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Dodgers: Could LA Go With Max Scherzer Over Walker Buehler in a Wild Card Game?

Dodgers insider sees a new postseason ace for LA in a must win game.



For years the Dodgers relied on Clayton Kershaw to hand the ball to in a win or go home game. With his decline from his prime years, things have changed and a new face rose to take his place. In the past two seasons, Walker Buehler had emerged as the new go-to guy with the team’s back up against the wall. It seemed that trend would continue again this year as Buehler has been downright dominant throughout the season.

At least he was until last Sunday’s meltdown against the Giants. In a game that was so crucial, and where Buehler had delivered so many times before, he was unable to rise to the occasion. Instead, the Giants tagged him for 6 runs and he was pulled after 3 innings. 

The OC Register’s Bill Plunkett was asked who should be the Dodgers go-to guy while on High Heat with Chris Russo and he wasn’t too shy to call out Buehler.

“That’s a really good question now. It all changed this week. If you’d ask me that Saturday, I probably would have said Buehler because he had been so consistent. He had ten starts in a row with two runs or less, six innings or more. Then Sunday he went out and he was not good. We come here Monday and Scherzer just dominates, thirteen strikeouts in eight innings. I think not only has Scherzer moved to the front of the CY Young pack, I think he’s your guy for a one game must win situation if they get to that.”

It’s kind of a cheap shot to automatically write him off after one bad start, especially since he’s had an otherwise elite season. Yet, if he can’t handle a regular season start, albeit with high than usual stakes, is he still able to handle the high pressure atmosphere of a playoff game, and a win or go home one at that. 

There’s certainly enough time for him to right the ship before the playoffs, but as of now Max Scherzer is proving he deserves the ball.

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Written by Adam Salcido

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  1. The question is not whether Buehler can handle the wild card start. Of course he can. But right now there is no pitcher I would rather have pitch a game like that than Mad Max. Of course, the way the Dodgers are hitting at this point, Max could give up a single run and still lose. But if he wins, then you have Buehler, Kershaw and Urias ready to go in the division series.

    • If Dodgers end up playing the Padres in that one and done game it won’t matter how well Scherzer pitches because I must figure Dodgers will be cut down by Snell anyway with this inept offense. And to make matters worse Roberts will have Bellinger in CF for his defense. SMH.

  2. Love Buehler but has to be Scherzer, everybody knows that except Roberts. Who knows what he will do.

  3. how did Max and Walker do against the pods this year? I’d go with whomever we believe will win the game. Based on recent performance alone, that would go to Max. He is on a tear, and we don’t know yet if Walker’s last start was a one-off or start of something else. Anyway I am enjoying each and every game of this pennant race. We can worry about who will pitch game 1 division, 1 game playoff with gnats, or wild card game when the next 3 weeks are over.

  4. I’d go with Walker because then Max could pitch twice in the division series against the Giants. Somehow the Giants figured out Walker his last time out, they had his number in spades and were barreling him up. That means Walker will need to adjust his approach or risk a similar outcome, either way its a crap shoot. Yeah, it could have been just a one-off bad outing. But, in that case, you still have Walker pitching the crucial wild card game and one game in the division series. Yes, the division series is a moot point if we don’t win the wild card, but Walker is “close enough” to Max to give us a win from the pitching side of the equation. Offense, another story.

    • David,
      I most definitely agree with your comments.
      Buehler it’s been so good in the past few games and I’m sure he could win the wild card game giving Max the chance to pitch twice against bathe giants as you say and he’s been great so far so we should be fine as long as Dumb Roberts doesn’t try to screw things up by putting Bellinger in the game. Looks like Lux is doing well so far.?

  5. Either of the aforementioned would do well. But right now I’d hand the ball to Urias in a must win game. He’s seemed to be steady, especially going into later innings. The Dodgers have three CY candidates.

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