3. Walker Buehler’s Meltdown in Game 6
Again, we’re not blaming Walker Buehler here. The man was a trooper. A Cy Young candidate who blew by his career high in innings pitched by over 30 frames. He was exhausted when the playoffs rolled around and pitched on short rest twice.
In fact, he had to pitch in this game because Max Scherzer’s arm was dead. The odds were stacked against Buehler, but he managed to somewhat cruise through 3.2 innings. Then he got ahead 1-2 in the count to Travis d’Arnaud. Three straight balls put a runner on first. He was one strike away from getting out of the inning.
Then came pinch-hitter Ehire Adrianza in the nine-hole. Another ball. That’s now four straight. Adrianza doubled on the next pitch he saw, which was a poorly located fastball up and in. That’s a walk to the eight hitter and a double to the nine hitter, who was batting .247 on the year.
Who did that bring up? Oh, only the hottest hitter in the entire MLB postseason — Eddie Rosario. Buehler got ahead in the count 1-2. Great. OK, probably threw 12 more pitches than he needed to, but one more strike gets us into the fifth. Well, he sure did throw a strike.
Another poorly located cutter, right over the middle of the plate. Couldn’t be more in Rosario’s wheelhouse. The pitch was creamed into the right field seats. Three-run homer. 4-1. With the way the Dodgers offense was performing, that meant Game Over.
And it was.