Walker Buehler
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Video: Walker Buehler strikes out 16 in complete game win

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Dodgers right-hander Walker Buehler is fast approaching the career-high marks he established during his rookie campaign in 2018, particularly after the 16-strikeout complete game gem he twirled against the Rockies on Friday night. He expended just 111 pitches during his start and surrendered only three hits — a single to Charlie Blackmon and a pair of solo home runs to both Blackmon and Nolan Arenado.

For the first 3 2/3 innings, however, 24-year-old Buehler was perfect. He set down 11 consecutive outs — including five consecutive strikeouts between the second and third innings — before Arenado belted a two-out homer in the fourth inning. The righty’s eventual 16-strikeout feat was the 11th of its kind in franchise history, and represented a particular kind of excellence the club had not seen since Hideo Nomo’s one-run, 17-strikeout complete game against the Marlins in 1996.

The Dodgers’ offense, meanwhile, held their own: Chris Taylor drove in the first run on a sac fly in the second, while Cody Bellinger collected his 25th homer of the year off of German Márquez in the fourth. Tied 2-2 in the ninth, Max Muncy took a seven-pitch walk from Jairo Díaz and promptly plated the go-ahead run after rookie Matt Beaty drove a two-out, 1-0 fastball to center field for a walk-off homer.

The 4-2 win was just the latest in a string of exceptional appearances by Buehler, from his near no-hitter last Saturday to his quality start against the Giants and one-run, 11-strikeout affair against the Diamondbacks at the start of the month. He’ll get another chance to boost his season stats (an 8-1 record in 15 starts with a 2.96 ERA, 1.3 BB/9, 9.9 SO/9, and 2.6 fWAR across 91 1/3 innings) when he takes on the D-backs during the Dodgers’ road trip this Wednesday.

Nationals’ major leaguers to continue offering financial assistance to minor leaguers

Sean Doolittle
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On Sunday, we learned that while the Nationals would continue to pay their minor leaguers throughout the month of June, their weekly stipend would be lowered by 25 percent, from $400 to $300. In an incredible act of solidarity, Nationals reliever Sean Doolittle and his teammates put out a statement, saying they would be covering the missing $100 from the stipends.

After receiving some criticism, the Nationals reversed course, agreeing to pay their minor leaguers their full $400 weekly stipend.

Doolittle and co. have not withdrawn their generosity. On Wednesday, Doolittle released another statement, saying that he and his major league teammates would continue to offer financial assistance to Nationals minor leaguers through the non-profit organization More Than Baseball.

The full statement:

Washington Nationals players were excited to learn that our minor leaguers will continue receiving their full stipends. We are grateful that efforts have been made to restore their pay during these challenging times.

We remain committed to supporting them. Nationals players are partnering with More Than Baseball to contribute funds that will offer further assistance and financial support to any minor leaguers who were in the Nationals organization as of March 1.

We’ll continue to stand with them as we look forward to resuming our 2020 MLB season.

Kudos to Doolittle and the other Nationals continuing to offer a helping hand in a trying time. The players shouldn’t have to subsidize their employers’ labor expenses, but that is the world we live in today.