Walker Buehler Makes His First Start Since 2022

For the first time in nearly two years, Walker Buehler took the mound for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Ahead of last night’s start, Buehler last appeared in a game on June 10, 2022. One of the best pitchers in baseball at that time, Buehler would leave that start against the San Francisco Giants and soon undergo his second Tommy John surgery.

On Monday, the former ace squared off against the Miami Marlins. The results of his first start in nearly two years were never going to matter much. For Buehler, coming out of the start healthy and putting that milestone behind him were the two biggest moments. And, it didn’t hurt to see his velocity get up to 98 mph.

“I think I could be OK if I was 92-94 [mph]; I think I’m confident that way,” Buehler said. “But it helps a lot if I can throw 96 or 97. I’m very confident in my ability to do a lot of things with the ball. It’s just a lot easier for me to do it the way that I know how to do it. The idea that I can get pretty close to what I used to do, it makes it a little more attainable.”

Buehler allowed three hits and two runs in the first inning and surrendered a solo home run in the second, but he would hold the Marlins scoreless over his final two innings of work. Overall, Buehler allowed six hits and three runs over 4.0 IP. He also fanned four batters while not issuing a walk.

“The ceremony of it is done,” Buehler said. “Now I can kind of focus on trying to be good and helping our team. I wish it would’ve gone better. I wish I would’ve thrown five or six shutout innings and whatever. But it’s done. And I’m happy to be back.”

Buehler admitted that he was tired in the second inning, but he managed to battle through the fatigue and threw a total of 77 pitches. After the game, the Dodgers revealed that Buehler entered the game with an 85-pitch limit.

“I’m sure tomorrow he’s going to wake up feeling like he got in a car accident,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “His whole body’s going to be sore. But that’s a good thing. And so he’ll get back to, you know, being a regular major league starter. But we got Walker Buehler back.”

If Buehler can come close to regaining his previous form, the Dodgers may have the best 1-2-3 in baseball. For now, both Buehler and the team are just happy that he is back in the mix.