Buehler dominant, but 'pen gives up slam

Dodgers righty outpitches Scherzer for seven innings

May 12th, 2019

LOS ANGELES -- has three more Cy Young Awards, six more All-Star berths and a 20-strikeout start three years ago to the day. But on Saturday night, was the better pitcher.

That was not good enough this time, as Scherzer and the Nationals came away with a 5-2 victory after slugged a grand slam off Dodgers reliever with two out in the top of the eighth inning.

“Can’t say enough about what Walker did tonight,” said manager Dave Roberts. “How he competed. He was dominant tonight and it was fun to watch. He was pretty fired up. He had everything working. Unfortunately, that eighth inning got away from us.”

It’s the second Dodgers loss in a week on a grand slam off a reliever. Even worse, Dodgers relievers have been charged with nine of the club’s 16 losses this season, more losses than the starters.

This bullpen loss was shared by Dodgers third baseman , whose throwing error made all of the Washington runs unearned, according to the official scorer.

“It sailed on me,” said Turner.

Floro was given an unearned run on the Parra homer because of the Turner error that occurred before Floro entered. But, according to Rule 9.16, it should be earned for Floro, unearned for the team:

“When pitchers are changed during an inning, the relief pitcher shall not have the benefit of previous chances for outs not accepted in determining earned runs.”

The error, on a potential double-play grounder, more than offset his two-run homer that came two innings after Scherzer drilled Turner’s right forearm with a 94.9 mph fastball. Turner has six homers, and five in the last four games.

“That shows the toughness of Justin right there,” Roberts said.

Although it was a no-decision, Buehler delivered his best start of the young season against one of the best pitchers of this generation. And don’t think Buehler wasn’t enjoying his seven scoreless innings even more because of his matchup.

“You get up for every game, but facing a three-time Cy Young winner is a little different,” said Buehler, who allowed four hits, struck out seven and walked one.”He’s pretty unbelievable.”

Buehler was a little more unbelievable going head-to-head. He retired 18 of the last 19 batters he faced, the biggest jam coming in the first when when a throwing error by Enrique Hernandez on a bunt helped create a bases-loaded and no outs situation. But Victor Robles got himself picked off second base on an Austin Barnes throw, then Buehler got Anthony Rendon on a fly ball and struck out Parra.

“He wasn’t overthrowing, he was under control and locating,” Turner said of Buehler. “It’s one thing to throw 97 and 98 [mph], but when you’re locating it and under control, you’re a lot better pitcher.”

But Buehler also made 22 pitches in the first inning and he acknowledged that helped swell his total to 97 through seven.

“For me, right there, 97 pitches and there was some hard contact towards the end, he gave us everything he had,” said Roberts.

The two-run lead Turner provided in the third inning was still standing, but Roberts hit for Buehler in the bottom of the seventh and turned the game over to the bullpen.

“I would have liked to have been in a better position to do so,” Buehler said. “Hitting second in that inning puts you in a tough spot. Wish I would have saved five, seven or eight pitches earlier on.”

Floro came into the game having not allowed an earned run all season.