Walker Buehler’s last start in San Francisco was nothing short of a disaster, but his history shows he’s a different pitcher in the playoffs.
Buehler’s October intensity and experience could help him wipe away his worst start of the 2021 regular season. He’ll get his chance on Friday when he takes the mound for Game 1 of the NLDS in San Francisco.
Undoubtedly, his line from September 5th will be rattled off during the broadcast. It should be, it was bad. Really bad.
Six earned runs on seven hits with a lone strikeout in just three innings of work.
That was then, this is now.
And now it’s October.
In his last two postseasons combined, seven starts total, Buehler has a 1.43 ERA. More importantly, he dominated in his last two October starts – Game 6 of the NLCS and Game 3 of the World Series. He tallied 16 strikeouts, one earned run, and one walk combined in those two performances.
For his playoff career, Buehler owns a 2.35 ERA and a 0.995 WHIP. This isn’t unfamiliar territory for him. Quite the contrary, it’s very familiar territory. Buehler has started 11 playoff games in the last three years.
Before Max Scherzer came to town, Buehler wore the crown as the Dodgers regular season and playoff ace. Buehler’s September (5.40 ERA) combined with Scherzer’s hot streak (5 ER in 9 starts) took some of that shine away. However, there are few starters who elevate their game in October like Walker Buehler.
The omni-confident Buehler never seems to be overwhelmed by the moment. He seems to embrace the pressure and the spotlight.
This will be his third consecutive year starting Game 1 of the NLDS for the Dodgers. It’s the biggest one yet.
A series versus their hated arch-rival and the team that ended the Dodgers run of eight straight division titles.
A big moment.
Buehler is up to the task.