The Dodgers and Braves will play a Game 7 on Sunday.
After going down 3-1 in the NLCS against the Atlanta Braves, the Los Angeles Dodgers have stormed back and rode the arm of Walker Buehler on Saturday night in Game 6 to force a do-or-die Game 7 on Sunday.
LA’s offense gave the team another burst in the first inning with three runs, two coming on back-to-back homers from Corey Seager and Justin Turner, which put Buehler in a position to cruise. That’s all it took in the 3-1 victory, but Buehler’s performance is the highlight of the night.
Why? He’s continuing to battle blister issues, managed to last six full innings on 89 pitches, and got out of a bases-loaded, no outs jam in the second inning. Did we mention these postseason accolades, too?
Can you believe that stat? He’s tied with Clayton Kershaw, who has pitched in 35 career postseason games and was the Dodgers’ ace for nearly a decade. There were question marks surrounding Buehler’s reliability since his previous three postseason outings lasted just a total of 13 innings because of the blisters. His regular season was upended by the injury, as he was placed on the injured list two times.
But he’s now held opponents to just one run in seven of his 10 career postseason outings. Though Kershaw’s one of the best pitchers ever, he has among the most shaky of playoff resumes. Buehler’s already headed toward greatness and he’s made just 70 career regular season starts.
We were wrong to think Roberts should have started Kershaw in Game 1 due to Buehler’s recent shortcomings.
It all paid off in this singular outing, which is the sole reason he’s the Dodgers’ ace and Game 1 postseason starter. His fastball was no match for the Braves, who have now had the tables turned on them. Their backs are now against the wall after the Dodgers have played every moment of the series in that role.
Game 7. Sunday at 8:15 p.m. ET. And the reason we’re there is because of Walker Buehler.