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.
"It's something I'm familiar with and getting to do it at home certainly helps." @buehlersdayoff speaks about starting tomorrow's #NLDS Game 5 showdown at Dodger Stadium. #Dodgers pic.twitter.com/ezYN7ekgpD
— SportsNet LA (@SportsNetLA) October 9, 2019
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.