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Dodgers News: Walker Buehler Will Start Game 6 on Short Rest



The Dodgers will be looking to stay alive in the NLCS tonight in Atlanta. After the Braves took a commanding 3-1 lead, Los Angeles woke up their offense in Game 5 and they are now just 1 win away from tying things up and forcing a Game 7. 

But they’ll need to get through Game 6 first. Max Scherzer was supposed to be the guy to get them there, but he was announced as a scratch on Friday night. The Dodgers were hoping he would bounce back better from his last start, but that clearly did not happen. 

Instead, the Dodgers will go with Walker Buehler on short rest yet again. Buehler last threw on Tuesday in LA and got up to 76 pitches in 3.2 innings of work. The Dodgers eventually won that game, but Buehler got hit hard early on and Doc went to the bullpen. 

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The hope is that Buehler will be able to give them some decent length with the bullpen already being worked hard. But this is also the second time this postseason that the Dodgers will turn to him on short rest. The last time was in the Division Series, and that was the first time in his career he pitched on short rest. 

Dodgers NLCS: Reliever Justin Bruihl Experiencing Pain in His Throwing Arm

Written by Brook Smith

Brook is the Senior Editor of Dodgers Nation, with several years of experience in sports journalism. He is an avid Dodgers and Lakers fan, and can be spotted fairly often at Dodger Stadium and Staples Center.

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  1. Geez in 1965 Sandy Koufax threw a complete game shutout vs the Twins in game 7 of the WS….ON TWO DAYS REST! No big deal! Butane is 27 for crying out loud! He’s got this!

      • 31 but that’s a different issue entirely. Buehler has made all of one start on short rest in his career! I’m sure this will not be a new trend development. Let’s not blow things out of proportion here.

      • Well, I was different times indeed. None of the technology available today to keep arms healthy was around then when Koufax fell on his pitching arm during a game that began his arthritic elbow problems. In 1966 made 41 starts, won 27 lost 9 with 27 complete games, yes in one season. He had 137 complete games during his career. Ross Porter wrote an interesting article on pitching some years ago finding little evidence that, on average, today’s way limiting innings, 5 day rotations and other things is lengthening pitching careers. It’s fascinating to go back in time and look at pitching records from “back in the day”.

  2. Buehler is no Sandy Koufax. He will maybe to three to four innings and if we’re lucky only give up a couple runs. Functionally, this is a bull pen day with the offense on the hot seat to put up lots of crooked numbers. Who’s playing centerfield today? We’re going to need good defense out there.

    • Of course Buehler is not Sandy Koufax! Butane’s a righty lol! You get the point though 😉

  3. Buehler on short rest is what we’ve got, so I am gonna roll with it. He is young and hungry. Let’s hope that Roberts has his relievers ready to go no matter when. I want to see Phillips at some point and we already know that the rest of our bullpen can do what needs to be done. I have to BELIEVE until what I want to happen is impossible. GO DODGERS!!!

    • Amen B McP.

      I too found myself wavering prior to game 5, all Dodgers did was make me look silly and put up 11.

      Until it’s impossible, I say carry on boys! Next man up. Deepest team in baseball hands down.

      Let’s go Dodgers!

  4. Buehler will give up 2 to 3 runs so the offense will have to step up. Kelly’s gone and Bruihl is hurting. That’s two pretty significant pieces of our BP. I imagine they will add Price to replace Kelly. Offense will have to step up. I look for Trea, Bellinger and Taylor to step up.

    • I kinda borrow the 1979 Pirates song…

      “WE ARE FAMILY”

      Call me a sentimentalist IDC. Lol

      • Thought it was hilarious when the SF PA was playing “I left my heart in SF” after they won games up there. But nice season roid boys. Lol

  5. Both Buhler and Urias Will make changes and shut out Braves fir at least 7 innings but need Barnes catching just look at Smith calling for fastballs up the middle after an 0 and 2 count or 1 and 2,Barnes is 5 times better at calling games hope Roberts remembers! Barnes was the catcher in last year’s world series

    • Luis, while I agree that Barnes is a far superior catcher than Smith. We need Smith’s bat in game 6. Barnes was a luxury at catcher in 2020 due to DH being used! If the game is still close late Barnes could come in as a defensive replacement. That would be my suggestion.

