Walker Buehler is set to start Tuesday night with a three -day break for the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 4 of their NL Division Series against the San Francisco Giants.
Buehler was opposed by right hand Anthony DeSclafani, making his first appearance this posteason. DeSclafani had a 3.17 ERA in 31 starts of the best season of his seven -year career.
“He’s done a very good job and he’s ready for it, he wants it,” Giants manager Gabe Kapler said after Game 3. “He’s ready and he’s the right choice for us.”
DeSclafani fought against the Dodgers in the regular season with a 7.33 ERA in six starts.
The Giants led the best-of-five series, 2-1, and would eliminate the defending champion in the World Series with a victory at Dodger Stadium. Game 5 is Thursday in San Francisco, if necessary.
Buehler built in the sixth inning Friday, throws 99 pitches in a 4-0 loss to the Giants in Game 1. The right hand allows three runs and six hits. The two-time All-Star exploded five and walked one down the road losing his first game in the postseason since 2017.
He went to manager Dave Roberts after the Dodgers won 9-2 in Game 2 and volunteered to stand on the short break for the first time in his career.
“We were late in that kind of decision because we wanted to make sure he woke up today feeling good,” Roberts said. “How long he can go, that will dictate how he throws baseball and how he feels. He just has a way of controlling his heartbeat and making pitches.”
Buehler sought out teammates Clayton Kershaw and Max Scherzer, who have experience standing at short breaks, Roberts said. Buehler had made relief demonstrations in the three days off before.
Buehler recorded a career high in inings built (207 2/3), wins (16), starts (33) and posted his second straight 200-plus strikeout season.
“He’s one of the best playoff pitchers I’ve seen,” right -hander Blake Treinen said. “It’s his moment to shine. He did it last year for us when our backs were on the wall. He stopped us.”
In his career, Buehler is 7-1 with a 2.55 ERA in 13 regular games against the Giants, including 11 starts. He had one of his worst starts of the season on his outing against the Giants on Sept. 5 at Oracle Park, giving up six runs in three internal 6-4 losses – the first of his career in San Francisco.
“He’s been roughed up before, like all pitchers have,” Roberts said. “That’s why aces are aces. They don’t run from battles.”
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