The Dodgers didn’t have much of a choice heading into Game 6 of the NLCS. With Max Scherzer unable to make his scheduled start, they had to turn to Walker Buehler to get the job done. They couldn’t go with a full bullpen game and they literally did not have another starter to take the ball for them.
So Dave Roberts went to Buehler on short rest for the second time this postseason. And for the most part, Buehler kept the Dodgers in the game. But a mistake pitch to Eddie Rosario ended up being the difference-maker as he took him deep to right and seal their fate.
After the game, Buehler talked about taking the ball on short rest and what he was hoping to accomplish out of it. He was also asked if he thought the Dodgers going to him on short rest ultimately played a role in the outcome.
You want to be like this Herculean thing and go out and throw and be really good. I just wasn’t. Game 6, elimination game – you get the ball, you want to do better than that and I just wasn’t. It’s a hard pill to swallow. …I had a couple bad pitches in a couple spots where you can’t make bad pitches. I think that’s an easy out and I really, truthfully don’t think that had anything to do with it, just to be honest.
It’s a real veteran move by Buehler to take responsibility the way that he did. But that’s something that he has done most of his career and especially this postseason. Even when the Dodgers let him down, Buehler it there to pick his team back up with the media.
That’s the guy that you want on the mound for you in big games. He might not have come through on Saturday night, but Walker Buehler is going to be a big game pitcher for the Dodgers for a very long time.