell to Brewers, 9-6, despite a late rally.
Over the past couple games, Dodger starting pitchers have struggled with the long ball. During the first inning, Buehler gave up three home runs, including two back to back. Trevor Bauer also surrendered three long balls on Monday.
The Dodgers jumped out to an early 2-0 lead, courtesy of a Justin Turner two-run home run. However, the Brewers proceeded to score nine unanswered runs.
“There’s not a whole lot worse you can do, hopefully, that was the worst that I will do all year,” said Buehler regarding his pitching line.
His Cactus League ERA is now 8.10. However, it’s still only spring which means absolutely nothing. If Buehler has any bad starts the sooner he has them the better.
Christian Yelich, Keston Hiura, and Omar Narvaez all hit solo home runs off Buehler during the first inning to put up the Brewers 3-2. Hiura hit another home run in the second inning, this time a two-run blast.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, the Brewers added a couple of RBI to go up 9-2.
The game remained pretty stagnant from there until the top of the ninth inning. The Dodgers managed to begin a mini-rally, as they added four runs courtesy of a couple of RBI by Zach McKinstry, Sheldon Neuse, and Rangel Ravelo.
The Dodgers have an off day on Wednesday before taking on the Cubs, as they begin to wrap up their Cactus League schedule. Dustin May is slated to pitch on Friday.
As the Cactus League finale approaches Sunday, the Dodgers have started to announce a few roster moves. Today, the team announced that they have optioned left-handed pitcher Garrett Cleavinger, and sent down pitchers James Pazos, Mike Kickham, and Nick Robertson, catcher Tim Federowicz and infielders Matt Davidson and Rangel Ravelo to minor league camp.
More roster moves are expected to be announced during the coming days as Opening Day quickly approaches. The Dodgers could carry around 12-13 pitchers to start the season, so it will be interesting to see who the odd man out is.
One of the more intriguing position battles will be to see who gets the last utility spot. Matt Beaty, McKinstry, and Neuse are among some names that will be in the running.