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Dodgers News: Walker Buehler Officially Gets the Ball to Stave off Elimination



It’s official. Walker Buehler gets the ball for the Dodgers in an elimination game at Dodger Stadium. The team made the announcement this morning, and really this shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. To counter, the Giants are sending right-hander Anthony DeSclafani to the mound to start, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see Logan Webb end up with a ball in his hand at some point tonight if San Francisco has a lead.

Buehler posted a 16-4 record on the year with a 2.47 ERA, making a career-high 33 starts and tossing a career-high 207.2 innings. He started game 1 against the Giants, allowing 3 earned runs in 6.1 IP at Oracle Park in San Francisco, this will be in LA where the ace has a 2.30 ERA lifetime at Dodger Stadium.

It’s do or die for the Dodgers tonight, which is a familiar situation for Buehler. Over his career, he’s stepped up in the big moments, and, once again, the big moment falls upon his shoulders. Still, the big question for LA will remain, which offense will show up tonight?

The bats scattered just 5 hits in a 1-0 shutout loss on Monday night. However, advanced stats tell you that luck absolutely was not on the side of the Dodgers. The team had an xBA (expected batted average) of .288 on batted balls in game 3. In game 2, that number was a similar .282. Looking at individual momentum-shifting moments for LA, it gets even worse.

So, the season hangs in the balance once again for this 106 win team. Buehler gets the start and the offense needs to find more luck in their back pockets. Behind Walker, anyone and everyone on the pitching staff should be available. In an ideal world, Dave Roberts is able to hold Julio Urias back for a game 5 situation, but if you don’t win today, there is no game 5.

First pitch is at 6:07 PM PT with the call on TBS and AM570 LA Sports Radio.

NEXT: Tony Gonsolin Expects to Pitch in Some Capacity in NLDS Game 4

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.

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  1. What else can you do. Go so line sucked in the post season last year and hasn’t been good this year. They need to hit or it won’t matter anyway.

    • You got that right! Ok all you Bellinger and Roberts detractors, I want to hear from you. Give me your best shot. Playoff loser Pollock finally in the right position…THE BENCH!

      • As previously stated, “it ‘aint over until its over.” Admittedly, it was not looking good for our Dodgers after Game 3 but it was not time for any of us to throw in the towel.

        Last night, Buehler did what he needed to do plus some. Our offense showed up to support his effort and they showed up EARLY. This is what the Dodgers must do tomorrow night to get the “W” against the Giants. Almost all of Giants seem to have an uncanny knack for barely swinging but knocking one out of the park. Because of this threat, at every point in the lineup, we are relying on our pitchers to do their best to keep the Giants constrained. I believe that Urias has repeatedly proven himself and our bullpen is solid, but our offense is going to have to figure Webb out and fast. Barring the unforeseen, Webb will go deep into innings which is what SF is counting on. (The Giants’ bullpen did not look particularly sharp last night so hopefully the bullpen is burnt.) The Dodgers need to find a way to run up Webb’s pitch count and not swing wildly at Webb’s slider and whatever else he is dealing. Let’s see patient at-bats…Now let’s go Dodgers!!!

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