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Dodgers 2019 NLDS: Walker Buehler Familiar with the Big Stage in October

You see pressure, Buehler sees fun.

Dodgers
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 26: Walker Buehler #21 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts after a strike out during the seventh inning against the Boston Red Sox in Game Three of the 2018 World Series at Dodger Stadium on October 26, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Been there, done that. Young Dodgers ace Walker Buehler knows a thing or two about stepping into the spotlight in a big game. By his count, this would be the third time in his two full seasons as a big leaguer. By our count, it seems like even more.

Walker spoke with the media in Washington in preparation for his game 5 start at Dodger Stadium.

I guess this will be kind of my third [win or go home] scenario, so something I’m familiar with. Getting to do it at home certainly helps… there’s not a lot to it — we got to win a game and if we don’t, we go home.

Heading into the NLDS, the Dodgers weren’t expected to be in this situation. The team that paced the National League with 106 wins — a franchise record — is facing elimination in the first round of the playoffs. While undoubtedly LA is the better built team, Washington has rode the momentum of a come-from-behind win over Milwaukee in the Wild Card play in game to get to this point.

Moreover, Washington was tied with the Dodgers for the best record in the NL from May 24 and onward.

Long story short, the Nats are a better team than given credit for. Nevertheless, the Dodgers remain unphased, Walker Buehler in particular.

I think in [these big games] it kind of helps to know that you got everyone else behind you — it’s kind of ‘all hands on deck.’ And go as long as you can, as good as you can and try and get out of it as clean.

In a scenario where a young pitcher might be more interested to put the pressure on anyone else, Buehler finds the fun in it.

The thing that’s kind of lost in playoff baseball is that it’s really fun. And I think the pressure and things like that — if you spin it in your head the right way — if can make it more fun.

For Dodger fans, it truly is more fun with “The Buehldog” on the mound. The staff is anchored by a three-time Cy Young award winner, and a Cy Young hopeful, but there is no one anyone would rather see on the mound then Walker F’n Buehler.

Written by Clint Pasillas

Clint is the lead editor of Dodgers Nation, and a host and analyst on Dodgers Nation's own Blue Heaven podcast live stream.

He's been writing, blogging, and podcasting Dodgers since about 2008. He was there for Nomar, Greg Maddux, and Blake DeWitt, and he'll be there for Walker Buehler, Alex Verdugo, Dustin May, and any Dodgers of the future.

He's also a sandwich enthusiast, a consummate athlete, and a friend.

One Comment

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  1. He’ll be the only one to show up. Looks like another offseason of swamp draining. Can’t seem to ever get it right

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