      • IDK But the game has changed since 1965 in the way pitchers are now used and trained. But they did this with CK a few years back and results weren’t that good. Let me say again that as Dodger offense goes, so go the Dodgers. Whoever plays Cheaters in WS will have a rough time but it could be that Astros found a way to cheat again. How else would Boston fall flat in those last 3 games played? Just maybe a thought here.

    • What numbers are you pointing to that support that? Staff ERA is pretty much the same between them, Smith gets more borderline pitches called than Barnes, and throws out more runners. Looking at the actual data, they seem pretty even honestly, and Smith’s bat is way more potent and Smith has proven to be clutch.

  6. The thing that is most concerning is Mad Max’s situation. This is most likely an underlying arm problem unrelated to his NLDS appearance. Having been a former pitcher, I would venture to guess I know more about this than most here.

      • I’ve said this as well. This might have all been pre-scripted. Who knows. Only the outcomes will perhaps give us more clarity. As for now, it’s all just speculation.

        Nothing in this game surprises me anymore. Ya know.

  7. How many times did Kershaw try to come back on short rest and how did that work out? The days of Koufax and Drysdale are long gone, so we’ll get as far as the offense carries us.

    • Steve, while the days of Koufax and Drysdale are indeed gone, trying to extrapolate from Kershaw to Buehler is unfair IMHO.

      They are different pitchers. Only the outcome of game 6’s Buehler start will provide us any clarity.

      Buehler did pitch effectively vs the Giants in the NLDS on short rest. Then proceeded to unravel in game 3 vs the Braves on regular rest.

      I will however attribute that more to the defensive misplay by Lux followed closely by the non-strikeout atrocious call on Joc.

      Let’s go Dodgers!

  8. A really dumb move. The Dodgers need to win 2 games against Atlanta. So, even if Buehler survives this game and the Dodgers win, they still need a starter for Game 7. If Scherzer is not available for Game 6, he is probably not available for Game 7. Urías would also be on short rest. My suggestion would be for them to substitute Andre Jackson for Andy Burns and do another bullpen game for Game 6. Knebel, Jackson, Phillips, Price, Bickford, Treinen, Jansen. If they get through this game, they will have a rested Buehler for Game 7. Scherzer can start Game 1 of the WS. Urías, Game 2.

    • Jamie, I kinda agree with you. It’s the way I would go too. Only difference would be I’d have Mitch White rather than Andre Jackson. Can’t sub out Andy Burns though. Burns is the replacement for JT. White or Jackson would be the replacement for Bruihl.

    • Unfortunately we don’t have all the backstory here. If this they way want to roll, it’s because they feel it’s the best way to go. And no, this is not a DR decision on his own. Anyone who can read knows it.

  9. It seems Buehler has been unable to hold a lead for very long. If he had he might have won 20 games this year. Dodgers definitely need their bats to score 5 or more to win.

    • Hyderman, TOTALLY UNFAIR! Buehler was victimized by absolutely no run support all year. One of his starts was when the Cubs threw a combined no-hitter against the Dodgers! It was the same all year…Buehler starts, no runs scored…Urias starts, massive runs scored. Buehler earned his nickname…Big Game for a reason! I’ll defend that all day!

  10. Interesting side note…Buehler started game 6 of the NLCS vs the Braves last year as well. Perhaps the “brain trust” is trying to replicate as many factors as possible. Wouldn’t shock me at all.

  11. Although Koufax retired at age 30, I have heard him say several times to Dr. Jobe, who invented “Tommy John” surgery and performed it on Tommy John in 1974, that he had wished that Dr. Jobe had invented that surgery at least 10 years earlier! He would have certainly had it done to prolong his career, and what a career it could have been! It seems that about half the pitchers in the bigs have had it already.

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