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Dodgers: Chronicling Walker Buehler’s 23rd Start (Game 163)

Dodgers Nation will be following Walker Buehler’s starts as he seeks to be the next elite Dodgers pitcher. The Dodgers have a history of dominant players on the mound from Sandy Koufax to Don Drysdale to Clayton Kershaw. As a former first-round pick and a highly touted prospect, Buehler looks to be the next big thing in Los Angeles. All we can do is relax and enjoy the show.

October 1st, 2018

Season statistics coming into the game: (7-5, 2.76 ERA)

Season statistics after the game: (8-5, 2.62 ERA)

The Opponent: Colorado Rockies

Stadium: Dodger Stadium

Days of Rest: 6

Catcher: Yasmani Grandal

Game Results

Innings Pitched: 6.2

Earned Runs: 0

Hits: 1

Home Runs: 0

Strikeouts: 3

Walks: 3

Pitch Count: 93

Batters Faced: 24

Baseball-Reference Game Score: 72

History

This game was the first tie-breaker in Dodgers’ history since 1980. Walker Buehler got the win – and in his 11 starts, he finished with a 1.58 ERA with 80 strikeouts in 68.1 innings. Buehler literally willed the Dodgers to a sixth straight National League West Championship. This was the first October start in the young pitcher’s big league career.

Performance

Although it was the sixth time in 2018 that Buehler opposed Colorado, he was borderline dominant. This past Monday, Buehler allowed only a single hit, while again giving up no runs. He surrendered just three walks and was in command while the Dodgers amassed a comfortable lead. Speaking of that – Buehler also recorded his first hit as a major leaguer. It was a run-scoring single to give the Dodgers a 5-0 lead, one that they would not relinquish.

The Highs

The Dodgers’ young ace didn’t allow a hit until Charlie Blackmon singled with one out in the sixth inning. Although he added just three strikeouts to his ledger, one of them set the tone early. Carlos Gonzalez, tell us what 98 from Buehler looks like.

Buehler improved his WHIP from 0.98 to 0.96 on the season. Since the stats counted, this all goes on the back of his someday valuable rookie card.

The Lows

In the third inning, Buehler hit Ian Desmond and then allowed a two-out walk to Blackmon to provide the Rockies with a short threat. Nonetheless, DJ Lemahieu grounded out to Manny Machado at shortstop to end the inning a hitter later. Aside from that, this was not a day based on lows.

Well, that may not *technically* be all true. Cover your ears, kiddos!

Analysis

Buehler passed every test and was arguably one of the most valuable Dodgers down to the end of the regular season. While he will start the team’s third postseason game in Atlanta on Sunday – there is a clear feel in the air that this is Los Angeles’ ace. Postgame analysts spent the evening on Monday breaking down Buehler’s electric stuff and gushing over his bright future. It may have not been the most dominant start of his career – but it was the biggest. Buehler showed in an impressive manner that he can control a ballgame on a day where he doesn’t have his best stuff. His competitive fire, guile, and confidence in his stuff are off-the-charts; and he makes the Dodgers a legitimate World Series threat.

[button color=”pink” size=”big” alignment=”center” rel=”follow” openin=”samewindow” url=”https://www.dodgersnation.com/nlds-preview-starting-pitching-match-ups-and-bullpen-br0105/2018/10/04/”]NLDS Preview: Dodgers Pitchings vs. Atlanta Pitching[/button]

Written by Clint Evans

Clint lives in Ohio, and played collegiate baseball. He loves the Dodgers due to his first memories of Chavez Ravine when he was nine years old. The voice of Vin Scully has been a staple in his life since he was a kid. No amount of baseball talk is ever enough, and he wishes the regular season was year round. He has written about baseball online since 2007.

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