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Dodgers Postseason: Walker Buehler Not Surprised NLDS Goes to 5 Games

Starting pitching reigns supreme.

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 26: Walker Buehler #21 of the Los Angeles Dodgers delivers during the first inning of game three of the 2018 World Series against the Boston Red Sox on October 26, 2018 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

It comes down to this — win or go home… and for the Dodgers, Walker Buehler is firmly set on the former. The flamethrowing right-hander sees fun more than anything else in this winner take all game 5 matchup against the Washington Nationals.

However, on the match, don’t paint him surprised.

On the caliber of starting pitching featured by Los Angeles and Washington that lead them to a game 5, Buehler was thoughtful in his response.

I think, when you look at it, the other two teams left in the National League (Atlanta Braves and St. Louis Cardinals) are pretty good, but I think — you’d say — starting rotation wise these (LA and WAS) are the two best. So I don’t think it’s super surprising.

He’s dead on. The Dodgers led the NL in starter ERA with a 3.11 mark, followed by the Nationals number of 3.53. Washington bested LA in starting pitcher wins 66 to 62, lost 36 compared to 32 for the blue crew. In other words, they match up almost to a tee.

Where they differ is in how they got there. The Nats had 3 pitchers make at least 30 starts as where the Dodgers only had Buehler reach the 30 start plateau.

In a day and age where baseball features “openers” and “bulk guys,” Walker Buehler and game 5 opponent Stephen Strasburg are throwbacks. Two guys eyeing 200 innings pitched and 30+ games started every season. Two guys that consider a 6 inning start a failure. Power aces with wipeout repertoires and an edge to boot.

And for LA, the hope is that Buehler can prove himself as the better of the two.

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.

6 Comments

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  1. If Dodgers bats can’t hit Strasburg after 2 innings, they need to bunt every at bat, bunt gives them at least a marginal chance of turning it into a single, even after 2 strikes stay with the bunt. They can’t strike out 17 times like they did in Game 2. The Dodgers can’t score if they can’t make contact with the ball. BUNT.

      • It’s an old strategy deployed in the Japanese League in the early ’90’s, mostly during the 9th when a team knew they couldn’t hit the opposing closer they would drop consecutive bunts in order to get on base, at times forcing in a run. It also forced opposing team to make defensive adjustments against multiple hit-n-run scenario. If Dodgers hitters can’t make contact with the ball, that’s their best alternative. Again, they would be better off bunting than keep swinging and miss. Striking out 17 times gives them zero chance to get on base let alone scoring, however bunting 17 times at the plate get them very good chance to reach base mutiple times.

        I’m just tired of watching these Dodgers hitters kept striking out swinging in this series.

  2. YES, BUNT THE HELL OUT OF IT. D.R. needs to have kaki @ 2st , belli @ 1st , set the rookie lux down Potlicker OUT , matt in, pederson @ lf. c.t. @center , muncy @ r.f. ? we sure do need verdogo. IF, THEY CANT HIT THEY WILL LOSE THIS GAME

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