In some ways, 2020 marked the passing of the torch for the Dodgers’ top two starting pitchers. After years of having a de facto number 1 starter for LA whenever the opportunity has presented itself, the club has found itself in an enviable position of being able to set the rotation for each series. And each time, manager Dave Roberts has handed the ball to Walker Buehler over Clayton Kershaw.
The right-hander has established himself as a big-game pitcher in his short career. Though Roberts may actually stop short of saying it, the decision may actually be less merit-driven and more blister driven. Still, it presents a fun little storyline for Dodgers fans along this postseason ride.
Moreover, it presents an opportunity for the pitchers to talk about their relationship with one another.
On Sunday, Buehler did just that. More specifically, how his and Clayton’s relationship has grown over his career.
It probably hasn’t changed a whole lot on my end. Obviously, walking into a clubhouse with a guy like that, there’s gonna be instant respect. And just watching what he does day to day, that hasn’t changed for me.
Anything the other way you’d probably have to ask him, but I can get away with a little bit more and give him more crap than I used to. Maybe that’s just because I’ve been here a little bit now.
The elder-statesman Kershaw has 13 big league seasons under his belt and has far and away established himself as a future Hall of Famer. His name gets mentioned more and more among some of the legends of the game while Buehler just wrapped his third official full season.
When pressed to add some more context to the relationship, Buehler said he could see the little brother angle… the annoying little brother.
Prolly more annoying than little brother, but definitely a little bit of both.
Just a fun side story to the greater 2020 postseason novel.
The Dodgers and Braves face off today at 5:08 PM PT with Buehler getting the ball against Atlanta ace Max Fried.