FILE - In this Sept. 30, 2017, file photo, Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Taijuan Walker throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals in Kansas City, Mo. Walker will start Arizona’s NL Division Series opener against the Dodgers after the craziness of the Diamondbacks’ wild-card game depleted their pitching staff. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)

Arizona picks Taijuan Walker to start Game 1 vs. Dodgers

LOS ANGELES — Taijuan Walker will start Arizona’s NL Division Series opener against the Dodgers after the craziness of the Diamondbacks’ wild-card game depleted their pitching staff.

Manager Torey Lovullo announced his choice Thursday at Dodger Stadium for the game Friday night against Los Angeles’ Clayton Kershaw. Lovullo told Walker of his decision only a couple of hours before announcing it.

“I was ready,” said Walker, who wasn’t on the wild-card roster. “I was prepared. They told me to be ready for either Game 1 or Game 2.”

Walker is stepping up to make his playoff debut after presumptive starter Robbie Ray was forced to throw 2 1/3 innings in the Diamondbacks’ wild 11-8 victory over Colorado on Wednesday night.

Ray had to come on in relief after ace Zack Greinke couldn’t get through four innings against the Rockies.

Walker was in the clubhouse, pacing back and forth while the Diamondbacks held off the Rockies.

“It was a wild one, so I’m still trying to recover from that,” Walker said with a laugh, recalling Arizona’s celebrations.

“But I’m ready. I’ve done my research. I’ve faced them a couple of times this year, so they’ve seen me, too. I think it should be a pretty good matchup.”

Walker went 9-9 with a 3.49 ERA in 28 starts during his first season with Arizona.

The right-hander has been a solid rotation starter for the Diamondbacks, who acquired him last November in a trade with Seattle including Jean Segura.

Lovullo didn’t announce a starter for Game 2 on Saturday. Ray says he feels fresh after his relief appearance and would be glad to pitch Game 2.

Greinke is expected to pitch Game 3 in Arizona on Monday. He spent three seasons with the Dodgers, winning 51 games before taking that mammoth $206.5 million contract with the Diamondbacks.

Rich Hill is slated to start Game 2 for the Dodgers. Yu Darvish is expected to pitch Game 3, and Alex Wood will pitch Game 4 if necessary, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Thursday.

Hyun-Jin Ryu won’t be on Los Angeles’ division series roster because he isn’t comfortable in a relief role, Roberts said.

Just Posted

BREAKING: Red Deer to host Canadian Finals Rodeo in 2018

The CFR is expected to bring $20-30 million annually to Red Deer and region

Ways to prevent a kitchen fire

Fire prevention officer releases safety tips

The cost of flushing sanitary wipes is brought to Red Deer city council

More public education is needed about what not to flush down toilets

WATCH: Rebels play floor hockey with Annie L. Gaetz students

The Rebels may be on a losing streak but they were definitely… Continue reading

Ice dancers Virtue and Moir to carry flag at Pyeongchang Olympics

Not since Kurt Browning at the 1994 Lillehammer Games has a figure… Continue reading

Beer Canada calls on feds to axe increasing beer tax as consumption trends down

OTTAWA — A trade association for Canada’s beer industry wants the federal… Continue reading

Central Albertans recall Hawaii’s false missile alert

Former Red Deer councillor Paul Harris was hanging out at the Ka’anapali… Continue reading

This robotic maid takes us one step closer to ‘The Jetsons’

Imagine this: You’re rushing to get ready for work — juggling emails,… Continue reading

Milan line offers canine couture for pampered pooches

Milan has long been the world’s ready-to-wear fashion leader. Now, dogs are… Continue reading

Kim Kardashian West and husband Kanye welcome baby girl

NEW YORK — It’s a girl for Kim Kardashian West and her… Continue reading

Advocate poll takers oppose plastic bag ban

Red Deer Advocate readers like their plastic bags. In an Advocate poll,… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month